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Old 23-07-2014, 10:50   #16
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

OK. Noticed this was an Oceanus 50 so a spade rudder. So guess like Rognvald said, the rudder tube or part of the hull must have ripped out to allow the top end to come loose like that.

I can't think of how the rudder itself, even if defective, could have been a factor in tearing loose the top end of the rudder post and quadrant assembly. Maybe if the wrong rudder, seriously oversized so putting higher than design loads on the hull? But this I assume you would have noticed in the replacement.
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Old 23-07-2014, 10:56   #17
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Originally Posted by sailcruiser View Post
Len, I am sorry you had this happen. I'm glad you and your crew (pup too) made it to safety.

I can't help in trying to figure out the cause of the structure failure but I do wish to learn what I can. I will say I'm impressed how calm you sounded on the video with the scene you were looking at.

I hope you recover and return to the cruising life soon.
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Thanks my friend. We had no choice. It was stay calm and focused on saving our lives. I knew the boat had no chance. Every ounce of energy was focused on doing the right thing. Being prepared for emergencies like this helped us with precious time too. Time enough to even shoot a small video clip with a cellphone Having said that ... I never wish to repeat what we went through. Jumping from a life raft onto the side of a heaving tanker at night was just as scary as leaving a sinking boat in the middle of an angry North Atlantic.

When I jumped off our yacht I was holding onto the stern and knee deep in water ... the rest of the yacht was below the water with the lights still shining. Words cannot describe the experience.
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Old 23-07-2014, 10:57   #18
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
OK. Noticed this was an Oceanus 50 so a spade rudder. So guess like Rognvald said, the rudder tube or part of the hull must have ripped out to allow the top end to come loose like that.

I can't think of how the rudder itself, even if defective, could have been a factor in tearing loose the top end of the rudder post and quadrant assembly. Maybe if the wrong rudder, seriously oversized so putting higher than design loads on the hull? But this I assume you would have noticed in the replacement.
I gave our hull number to the factory. It was the right rudder and brand new. The bearings were also brand new.
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:01   #19
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
The way that the shelf supporting the upper bearing ripped away from the bulkhead is scary. You can actually see how the shelf ripped right out of the tabbing. I would think that was a very poor bond. Doesn't look like damage, at least in the part I can see, just the shelf separated away from the the tabbing that bonded it to the bulkhead. At least that is what it looks like to me.
I think you are right. It was chaos and very dark. I climbed down into the aft lazarette where this was all housed but the noise and crashing waves and the chaos down there was scary stuff. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. It was pure carnage. I honestly didn't have space or time to do much more than I did. I had to make sure my wife and crew member and dog were taken care of and that our ditchbag and everything else like water, food etc etc was brought to the cockpit for the launching of our liferaft. There was a lot to do and we did it. And little Dexter is alive and running around on his 4 legs like nothing happened today. We are truly grateful for our lives.
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:08   #20
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Thanks Seaworthy Lass. We will never be put off liveaboard cruising. We wish we could get back on the water but unfortunately this has devastated us financially.

Very sorry to hear this. So assume you had no hull insurance? Brought up that issue (again) for me and the wife and there's just no easy answer.

Right now we have full hull and liability for the US and Bahamas which isn't too much but plan on going further afield in a few years. Once going offshore I know costs will be a lot more. Don't have any exact rate quotes yet for my boat but for $100-$125k value I'm guessing at least $2-$3K/year which is a pretty big bite out of a cruising budget.

From your experience (and other's) it's obvious that no matter how carefully one prepares sometimes stuff happens. With 20/20 hindsight thinking you would have paid for the policy.
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:09   #21
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
From you HIN it appears that your hull was either #80 or 81 (5080). Initial hull might have been 5000 then you're 81.
Okay, I thought we are hull 80 but yes it is 5080.

FR-BEYF5080i607

I think hull number 5088 was a Cyclades 50 but wonder who it was sold to?

