Becker Marine Systems continues to provide advanced rudder solutions for the Inland Waterways market with the introduction of its “Late Separation” High Lift Flap rudder profile. This design was incorporated first on the triple screw M/V Robert L. Posey as a retrofit. Becker reports that feedback from the owner is extremely positive with reported improvement in maneuverability and low noise and vibration.
In addition to the new rudder profile, vessels utilizing this solution will also be fitted with a more robust linkage design, based on that used for Becker’s much larger rudders on ocean going vessels.
Originally, this rudder profile was developed for fishing trawler applications where there is a critical need for course keeping at very slow speeds while towing fishing nets as well as for higher speed efficiency when cruising to and from fishing grounds.
Inland river operations actually follow a similar requirement in terms of the upstream and downstream speed environments. Becker used the most advanced CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) modeling and extensive towing tank experimentation to come up with this new profile and the result is the creation of more lift (force to turn the vessel) at very low rudder angles. This allows for improved maneuverability, less drag and engine droop, less wear and tear on components and most importantly improved vessel safety.
“The U.S. inland waterways offer a unique challenge to vessel maneuvering and we have learned quite a bit about this environment since we first introduced the Becker Flap Rudder to the market some seven years ago,” says Mike Pevey, Sales Director for Becker Marine Systems USA. “You cannot simply take a design that works on rivers in other countries and expect it to work in this environment.” He adds, “The tows are different as well as the currents, changing river conditions, and wear and tear from the harsh abrasive water and constant course changes. We are excited about introducing this profile and linkage design. We feel it will dramatically improve the overall stability of the steering both upstream and down and we look forward to receiving even more positive feedback from the vessel operators”.
Hamburg, Germany, headquartered Becker Marine Systems is a global leader in maneuvering systems and was the first to put its patented Flap Rudders on pushboats in the inland waterways.