Anchor 01

Rudder

A sailing vessel such as Scourge was steered using a combination of the rudder and tiller. Visible only when seen from the stern, the rudder is a paddle shaped device that is attached through the hull of the ship to the deck where it is connected to a lever referred to as the tiller. Whichever direction the tiller is pushed in the rudder moves in the opposite direction. This means that if the helmsman is given the order to steer to port (left) he must push the tiller to starboard (right). During the violent squall that sank Hamilton and Scourge Ned Myers recalls yelling to the helmsman to push the helm (tiller) hard down to leeward, or the port side, which would have turned the vessel so that the bow (front) of the ship was facing into the wind. This tactic might well have kept the schooner from capsizing since the great gusts of wind hit the vessel on the starboard side pushing it over and allowing lake water to pour in through the open hatches.