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The 1966-built 40-foot long Keith Nelson hulled "RANGER ONE", seen here off Carrickfergus

when put up for sale in the autumn of 2009

Kitchen Rudders Going Full
During The Second World War and in early post-war years, many of the warships visiting
Rothesay Bay, The Holy Loch and The Clyde used 'picket' and 'liberty boats' to ferry crews and
supplies to and from the ships, many of these open launches using 'Kitchen Gear', more
correctly ''Kitchen's Patent Reversing Rudders'', invented by Admiral Jack Kitchen and
patented 'in the U.K. and Abroad' under British Patent 3249/1914 and in America under US
Patent 1186210 (1916).

The last of The Royal Navy boats to use 'Kitchen Gear' were phased out in the 1970's and it
was therefore something of a surprise, more than 30 years later, when one of them,
complete with its original gear, made its appearance in Kintyre, its new owner proposing to
convert the boat's hull into 'an office' and the boat's arrival prompting the writing of a note on
the history of 'Kitchen Gear', a fairly straight-forward three page long paper.

Then, as chance would have it, the writer came across a sale notice for the 1966-built 40-foot
long Keith Nelson hulled "RANGER ONE" and, thanks to The Marine Volunteer Service's
Charles Douglas kindly forwarding all the boat's sale particulars and other documents, it is
now possible to present a fairly 'in depth' paper about the mysterious and yet extremely
simple workings of 'Kitchen Gear' and about "RANGER ONE", she perhaps still on the sale list
when one reads this and found easily enough (November 2009) on The Internet by typing
"Keith Nelson 40 Kitchen Steering" into your Google or other Search Engine.

The Kitchen stern gear does away with the need for expensive reverse gears and variable
pitch propellers and is effectively a 'variable speed reversing rudder', making boats highly
manoeuvrable in the right hands.

Anyone who could master this complicated arrangement, many failed miserably, could do
anything with a pinnace and, when stemming the tide using the 'Kitchen Rudder' gear, could
make a boat very near go sideways, like today's CalMac, Voith-Schneider-powered, car
ferries - Great fun to watch when executed with some panache and very spectacular coming

While the 'Kitchen Rudder' was widely used The Royal Navy and a 38-foot long power boat
tested by The US Navy in 1921, the boat stopped in her own length from travelling at 12 mph,
The US Navy, for reasons then best known to itself, took the idea no further, which is
strange, for the invention allows the boat to go from full ahead to full astern without changing
engine revs or direction and, it pre-dates the reverse thrust mechanism of today's jet planes
by half a century.

The modern water-jet steering unit is a derivative of the principle and indeed the first, albeit
steam-powered, water jet propulsion unit seems to have been the idea of one James Rumsey
who ran a very successful two-hour long trial of just such a craft on the Potomac River in 1787.

According to Barnaby's 'Basic Naval Architecture', "The 'Kitchen Rudder' consists of two
curved blades carried on pivots above and below the propeller. "Normally the blades lie on
either side of the propeller, but they can be angled to the race to give steering effect, or they
can be closed together behind the propeller to form a sort of hemis-pherical cup that enables
astern way to be obtained without the necessity of reversing the propeller".

The device is simple to build and offers the ultimate flexibility in control. It consists of two
semi-circular rudders, port and starboard, which partially shroud the propeller and which can
be closed, from partial clamshell folding to complete restriction. Each half is mounted through
common-center solid and tubular rudder stock.

From each stock extends an arm which controls the angularity of that blade. A worm screw
with a rotational wheel and handle, resembling the tailstock wheel on a lathe, is mounted on
the end of this screw, which also serves as the tiller.

By swinging the whole control wheel/tiller assembly from port to starboard, the boat can be
steered, the engine rpm remains constant and the boat can be held stationary at a dock
against any current.

The diagram below shows a 'top view' of the effects of the opening and closing The 'Kitchen
Rudder' gear 'clam shell' cones and, in the lower part of the diagram, the effect of moving
the tiller (or steering wheel) in conjuction with the opening and closing of the cones.

Neutral - The engine is brought up to speed with the drive to the propeller engaged and with
the 'Kitchen Rudder' in the "neutral" position. This is a position where an equal quantity of
thrust is aimed forward and aft. Each vessel will have a unique "neutral" position.

