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The development of the rudder was one of the most important sea navigational inventions that have ever been invented Before the twelfth century in northern Europe ships were steered by a quarter-rudder mounted on the stern side of the vessel Up until the fourteenth century the use of the quarter rudder persisted in the Mediterranean Two quarter-mounted steering oars were used By age of exploration the pintle-and-gudgeon rudder hung from the sternpost had replaced quarter-rudder The rudder brought great changes to the world The voyages of Christopher Columbus may have never occurred if the Chinese had not of invented the rudder in first century ADThe action of a rudder is basically very simple The passage of the ship through the water causes water to flow past the rudder and the angle at which the rudder is inclined to the direction of the flow is called the angle of attack The steering action is dependent on the pressure distribution between the two hydrodynamic surfaces of the rudder The pressure on the downstream side is less than the static pressure of the surrounding water while the pressure on the upstream side is greater The result of this is an out ward force on the downstream side of the rudder and this can be regarded as being made up of a list force at right angles to the direction of flow and a drag force directly opposing the direction of flow The variation of the lift and drag forces for different angles of attack is extremely important in rudder design as it is the lift forces which creates the turning effect At a certain angle of attack called the critical angle the rudder stalls a phenomenon called burbling occurs and the rudder force is suddenly reduced Burbling is caused by a breakdown in the streamlined flow on the downstream side of the rudder there is a swirling irregular eddying flow Rudders on merchant vessels are normally expected to
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