What Characteristics Define a Rudder ?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by member 76956, Oct 15, 2022.

  1. member 76956

    member 76956 Previous Member

    I suspect this is not strictly a design question; but, possibly more one of regulation. However, the discussion does enter the realm of design, if only briefly.

    It is my understanding that the single component, of a vessel, that determines whether or not it is required to be registered, is the "rudder." In other words, a vessel "with" a rudder is "required" to be registered, while a vessel without a rudder is "not" required to be registered. Please, correct me if I'm wrong or incomplete. Also, is this International maritime law, US, UK, or AUS national law, or the law of some other jusisdictional entity?

    Putting aside the disadvantages or advantages of not-registering or registering a vessel, what exactly qualifies as a rudder for this purpose? I'm fairly certain an "oar" does "not" qualify as a rudder. For example, a Polynesian outrigger canoe, steered by an oar, would "not" be required to be registered, while "any" vessel, with a "permanently" afixed rudder, would be so required.

    Some YouTube videos have suggested that kick-up, or quick-detachable rudders may also not qualify as a rudders, for the purpose of registration requirements. I suspect this can become an exercise in splitting hairs, as it kind-of already has.

    Also, does this doctrine come with any size restrictions? Can I have a 100 foot yacht steered by thrusters that does not have to be registered? What are the limitations here if any?

    Finally, is there any exhaustive reference material for this? Has any author covered this topic in depth?
     
  2. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I think that I can safely say that you are wrong.
    Where did you get this understanding from?

    Boat registration is invariably linked to length / size / gross tonnage - whether the vessel has a rudder (or two, or none even) does not have an effect.
     
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  3. kapnD
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    kapnD Senior Member

    Never heard of that , or anything like it.
     
  4. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    Being fortunate enough to live in a place that doesn't require boats to be registered,I haven't had to consider the matter.I expect that attempts to sidestep the requirement may be frustrated by attempting to insure a vessel that hasn't been registered.I'm reasonably sure that I have seen photos of American rowing boats that displayed registration details so I seriously doubt that an American would be able to avoid the task.How you aim the boat is a matter of practicality and the aforementioned insurance companies may decline coverage if they don't believe the steering equipment to be adequate.
     
  5. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    "Registered" with who?

    Can you provide links to such videos?
     
  6. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    The rudder stock/post location is used in many systems of determining measurements of larger vessels for registration and other purposes. For example the U.S. Formal Measurement Systems which is described in https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO Documents/Marine Safety Center/Tonnage/Tonnage Guide 4 - Registered Dimensions Under Formal Systems.pdf Some individuals may have erroneously concluded that without a rudder stock/post a vessel cannot be measured and therefore the vessel is not required to be registered. However measurement systems which use the rudder stock/post location provide an alternative if there is not a rudder stock. For instance the U.S. Formal Measurement Systems: When a vessel does not have a rudder stock, the length should be taken as 96% of the total length on a waterline at 85% of the least molded depth. (Page 6 of link above.)
     
  7. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    That's the International Load Line convention...it is applicable to any nation state, not just the US...as it is a statutory requirement.
     
  8. clmanges
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    clmanges Senior Member

    I live in Ohio ((in the US) and my 11-foot rotomolded kayak must be registered--no mention of rudders at all in Ohio boat registry laws that I know of; small boats above a certain length must be titled, but everything except stand-up-paddleboards--even inflatables--must be registered.
     
  9. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    My guess is that float tubes don't have to be registered either, as I used one in Ohio , a decade or so back? At least the GW didn't approach me at those few times, but rules may have changed in the last decade or so?
    Registering Your Boat in Ohio https://ohiodnr.gov/rules-and-regulations/rules-and-regulations-by-division/state-parks-and-watercraft/boating-rules/01-register-ohio-boat Paragraph one.
     
  10. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    In Florida, any boat that has mechanical propulsion has to be registered. Thus, a canoe with a trolling motor has to be registered, must display registration numbers on both sides of the bow, display must include annual licensing sticker as well. The same canoe without the trolling motor has no registration requirement, no annual license sticker or other means of identification. Sailboats without an engine have no registration requirement.

    I slyly suspect that much of the registration rule is for the purpose of raising revenue for the state.
     
  11. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Registration is required in Texas, when my inflatable Float Tube is powered by a small motor, though it's sometimes not enforced, especially not needed for private Waters. Sometimes I travel to other states by Airline and take the powered FT in my luggage, for exploring rivers and creeks. The good news is that just about every state recognizes the registrations from other states. Sometimes that can save a lot of money, because the boat registration cost in Texas is a lot less than in California, haha!
     
  12. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    I'm with bajan and others on this. FWIW, I feel that most states registration requirements follow the COREGs or SOLAS. If the COREGs or SOLAS (which are international law) feel that you are too small/unpowered/sail to have regulation of lights and safety, then they don't need to make more rigorous laws. On the other hand, some states do have other environmental requirements which can reach way down to the smallest vessels.

    But I don't recall rudders having anything to do with it.
     
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  13. member 76956

    member 76956 Previous Member

    Yes, exactly. That's what I'd like to know.

    The details of this clearly need to be pinned down. I'm an expat (US) interested in live-aboard cruising and will probably anchor exclusively. I'm probably only interested in international requirements, or if there are any.

    I think I would rather avoid as much hassle and expense, as possible, considering my cruising profile. At the very least, I think it will be useful to understand the issue academically.

    I will try to save the URLs of some of these YT videos, the next time I encounter any. YT creators have made such comments frequently.
     
  14. kapnD
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    kapnD Senior Member

    Any craft powered by 10 hp needs registration in many states, thus the curious power rating of many outboards has been 9.9.
     

  15. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    All vessels operating on the high seas need to be registered somewhere. From https://lawpublications.barry.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1120&context=facultyscholarship page 111:
     
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