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Rudder torque calculations

Formulae for assessing rudder torque's are based upon the

expression Ta ACpV2 Sin q where:T = rudder torque
C = rudder area
Cp = centre of pressure distance from centre line of rudder stock
V = velocity of ship
q = rudder angle measured from mid-ship position
In practice different constants obtained empirically are used with
this expression and take into account such factors as propeller slip
and wake speed as appropriate depending upon the relation of the
rudder and propeller positions. The position of the centre of
pressure has a significant effect upon rudder torque and hence the
size of the steering gear required; the greater the distance of the C
of P from the centre line of the rudder stock, the larger the torque
required; therefore designers attempt to bring the C of P as near to
the centre line as possible. With the simple "barn door" type rudder
on some single screw ships, no adjustment can be made, but the
semi-balanced and balanced-type rudders can be designed to
reduce the torque required; for instance, with the spade type
rudder such as fitted to twin screw ferries, the position can be
adjusted by the designer to give optimum position. This lies
between 30 and 32 per cent abaft the leading edge of the mean
chord of the rudder. Such a rudder would have its C of P forward of
the stock position at low angles of helm, would balance around 10o
to 15o and drift aft of the stock at higher rudder angles.

In graph above is shown a typical torque characteristics

for a spade type balanced rudder and a "barn door" or
unbalanced plate rudder. The astern torque's should also
be calculated since this is sometimes higher than the
ahead torque, this is true for spade rudders.

The peak power that a steering gear must develop is the product of
the maximum torque (T) usually at hard over with the ship
travelling at full speed, and the maximum speed (S) of rudder
movement i.e. Power (max) a T x S.

The combination of maximum power and speed only exists for 2 or

3 seconds during each manoeuvre; so clearly the average power
required to operate the steering gear is considerably below the
peak. Because the steering gear must have sufficient power to
overcome friction and still have ample reserve of power, the value
for used in the foregoing expression is significantly higher than that
used in the expression for rudder torque. When considering the
diameter of the rudder stock, bending and shear stresses must be
taken into account.