Becker Marine Systems Introduces New Rudder Technology

Becker Marine Systems continues to provide advanced rudder solutions to the inland waterways market with the introduction of its “Late Separation” high lift flap rudder profile. This design is being incorporated for the first time on the triple-screw mv. Robert L. Posey and will be followed closely on the Canal Barge Line twin-screw 6,000 hp. vessel being built at Conrad Shipyard.

In addition to the new rudder profile, these vessels will also be the first fitted with a more robust linkage design based on Becker’s much larger rudders on oceangoing vessels.

Originally, this 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 higher speed efficiency when cruising to and from fishing grounds. Inland river operations actually follow a similar requirement when operating in 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 that since we first introduced the Becker Flap Rudder to the market some seven years ago,” stated 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 added, “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 positive feedback from the vessel operators.”

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Becker Marine Systems is the global leader in maneuvering systems and was the first to put its patented flap rudders on pushboats in the inland waterways. Based in Hamburg, Germany, the company was founded more than 75 years ago and today its offices can be found around the globe.