Moving Ahead - The Kitchen gear is opened up to direct an increasing proportion of thrust
aft. As the balance changes the vessel will move ahead.

Moving Astern - The Kitchen gear is closed to direct an increasing proportion of thrust
forward. As the balance changes the vessel will move astern.

The 'Kitchen Rudder' comprises two blades, a port rudder blade and a starboard rudder blade
and, in the normal 'full ahead' position, these lie abreast the propellor, encircling it and
forming a short tunnel of streamline shape.

Both blades are pivoted at top and bottom on a common centre. One is connected to a
tubular rudder stock, the other is connected to a solid rudder stock which passes up through
the tubular rudder stock.

By means of a simple mechanism controlled by the helmsman, two distinct motions can be
transmitted to the rudder blades - 1) a simultaneous turning of each blade through an equal
angle, in the same direction, to obtain the steering, controlled by the boat's steering wheel
or tiller and 2) a simultaneous turning of each blade through an equal angle, but in opposite
direction, to obtain speed control, obtained by the speed control wheel.

These two motions are quite independent and can be carried out simultaneously when

Action of The Rudder
At "A" the the rudder is shown full open and central, for "Full Speed Ahead". In this position
some features peculiar to the 'Kitchen Rudder' may be noted - a) the rudder blades are
located outside the propellor stream; b) the rudder blades, being curved in the fore-and-aft
direction, conform generally to the stream line flow in the vicinity and c) the stream
discharged from the propellor has a clear and uninterrupted passage.

At "B" the the rudder is shown swung over to one side for steering. The effect is to deflect the
whole of the propellor stream to that side, thereby setting up a powerful side steering thrust
which acts on the stern of the vessel in the required direction. Due to the fact that the rudder
closely embraces embraces and grips the whole of the propellor stream, this steering thrust
comes into action immediately the rudder is swung over even by a just a few degrees. As a
result, the vessel is steady on her course and instantly responsive to the helm.

At "C" the rudder is central and the blades about half-closed and though the ahead speed of
the vessel is thereby proportionately reduced, the steering action remains very powerful and

At "D" the "neutral" position is indicated. In this position the rudder neutralises the thrust of
the revolving propellor. Once the vessel has lost its motion and come to rest, the rudder may
be set to this position to keep the vessel stationary, but the vessel is nevertheless under
instant control for any further movement required, otherwise this is not a useful and operative

For instance, to arrest or stop the the ahead motion of the vessel, the rudder would not be
closed to "neutral" but would be brought to the fully closed position shown in the next
diagram, "E".

Likewise, to obtain to obtain steering at slow ahead or slow astern, the rudder would be set a
little more open, or a little more closed, respectively.

At "E", the "Full Astern" position is shown. The rudder now forms a cavity or vane of
suitable dimensions to collect the propellor streamand to reflect it in an outward and forward
direction. The vessel, propellor and rudder, as a whole, is now discharging water in a
forward direction and the resultant reaction drives the vessel astern. On vessels of ordinary
form, the astern speed averages about 40% of the "Full Ahead" speed.

By quickly closing the rudder to this "E" position, a vessel moving at full speed ahead can be
brought to rest in the minimum of time and distance. The deceleration, although powerful, is
gradual and no severe force is brought into play.

At the moment the rudder blades commence to close, the retarding force comes into action
and it reaches its maximum value as the rudder becomes shut.

For example a vessel of 100 feet in length and 300 tons displacement, having a 150 bhp, a
54-inch propellor and a speed of 8 knots, could be brought from "Full Speed Ahead" to 'dead
stop' in 30 seconds of time and in a distance of about 200 feet, or about twice her own length,
with the maximum retarding force on her rudder not exceeding 6 tons.

Still looking at diagram "E", it is clear that as the shut rudder is swung round to one side, an
increasing proportion of the propellor stream will be discharged to the other side, thereby
setting up a positive and powerful side steering thrust which acts on the stern of the vessel in
the required direction. A straight course astern can be readily maintained and, to change
course, only a very small amount of helm is necessary.

At "F", the rudder is shown shut and swung hard over to port. Practically the whole of the
propellor stream is now discharged straight out to starboard , resulting in the stern of the
vesselbeing powerfully thrust over to port and, with the rudder kept in this position, the
vessel would simply spin round in its own length.

