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Date: 23 August 2020. Why Seaweed Does Not Track.


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  KEEL-LIKE 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 solve that.

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 already had.

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.

The substantial 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 turning?
And, do you have an autopilot?

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Category: Boat Talk, In the Bilges,

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