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Stiff rudder

I have a new 60ft narrow boat and when the rpm is over 1000 it is very hard to move the tiller to steer. why

Asked by: Tony Wilkinson  | 10.57am, Sunday 8 March

WW says:

This is probably a combination of hull design and rudder configuration. The rudder might be too close to the propellor, the swim lengths may be short- or have flat ends to the swim, rather than a fine point. Also, the balance size of the rudder may be too small, so that you are fighting the flow.
Much of the handling comes down to hull design, which is where experience of a boatbuilder shows (but hard to spot when choosing a boat). It may be possible to adjust the amount of balance on the rudder, but this would have to be done out of the water. Also, it may be possible to alter the propellor-rudder distance, but only by an inch or two at the most.
I am sure that Rupert will also add some advice but it can be difficult to significantly alter the handling of a narrowboat, as so much is dependant on the hull design.

Mark Langley  | 11.47AM, Sunday 8 March

If the tiller extension is rather short, the problem might be easily solved by fitting a longer tiller bar. This solution however only works on a cruiser stern boat.
If the rudder moves quite freely with the engine stooped, there is unlikely to be an alignment problem. If you have a photo of the boat out of the water it would be interesting to check how much balance plate is on the rudder.

Rupert Smedley  | 10.26AM, Monday 9 March

Readers say:

Any advice on this would be welcome. Tony

Tony Wilkinson  | 9.48AM, Monday 9 March

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