It has to be understood that, in all the manoeuvres described here, the propellor rotates in
one constant direction.

Also, the rudder will function effectively at full power, half power or any low power within the
range of the propelling motor.

In the case of a vessel being towed or put under sail with the propelling motor out of action,
the "Kitchen Rudder", in its "full open" position, at "A", will still provide for quick and
effective steering control.

In considering the matter of the "Kitchen Rudders" generally, it might be noted that they only
work with displacement hulls and Kitchen's invention designed to work with propellors of
between 14" and 30" diameter.

As noted previously, ''Kitchen's Patent Reversing Rudders'', were invented by Admiral Jack
Kitchen and patented 'in the U.K. and Abroad' under British Patent 3249/1914 and in America
under U.S. Patent 1186210, granted two years later, in 1916, a drawing for the latter
application now following.

Thanks to The Marine Volunteer Service's Charles Douglas, more 'arrangement drawings' can
now be added here -

"RANGER ONE" was built as Belfast Harbour Commissioners' survey vessel, being christened
"Belfast Harbour Survey Vessel No 1" and too served as Belfast Harbour Master's 'VIP' boat,
taking dignitaries around the docks etc., the "Kitchen Rudder" gear a natural choice and
enabling her to go at full speed towards the harbour walls, stop on the spot, turn in her own
length and and immediately head off in any desired direction, which meant that the harbour
could be surveyed a lot quicker, in a 'ziz-zag' fashion, than would have be the case using any
ordinary twin screw launch.

Surplus to requirements, the boat was acquired by The Marine Volunteer Service in 1999 for
use as the unit's traning vessel, she being formally re-named "Ranger One" on June 1, 2001
by the MVS' patron, Prince Michael Of Kent, he then meeting officers and cadets from the
Belfast and Bangor units of MVS Ulster Region and then taken across the river in the launch to
HMS "Caroline", the RNR depot and training ship, which he was visiting in his capacity as
Honorary Commodore of The Royal Naval Reserve.

The Marine Volunteer Service was founded in 1994 with aims of stimulating the interest of
volunteers from all walks of life in maritime affairs, providing high quality training in maritime
skills to recognised standards, being an interesting and useful spare time activity that is fun,
sometimes exciting but with a strong emphasis on safety at all times and maintaining a corps
of trained volunteers capable of supporting maritime authorities ashore and afloat at maritime
events or emergencies.

At the time of writing, the MVS now has over 500 members in 35 units around the coasts and
estuaries of The British Isles, each unit meeting weekly for classroom training, which is put
into practice afloat on other evenings and at weekends using a range of craft from dories,
through launches, to powerful RIB's to an offshore training ship, the Shoreham unit too
having a hovercraft, to provide safety cover in shallow waters and mud banks.

Thanks to the kindness of The Marine Volunteer Service's Charles Douglas, it is possible to
add here a copy of the sale particulars sent to potential purchaser's of the launch in October
2009, offers over £28,750 being sought for her and anyone interested in making an offer, if
she is still on the market, should check for her continuing availability on The Internet, typing
"Keith Nelson 40 Kitchen Steering" into the Google or other Search Engine.


Builder - Keith Nelson & Co. Ltd for Belfast Harbour Commissioners as their survey
launch named 'Survey Launch No1' around November 1966.

Date - Purchased from BHC by C. Douglas on 26/03/1999 and handed over from BHC
to him in June 1999 after stern tube renewal. Renamed ‘Ranger One’.

Dimensions - L.O.A.. 12.120 metres (39' 9"), L.W.L. - 11.684 metres (38' 4"), Beam 3.404
meters (11' 2")
Draft 1.220 metres (4' 0"),
Air Draft 5.87 metres (19' 3"), Less aerial 4.9m (16' 1").

Waterline Speed - Drag of a displacement hull is dependent on how fast the vessel
goes relative to the square of its W.L. length in feet. Drag rises
disproportionately above 1.4 times the waterline length and is much better
kept below 1.2 times this value. Formula √L.W.L in feet x factor.

