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A note[edit]

Woefully incomplete at present. Rudders are complex topics. I added a load of regrettably redlinks, but I'm going to work on some of them. With luck others will work on others. I already created Kitchen and Pleauger rudder pages, and that's how I ended up here. Fiddle Faddle 23:04, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Brittanica 1911 article on rudders[edit]

The following article from the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica (which is now in the public domain) may be useful if you are considering explanding this article.

RUDDER (Old English Rother, i.e. rower), that part of the steering apparatus of a ship which is fastened to the stern outside, and on which the water acts directly. The word may be found to be used as if it were synonymous with "helm." But the helm (Anglo-Saxon Hilif, a handle) is the handle by which the rudder is worked. The tiller, which is perhaps derived from a provincial English name for the handle of a spade, has the same meaning as the helm. In the earliest times a single oar, at the stern, was used to row the vessel round. In later times oars with large blades were fixed on the sides near the stern. In Greek and Roman vessels two sets were sometimes employed, so that if the pitching of the ship lifted the after pair out of the water, the foremost pair could still act. As these ancient ships were, at least in some cases, sharp at both ends and could sail either way, steer (or steering) oars were fixed both fore and aft. The steer oar in this form passed through a ring on the side and was supported on a crutch, and was turned by a helm, or tiller. Norse and medieval vessels had, as far as we can judge, one steer oar only placed on the right side near the stern-hence the name "starboard," i.e. steerside, for the right side of the ship looking forward. In the case of small vessels the steer oar possesses an advantage over the rudder, for it can bring the stern round quickly. Therefore it is still used in whaling boats and rowing boats which have to work against wind and tide, and in surf when the rudder will not act. I t is not possible to assign any date for the displacement of the side rudder by the stern rudder. They were certainly used together, and the second displaced the first in the course of the 14th century when experience had shown that the rudder was more effective at the stern than at the side. The rudder of a wooden ship when fully developed was composed of four pieces. The first or main piece was hung on to the stern post of the ship. Its upper portion was known as the rudder head, and was at first an oval shaft which passed into the ship through the rudder port, and to which the helm was fixed. A canvas bag called a rudder coat covered the opening to exclude the water. In later days Sir R. Seppings introduced the cylindrical form in order to prevent the water from coming into the round rudder port. Three back pieces were fastened to the main piece longitudinally. The whole were fastened together by iron bands called pintle straps, which had at the forward end a pin or pintle, which fitted into braces, i.e. fixed rings on the stern post, so that the rudder hung on hinges. The lower part of the main piece was bevelled, and so was the stern post, so as to allow the rudder to swing freely. A projecting piece called a chock or wood-lock was fixed in the head outside the ship in order to prevent the rudder from being lifted by the water out of its hinges. A small vessel can be steered by the helm or tiller, but in a larger it is necessary to apply a mechanical leverage. This was secured by carrying ropes, or in later times chains, to the sides of the ship, and then through blocks to the upper deck, round a barrel which is worked by the wheel. The principle of the rudder cannot alter, but the means employed to work it have been altered by the introduction of the screw, and by the increased size of ships. A single screw is placed in an open space before the stern post. As the opening thus created prevents the water from flowing directly on to the rudder, a screw steamer is sometimes difficult to steer. In order to make the rudder more manageable, it has been balanced, i.e. pivoted, on a shaft placed at about a third of its length from the foremost edge. In a double screw there is no opening, but the balanced rudder is still used, and the ship can be turned by reversing one of the screws. The need for more power to work the helm has led to the introduction of steam, and hydraulic steering apparatus which can be set in motion by a small wheel.

See Burney's Falconer's Dictionary (London, 1830), Torr's Ancient Ships (Cambridge, 1894) ; Nares, Seamanship (Portsmouth, 1882). TruthbringerToronto 01:18, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

If in the public domain and free from copyright infringement, why not be bold and edit the page to include it? Fiddle Faddle 11:35, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Redlink Removal[edit]

I have just reverted an edit that simply removed redlinks. However these redlinks serve the important purpose of notifying editors that the pages are needed and are not present. The removal was unhelpful in that it removed that marker without drawing attention in some other manner to the need for these articles.

