Frequently Asked Questions

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Recent events have brought more cruiser's attention to the problem of rudder breakage, and what can be done to bring a boat safely into port in the event of rudder loss. Scanmar has the unique ability to supply three different solutions to the sailing community.

Our SOS Rudder is a stand-alone system for those who use electric autopilots and do not want a windvane. After the mounting brackets are initially installed, the rudder, tiller and mounting tubes are stowed below-deck in a 48" storage bag. It is the perfect solution for meeting race requirements for a back-up steering system.

For those who want the most popular windvane on the market, our Monitor servopendulum windvane can be at-sea modified to an emergency steering system by fitting the optional M-Rud add-on. A bracket locks the servopendulum in place, and an oversized paddle is fitted as an emergency rudder. The M-Rud is kept stowed away below-deck until needed, safely out of the way and unexposed to everyday wear and tear. This system has been in use since 1995, and has saved Robin Davie's "South Carolina" in the 1994-95 Around Alone, Andrew Wilkes' "King of Hearts" off Cape Horn, and the Cal 39 "Dawn's Light" off Australia. "Dawn's Light" is the subject of the article 'Rudderless' in Santana, January 2005 - download it here.

Finally, for those who wish have an auxiliary-rudder windvane system that doubles as an emergency rudder, our Auto-helm windvane has the largest rudder of any auxiliary system commercially available.

The choice between the three emergency steering systems we offer can satisfy the requirements of almost any cruising skipper - give us a call & we'll be happy to discuss a system for your boat.