Ranger One’s max. economical speed = √38.333' x 1.2 = 7.43kts. (1.4 = 8.67kts). Her
max speed is around 9.5kts.

Registered No. - 305566 (Marked on deck beam in Tiller Flat).

Gross Tonnes - 9.69 GRT (Marked on deck beam in Tiller Flat).

Main Engine
Make - Perkins Engines Ltd. Peterborough, PE1 5NA. Tel. 01733 67474

Local Agent - Edina Ltd. Lissue Industrial Estate West, Moria Road, Lisburn. BT28 2RE Tel.
028 9262 2122
Fax. 028 9262 1940 (Mr Stewart Jess - Perkins Parts & Engine Sales)
Also Finning (UK) Ltd. Whistleberry Road, Hamilton, ML3 0EQ, Scotland,
United Kingdom
Tel 01698 711794 Parts and Service enquiries - marine-parts-

Type - 6.3544 - 6 cylinder naturally aspirated diesel, 92.5kW (124bhp) - 120 shp at
2800 rpm.

Year - 1984

Serial No. - Supplied to BHC 20/11/1984. Fitted & Tested by them 23/10/1985

Alternator - Motorola Marine type 9AR3, 959G 28 volt 40 amps

In Use Starter - Make :- CAV, Ref. No. CA45F24 3M, Des No. 1321F033,
Rotation anti-clockwise as viewed looking aft.

Spare Starter - Make :- CAV, Ref. No. CA45G24 3M, Des No. 1321G033, 1150Amps (max
Rotation anti-clockwise as viewed looking aft (at brush's end).

Heat Exchanger- Make :-supplied with Perkin Engine but made by Bowman No. 3676.
E. J. Bowman (Birmingham) Ltd, Chester Street, Birmingham. B6 4AP
Tel: 0121 359 5401 Fax: 0121 359 7495 info(at)

Sea Water Pump ITT Jabsco Ltd No. 9990-41. Rotation CW view from cover.
New Speedseal Easy Slider pump cover supplied and fitted 11/04/06.

S.W.P. Impeller - For above pump - Neoprene 57.1mm Outer dia. x 31.5mm Width,
spine drive

Jabsco Ltd part No. 1210-0001, or Johnson Pump part No. 09-1027B-1, or Perkins part
No 0460038.

Water Temp. Sw - Perkins part no 2848A103. Switching temperature 105ºC ('DCA/AN'
stamped on switch).
Replacement fitted 06/11/02

Pre Heater - Thermostart - Make :- CAV (Now nown as Delphi) 24 volt unit Ref No. 1854090
(N.B. Perkins do not supply these 24v units)

ME Lub. Oil - Shell Rimula X 15W/40. Capacity 8.5 to 10 litres approx.

Oil Filter - Coopers - AZL008 (Supplied by G.W. Strong Agencies (NI) Ltd.,
199 Donegal Avenue, Belfast BT12 6LT. Tel 028 9032 8523
or Fram - PH977A (Supplied by Carparts. 3 Sentry Lane, Mallusk . Tel 028 9084 8218)

Fuel Filter - Coopers Filters Ltd - AZF015 (Supplied by G.W. Strong Agencies (NI) Ltd.,
199 Donegal Avenue, Belfast BT12 6LT. Tel 028 9032 8523
or Fram - C1191PL (Supplied by Carparts. 3 Sentry Lane, Mallusk 9084 8218)

Air Filter - Coopers Filters Ltd - AG167 (Supplied by G.W. Strong Agencies (NI) Ltd.,
199 Donegal Avenue, Belfast BT12 6LT. Tel 028 9032 8523

Py Fuel Filters - Coopers Filters Ltd – AZF015 (Supplied by G.W. Strong Agencies (NI) Ltd.
199 Donegal Avenue, Belfast BT12 6LT. Tel 028 9032 8523 Same filter as
above M.E. Fuel Filter

Gearbox :- Borg Warner - Velvet Drive Model AS 13-72C, Ratio 2.10:1, 5" Flange, Serial No
7096. Supplied to BHC 20/11/1984 with M.E. Fitted & Tested by them

Gearbox Oil :- Shell Donax TF ( Using JCB Automatic Transmission Oil). Capacity 1.6litres

