Steering troubles. - Ships Nostalgia
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Steering troubles.

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  #1  
Old 31st May 2019, 02:41
Donald McGhee's Avatar
Donald McGhee Donald McGhee is offline  
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Steering troubles.

Some of you are aware that I am the Skipper of a historic paddle steamer river ship, built in 1899 by Yarrows of London. Since the beginning of my involvement with the vessel she has always been difficult to steer.
Given that she is flat bottomed, draws only 600mm and has rod and chain steering, plus being subjected to river currents, tidal flows etc you may well say “what do you expect”? Being at the helm for more than 1/2 hour is very tiring and at slow speed she can lose steering altogether, which has resulted in some nasty situations.
Recent old photos of the vessel show her rudder then, pre 1949 when she was first laid up, to be above the water level by about 150mm.
When she was salvaged early 1990’s after sinking in 1952 the current rudder was fitted, which is below the water surface level and when turned causes backflow/ turbulence from one side to the other. Our thinking is to extend the height above the water level again to see if this improves the steering. She is 31 m long with common shaft paddles either side amidships.
Any advice, recommendations etc would be most welcome from the SN community. Cheers.
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  #2  
Old 31st May 2019, 04:36
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spongebob spongebob is offline
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Sorry to hear of your steering problems Donald but at least you are otherwise seaworthy and complete with an Easteel coal fired boiler to push you along.
Not like that Northern Belle PS Waverley who can't get a head up , of steam that is .
I am sure there will be plenty of advice from reliable and otherwise quarters

Bob
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Last edited by spongebob; 31st May 2019 at 20:50..
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  #3  
Old 7th June 2019, 00:51
Roys1 Roys1 is offline  
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Hi Donald, I am skipper on a much newer (1935) steam tug William C. Daldy in Auckland (see www.daldy.com). One smallish rudder between the screws so not much use unless doing 4 or 5 knots but twin screws do help. I am not sure what effect any rudder above the water would have, I would think more importantly can you increase its aspect ration ( depth to width) as the force is a function of the area and speed squared. Worth discussing with a Naval Architect before spending money as you can't test it until fitted. Good luck, I will be interested to hear outcome. Roy Swan
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  #4  
Old 7th June 2019, 01:21
Wallace Slough Wallace Slough is online now  
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Donald
The Miki class tugs I worked on at Red Stack has small rudders that worked out OK for towing outside, weren't effective for ship assist in the bay. When the boats were reassigned to inside work, the rudders were wedged with the installation of an angle iron on the trailing edge of the rudder. I don't know the size of the angle iron but I know that it made a real difference in the way the boats handled. When the Sea Cloud arrived in the bay after many years of towing on the coast, she wasn't able to get alongside a large tanker as she couldn't break through the bow wake forcing the boat off the ship forward. Subsequently the rudder was wedged and it made an appreciable difference in how the boat handled. The Miki class tugs were single screw diesels (1200 HP) wooden tugs built for wartime emergency. They were 127' long and of about 400 tons. Hope this might help.
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Old 7th June 2019, 02:43
russellward russellward is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald McGhee View Post
Some of you are aware that I am the Skipper of a historic paddle steamer river ship, built in 1899 by Yarrows of London. Since the beginning of my involvement with the vessel she has always been difficult to steer.
Given that she is flat bottomed, draws only 600mm and has rod and chain steering, plus being subjected to river currents, tidal flows etc you may well say “what do you expect”? Being at the helm for more than 1/2 hour is very tiring and at slow speed she can lose steering altogether, which has resulted in some nasty situations.
Recent old photos of the vessel show her rudder then, pre 1949 when she was first laid up, to be above the water level by about 150mm.
When she was salvaged early 1990’s after sinking in 1952 the current rudder was fitted, which is below the water surface level and when turned causes backflow/ turbulence from one side to the other. Our thinking is to extend the height above the water level again to see if this improves the steering. She is 31 m long with common shaft paddles either side amidships.
Any advice, recommendations etc would be most welcome from the SN community. Cheers.
I've been out a few times on her and not noticed the helmsman tiring of his job. Are you using too much wheel and working overtime perhaps? Compare with steering a traction engine. I steered her quite early on and yep it's heavy but OK. She seems to turn amazingly considering the rudder is right aft. The average single screw vessel has the rudder in the propwash so turns readily in comparison with Daldy and the Waimarie where you maybe have to be a bit brisker with the speeds when manoeuvring. Nothing like a staunch kick ahead with a single big prop!
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Old 7th June 2019, 02:49
russellward russellward is offline  
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Originally Posted by russellward View Post
I've been out a few times on her and not noticed the helmsman tiring of his job. Are you using too much wheel and working overtime perhaps? Compare with steering a traction engine. I steered her quite early on and yep it's heavy but OK. She seems to turn amazingly considering the rudder is right aft. The average single screw vessel has the rudder in the propwash so turns readily in comparison with Daldy and the Waimarie where you maybe have to be a bit brisker with the speeds when manoeuvring. Nothing like a staunch kick ahead with a single big prop!
Hattricks may have built the rudder up because they loaded her a lot more deeply back then and she might have been drawing more. I wouldn't put any money on it doing any good, I'm afraid.
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  #7  
Old 7th June 2019, 05:41
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Donald McGhee Donald McGhee is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russellward View Post
I've been out a few times on her and not noticed the helmsman tiring of his job. Are you using too much wheel and working overtime perhaps? Compare with steering a traction engine. I steered her quite early on and yep it's heavy but OK. She seems to turn amazingly considering the rudder is right aft. The average single screw vessel has the rudder in the propwash so turns readily in comparison with Daldy and the Waimarie where you maybe have to be a bit brisker with the speeds when manoeuvring. Nothing like a staunch kick ahead with a single big prop!
Problem being that she isn’t a fast vessel anyway, which factor combined with strong currents can affect the water flow at the rudder. There is very real “spillage” from the side to which the rudder is turned, which tends to equalise the pressure, thus decreasing the effectiveness of the turn. Specially noticeable when abeam of current and turning at slow speed.
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