What now Skipper?

Send us your solution to the latest boating conundrum.

The passage from Ramsgate to Amsterdam has started out well enough. Grandee, your 42ft Grand Banks, although not in her first flush of youth, has been looked after and, following the rigorous checks you performed before setting out, she has shown no detectable faults on the trip. On board with you is Bert, your long-time boating companion and some-time mechanic. The twin Ford engines aboard Grandee are pushing her along nicely at eight knots, while the north-easterly wind is a bearable Force 3 to 4, with its associated sea and swell on the port bow.
As you approach the middle of the traffic separation lane, the trusty autopilot suddenly veers the boat to starboard and you find yourself heading towards a very large and fully laden ship, which you recently passed ahead of in the shipping lane. You deftly switch to hand steering and try turning the wheel, and quickly realise that both rudders are jammed at around 20? to starboard. You try stopping, and juggling ahead and astern power, but this doesn’t free the problem. You’re going round in circles with a ship bearing down on you and only minutes to spare before a collision. Bert is soon asking: “What are you going to do now, skipper?”

Email your answer to paul_ashton@ipcmedia.com