Auxiliary Engine for the Pump/Generator
Make - RA Lister & Co Ltd

Type - LR1 - single cylinder naturally aspirated diesel. Engine No 11261LR116.
12 volt Dynamo No 370194/11. Pump 8675. (Engine delivered 22/02/1967)

AE Lub Oil - Shell Rimula X 15W/40.
Fuel Filter - Coopers Filters Ltd – AZF025 (Supplied by G.W. Strong Agencies (NI) Ltd.,
199 Donegal Avenue, Belfast BT12 6LT. Tel 028 9032 8523
or Fram - C11941PL (Supplied by Carparts. 3 Sentry Lane, Mallusk 9084 8218)

24V DC Auxiliary Generator coupled to the above
Make - RA Lister & Co Ltd

Serial No - 37094/11

Details - 24/32 Volts, 47 amp, 1800 RPM

Main Engine Main & Secondary Battery (No. 1 & 2)
4 of Lucas Premium - Maintenance Free Type 644 12 volt.
Cold Cranking Amps (S.A.E.) 735 Amps 30 seconds at 18° C to 1.2 V.P.C.
Cold Cranking Amps (I.E.C.) 525 Amps 1 minute at 18° C to 1.4 V.P.C.
Reserve Capacity 180 minutes at 25 Amp Running load.
342mm Length x 172mm Width x 233mm Height.
Installed New 15th January 2009 (replaced same make & type of No 1battery fitted April
Supplied by Energy Batteries Ltd Unit 7, Ravenhill Business Park, Ravenhill Road, Belfast.

Battery Isolators
2 of Manufactured by Three Quays Marine Services supplied by RN & fitted May 2002
1 of Battery Isolator for 230Volt inverter fitted July 2004

Auxiliary24V DC Generator/GS Pump Engine
1 off Citroen - CITDS5 12 volt.
Fitted 15th Jan 2009 was originally ME Battery No 2 new in 2001
and replaced a Lucas Premium - Maintenance Free Type 065 12 volt which failed 2008

Shaft & Stern Gear
Shaft - Supplied by Robert Craig & Sons to drawing E848 but Threads changed from
11/8" U.N.F. to 1" B.S.F. 23/03/1996. Type 11/2" dia. SS shaft 9'-9 3/8" long plus
threads. See Drg. No. E848.

Bicone Coupling - Metalastik Vibration Control System Dunlop Ltd. Type 21/549/1.
Marked on coupling shaft end ‘22 549 A’, Shaft end cup ‘22 549 B’, and engine end cup
‘22 549 C’.

Stern Gland - ‘Gains’. Overhauled & repacked 2005 with 6.5mm Duramid Packing as
manufactured by James Walker & Co Ltd Tel 01900
823555 supplied through Caters Carrickfergus.

Stern Greaser - New Remote Stern Greaser Ref 2-74905 Fitting Kit 2-74910 fitted Feb 2005
supplied from Aquafax Ltd, 14 Dencora Way, Sundon Business Park, Luton,
Beds, LU3 3HP. sales(at) Bryan
Page Technical Sales

Stern Tube - 28¼ ” long OA with 2⅛” threads either end, 2” OD, 1¾” ID. Replaced May 1999
by Robert Craig’s for BHC before handover. Removed checked and reinstalled

Cutlass Bearing - Gaines box at hull end, removed cleaned, fitted a new cutless bearing and
reinstalled 2005. Bearing 6” long x 2.02” OD x 1½”ID
Siverline Marine Bearing by Silvertown UK Limited, Horninglow Rd., Burton
upon Trent, Staffordshire. DE13 0SD Tel 01283 510 510.
We carry another bearing as spare and an additional one with a slightly larger OD.

Propeller (& Spare)
Make - Spare received from Brutons 25/07/1996 (tel. 01255 420005) and fitted June
Their O/No 1667 Ref. GRN 15-36 (Ref. Survey Launch 11AJ0001).

Type - Three Bladed left hand rotation propeller with 21" dia. x 23.6 pitch.
(Stamped on propeller 'BP14797').

Nut:- 1" B.S.F. Supplied by Robert Craig & Sons 25/05/1999, changed May 2001.

