A lighter touch on the tiller
QOur new 60ft narrowboat has quite a heavy tiller and could do with being more responsive. Would increasing the forward section of the rudder towards the prop give a better balance and more help in tight turns? How close to the prop can the rudder be? CHRISSIE60, via the CB website
ATONY REPLIES… Some working boats had about 2in clearance while in modern boats it can be 12in or more. Website clementsengineering.co.uk/uploads/pdfs/TD08. pdf suggests a minimum of 15% of the prop diameter. Adding to the balance (the bit in front of the rudder stock) may make the steering lighter but might also introduce vibration or drag to one side when turning while running ahead. However, you will only know if you try, so initially bolt an extension on.
Plenty of room here for a forward rudder extension