Len
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:10   #22
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Was the shaft fiberglass with stainless bearings and terminal connections as it appears in the picture?
Yes.
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:35   #23
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
The way that the shelf supporting the upper bearing ripped away from the bulkhead is scary. You can actually see how the shelf ripped right out of the tabbing. I would think that was a very poor bond. Doesn't look like damage, at least in the part I can see, just the shelf separated away from the the tabbing that bonded it to the bulkhead. At least that is what it looks like to me.
I hope you don't mind me quoting you and of course we all seem to want to blame prior damage, I guess to convince ourselves that this won't happen to us or our friends, but you know on something like a rudder, there should be some damage tolerance built into the design, a designed failure point that doesn't sink the boat and a inspection procedure that is accomplished whenever a rudder is replaced etc.
This is the 21st Century with all the computer aided structural analysis available, and these are not one off amateur built boats.
Why so many failures, you can't blame them all on hidden damage.
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:36   #24
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812 View Post
I think you are right. It was chaos and very dark. I climbed down into the aft lazarette where this was all housed but the noise and crashing waves and the chaos down there was scary stuff. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. It was pure carnage. I honestly didn't have space or time to do much more than I did. I had to make sure my wife and crew member and dog were taken care of and that our ditchbag and everything else like water, food etc etc was brought to the cockpit for the launching of our liferaft. There was a lot to do and we did it. And little Dexter is alive and running around on his 4 legs like nothing happened today. We are truly grateful for our lives.
Again my condolences on your boat and awesome on you for being so calm in such a difficult time.

What I am really curious about if you have the time or energy to explain would be knowing more about your emergency systems and bail out plan.

Did you have crash pumps?

What signaling / radios / distress signals did you have and use?

Did you ever practice for such an occasion so you and your wife have
roles or assigned tasks?

Did you set up Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) for emergencies?

What did your bail out bag consist of and where was it?

What would you have done differently either during or in preparing for such a thing?

I used to work as a wilderness guide and as important as analyzing what happened in an accident can be, we found that analyzing how it was handled gave us much more insight and preparedness for handling the next problem. Our mindset was accidents will happen no matter what so lets figure out how to better handle the response.
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:46   #25
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Thanks my friend. We had no choice. It was stay calm and focused on saving our lives. I knew the boat had no chance. Every ounce of energy was focused on doing the right thing. Being prepared for emergencies like this helped us with precious time too. Time enough to even shoot a small video clip with a cellphone Having said that ... I never wish to repeat what we went through. Jumping from a life raft onto the side of a heaving tanker at night was just as scary as leaving a sinking boat in the middle of an angry North Atlantic.

When I jumped off our yacht I was holding onto the stern and knee deep in water ... the rest of the yacht was below the water with the lights still shining. Words cannot describe the experience.
How did you bring the dog up? Tucked in a shirt or something?
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:48   #26
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I hope you don't mind me quoting you and of course we all seem to want to blame prior damage, I guess to convince ourselves that this won't happen to us or our friends, but you know on something like a rudder, there should be some damage tolerance built into the design, a designed failure point that doesn't sink the boat and a inspection procedure that is accomplished whenever a rudder is replaced etc.
This is the 21st Century with all the computer aided structural analysis available, and these are not one off amateur built boats.
Why so many failures, you can't blame them all on hidden damage.
If I'm not mistaken Catalina does this on all of their 5 series boats. If I remember correctly the top 1/3 of the rudder has a built in failure point so if something does hit it the bottom 2/3 breaks away and leaves you with 1/3 of a rudder to limp home with and hopefully no hull damage
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:56   #27
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
OK.

I can't think of how the rudder itself, even if defective, could have been a factor in tearing loose the top end of the rudder post and quadrant assembly. Maybe if the wrong rudder, seriously oversized so putting higher than design loads on the hull? But this I assume you would have noticed in the replacement.
Firstly thanks to Len for giving us this opportunity to look at and discuss a real life emergency.

I also second the comment on how well he handled an impossible situation.

Once that top bracket let go, the pivot and tearing forces on the hull would be incredible.

To help others....One steering test I do on a boat (new to me) is to have someone do a tight figure '8' in reverse at speed .... while I watch the rudder supports and stock for any undue flex or movement .

I actually had the upper bracket tear off on a brand new Truant during that test for the reasons Deepfrtz suspected happened here.

If you have never done that test ..... Len's experience is a poignant reminder!

Thanks again Len for sharing and very best wishes for happier sailing in the future .
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Old 23-07-2014, 11:59   #28
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

Just gives me the impression of something that is built to minimum specs when I see that vid....
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Old 23-07-2014, 12:09   #29
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Maybe if the wrong rudder, seriously oversized so putting higher than design loads on the hull? But this I assume you would have noticed in the replacement.
The only thing with that is if the thing was oversize and can tear out the bulkhead in water, would the original have survived a grounding?

I'm inclined to believe that at some point either this rudder, or the original if it was replaced, sustained an impact which caused the bulkhead attachment to be cracked, and it went unnoticed during the repair of the original or just generally until and it finally gave way after being worked by the existing rudder long enough.

I'm glad the crew and skipper got off safely. What an experience.

-Dave
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Old 23-07-2014, 12:29   #30
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Re: The Blue Pearl sinking

Watching the water slowly creep over those floorboards is one of the scariest things I have ever seen.

So sorry for your loss..
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