Make - Wright & Beyer Ltd (30/09/02 Address from Internet although thought to have
gone into receivership) 70 Old Bidston Rd., Birkenhead, Merseyside. L41 8BL
tel. 0151 652 9900

Type - Kitchen Reversing Rudder.

Although fitted with this rudder, the vessel also has a Morse type throttle engine control if
conventional forward and astern control is required. (For more information see

Make - Wynn Marine Ltd. Wynn House, Landsdown Estate, Cheltenham GL51 8PL Tel
01242 232266

Type - Wiper type 48 serial Nos. 46025 & 6. Blades 400 mm long, last supplied

Make - CQR

Main - 45lbs (20.45kg) complete with 54 metres of chain.


Make - Simpson Lawrence Ltd. Glasgow

Type - SL Oil – Bath Windless. Serial No. 505 - 1 – 1009

Water Storage Heater
Make - Cleghorn Waring & Co (Pumps) Ltd. Icknield Way, Letchworth, Herts, SG6 1EZ
Tel. 01462 480380

Type - CWB50-V Capacity 50 litres (11 galls.) Fitted April 2000.

Domestic Fresh Water Pump
Make - Munister Simms (Whale)

Type - UP1214 (32 galls/min 30psi 2bar) Fitted April 2000.

Fresh Water Filter
Make - ITT Jabsco Bingley Road, Hoddesdon, Hetrfordshire, EN11 0BU
Tel 01922 450145 Fax 01992 467132

Type - Aqua Filta - part no. 59000-1000. Fitted Jan 2004. Spare Filter Cartridge – part
no. 59100-0000

Electric Bilge Pump (Engine Room)
Make - Munister Simms (Whale)

Type - Gulper 220 Ref:- BP1554 (24Volt, 2 amp, 12.6Ltrs/min) Fitted 2000

24V DC to 12V DC Converter No 1 (Mtd. adjacent to clorifier)
Make - Altai. Supplied through CPC

Type - 20-31V/12V - 15A (max) Fitted April 2000.

24V DC to 12V DC Converter No 2 (Mtd. at back of Dist. Bd.)

Make - Came with the vessel and is now being used for 2nd VHF radio.

Type -

24V DC to 230V AC Inverter (Mtd. Behind st’bd seat backrest.)
Make - Wiekat. Supplied through Maplins

Type - 24VDC to 230VAC, 50Hz, 600W continuous. Order code N34AZ. Fitted July 2004

Electronic Equipment

Equipment Make Model

Plotter/Soun Garmin GMAP235

Radar/Chart Raymarine R80RC+
Radar Open
Antenna Raymarine 4KW 48"

Radio (No 1) ICOM M-601

VHF/DSC M-Tech MT-500
Radio (No 2)
Diff GPS Raymarine 120DGPS

Fluxgate Raymarine Compass
Stabiliser Raymarine E12101
for compass
Angle Raymarine ST60 Rudder
Receiver ICS Nav-6 Plus
STW B-SL01: 0-
Speedomete Smiths 10Kt
r & Log

Gas Technisol Pilot Mod.
Twin 1110

Make - RFD Surviva supplied by RFD Ltd, Kingsway, Dunmurry, Belfast BT17 9AF. Tel
028 9030 1531
and fitted to existing cradles - March 2001

Type - 8 man, date of manufacture March 2001, fabric type PU, painter 28m total,
Emergency pack ‘B’, Radar reflector. Fully serviced.

The particulars contained within this entire document do not constitute any part of an offer or
contract. The particulars are given in good faith but none of the statements/data contained in
these particulars are to be relied on as a statement of fact and intending purchasers must
satisfy themselves by inspection to the correctness of each of the statements/data contained
in these particulars.

The vendor does not make or give, nor any person in the MVS has authority to make or give
any warranty whatever in relation to this vessel or is equipment.

As noted earlier in this paper, the American McNab-Kitchen Rudder Corporation of Bridgeport,
Connecticut, progressed Kitchen's innovation to allow it to be fitted to Evinrude, Elto,
Johnson, Spinaway and Lockwood-Ash etc. outboard motors, their design, an adaptation of
the original U.S. patent of June 6, 1916, patented in America on September 11, 1923 and a
one-cylinder Evinrude outboard motor, with McNab's patented 'Kitchen Rudder' gear, may be
found on display at The Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon.