A lighter touch on the tiller

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin -

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

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