A nice piece of research and good knowledge to have in one’s mental background. Thanks for putting it together.
There are certain complementary sayings that I believe all off-shore sailors should adhere to. The first is: If you go overboard, you are dead. The second could easily be: if you lose your steering ability off-shore, you will (likely) lose your boat.
Now there are exceptions to both these statements, but the ratio of “saves” to “tragedies” is such that it is wise to treat them as facts.
And, should the worse happen all efforts should be made, but…
To prepare, it is my observation, that most skippers pay a good deal of attention to their jack lines, tethers, etc., but not so much to their rudders and steering gear. And, to my mind, many boat’s rudders are not well designed right out of the factory.
For example: those free-standing rudders that follow the contour of the hull beautifully also make it likely that any deflection of the rudder shaft will have the aft upper portion of the rudder jam into the hull. This can be engineered as to be strong enough but often is not. Or the rudder can have “break-away portions. If you put enough miles under your keel, bumps of a log slipping along the hull and hitting the bottom of the rudder (or hitting a whale or a grounding etc.) will occur.
And then there is Nigel Calder’s (among other experts) suggestion that one’s steering cable and chain be replaced every 5 years. When was your last swap? (And, again for off-shore venturing boats, I would do the job yourself: I am experiencing diminished confidence in yard personnel competence and this is not an area where you want a forgotten cotter pin).
And, has there been consideration of a drilled hole in the upper aft portion of the rudder to accept a rope in order to steer if the cable breaks or a sheave comes loose (the hole is filled-in in everyday use by putty -or something- able to be easily pushed out).
And, I have not mentioned the regular maintenance that most steering systems require.
So, at the same time you are reading of emergency procedures, make a list of preventative measure to make rudder/steering failure less likely.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy