Date: 23 August 2020. Why Seaweed Does
Seaweed is a great home. What she
is not however is a boat that will steer a straight line. I ALWAYS have to
be turning the wheel to adjust her course. I discussed this in the
Tyranny of the Tiller (pre-purchase advice)
article quite some time ago. Today I will show you why this occurs.
First of all, know
that even with this issue I am very glad Seaweed is mine. That
she does not steer straight is an irritant though not a deal
breaker. I am immensely happy aboard my home.
This is a small
structure all the way
aft on the starboard side. Outbound is a flat surface.
This section goes forward to about the mid-point half
way between bow and stern.
This area is flat on the outside,
and CURVED on the inner portion closest
to the propeller.
When underway the water flows
under the hull. I suspect those small areas were designed to help the boat go
forward in a straight line. Unfortunately, mine do not keep Seaweed running true. A proper keel would
The keel-like areas on Seaweed get smaller
as they move forward.
Note the hole in my rudder: If I have to remove my
shaft, I can turn my rudder to the side. The shaft
will slide directly back through that hole in the rudder. Many
rudders have this feature. It is normal.
When I went into the boatyard I had hoped that I could resolve the
tracking issue with the addition of bilge keels. Bilge keels run
fore and aft. I wondered if they could somehow be bolted onto what I
already had, specifically at the RED AREA
↑ ABOVE. I had
envisioned something perhaps 8" deep and running parallel to what I
Alas, an expert told me that the placement and size would be wrong.
As I already was creating a monster bill with the Must-Do projects,
I put this one aside for another haul out some time in the future.
The reason why I
believe Seaweed is the #1 hull for this model is that she tracks so
poorly. Every Schucker mini-trawler built after mine has a substantial keel area.
IF I had known the importance of a
keel I might have purchased a different Schucker.
← This Schucker
miniature trawler was for sale at the same time as when I bought my
Seaweed. I believe she now has a dark green hull and
was moved to Canada a few years back. She is Gorgeous inside.
keel means this vessel should run straight and true.
Still, I am so fortunate to live aboard Seaweed. She runs well now,
thanks to a skilled mechanic who is also a friend. The issue described in the
To the Boatyard article was not
the actual problem.
Fortunately for me, a friend was able to diagnose what went wrong and
replace the part that failed. I'll tell you about all that soon.
In the meantime, thank you for reading.
Does your boat stay on course without a lot of wheel
And, do you have an autopilot?
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In the Bilges,
Bilge Oil and Water Removal ~
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