The redlink removal seems to follow on from a talk page Wikipedia talk:Red link which is the discussion page for an element Wikipedia:Red link which is part of the manual of style and addresses what redlinks are and why they are valid. It says "Sometimes it is useful to create a red link to indicate that an article will be created soon or that an article should be created for the topic because it is about an important, verifiable subject." Fiddle Faddle 23:17, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Fixed Rudder vs. simple stern oar[edit]

User:Gun Powder Ma, I am thoroughly disappointed in you and everything you do here on Wikipedia now is questionable (in regards to misrepresenting your sources). I thought you were of higher integrity than this, and this is something I will hold you accountable for. And furthermore, I find it funny that this is all a petty jab at List of Chinese inventions.

For anyone who can access JSTOR, look to Plate 1 of this link here. It brings you to:

Harbour and River Boats of Ancient Rome Lionel Casson The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 55, No. 1/2, Parts 1 and 2 (1965), pp. 31-39

From this picture, Gun Powder Ma took the liberty of using a picture of a Roman tugboat that clearly shows a man operating a steering oar, NOT a fixed rudder, at the back of a Roman tugboat. The caption says absolutely nothing about a rudder, which was Gun Powder Ma's sly, non-scholarly-based interpretation of the picture. It reads: "Tugboat on a tomb plaque of Hadriatic date from the Isola Sacra."

That's it.

Just earlier, Gun Powder Ma tried a similar trick in the article for umbrella, by stating the Greeks and Romans had the collapsible umbrella and instead of citing a published source, he chose the route of original research once again and found two tiny, hazy, indistinguishable pictures that clearly did not show anything of a collapsible mechanism. Look here and here.

I rest my case.--Pericles of AthensTalk 01:30, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

For anyone interested, Gun Powder Ma also used R.O. Faulkner's article to falsely claim in List of Chinese inventions (see the talk page) that the Egyptians had a stern-post rudder instead of a stern-post paddle. I just read the article on that exact page (p. 7) only to discover Gun Powder Ma was deliberately making a false claim.--Pericles of AthensTalk 02:04, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Just to note that I had moved some stuff from another article to here. (talk) 07:03, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Once again, Gun Powder Ma thinks a steering oar is a rudder. I had to correct him with several sources, including Needham, Tom, Chung, Adshead, Noëtte, Johnstone, and McGrail.--Pericles of AthensTalk 18:09, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Our University of Toronto Head East Asian Prof (who is himself European btw) says the Chinese did indeed invent the 2 inventions that allowed European navigation the compass, and, sternpost rudder. UofT's programme is arguably the best East Asian studies program in the world, with the biggest non-Asian resources available —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:54, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

X rudder[edit]

Does anyone have a source of information for the "X Rudder" design employed on Swedish submarines? Sully343 (talk) 22:08, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Ridiculous in-page citation war[edit]

"Although Lawrence Mott in his comprehensive treatment of the history of the rudder,[3] Timothy Runyan,[6] the Propyläen History of Technology,[7] the Encyclopedia Britannica,[2] and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology[8] classify a steering oar as a rudder,[3] Joseph Needham, Lefèbre des Noëttes, K.S. Tom, Chung Chee Kit, S.A.M. Adshead, John K. Fairbank, Merle Goldman, Frank Ross, and Leo Block state that the steering oar used in ancient Egypt and Rome (and even ancient China) was not a true rudder;"

I'm just reading this page in passing and not going to come back, but this is a very silly way to resolve a conflict over whether something was or was not a real rudder. Either describe the arguments for and against the position or just say that opinions vary; don't include a laundry-list of random names to try to bolster one position or another. (talk) 16:16, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

airplane rudder[edit]

I just read the section on airplane rudders and felt that it was confusing and overly complicated. I think it needs to be sorted out a little more.Longinus876 (talk) 21:27, 2 November 2011 (UTC)


"A rudder operates by redirecting the fluid past the hull or fuselage, "

This seems to be a rather strange claim, as the rudder is usually located at the back of the vessel or aircraft and the fluid has already flowed past the hull or fuselage before it gets to the rudder.Eregli bob (talk) 18:32, 26 December 2011 (UTC)