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Old 04-08-2017, 11:11   #1
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Top 10 points of failure?

What are there top 10 things that can fail while cruising? And let's define a fail as any medium/serious injury and/or $5,000 in equipment damage. Knowing the most common faults is a good start to avoiding them.
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Old 04-08-2017, 13:17   #2
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

$5k is a fairly large equipment failure as most parts of the boat are less that that and I've never had a failure that big. So that leaves stuff like rigging failure (didn't inspect, left it up too long, didn't reef), engine destroys itself (lots of small $ causes like clogged strainers), rudder falls off, grounding that results in flooding, electronics fail.

So the "common" I feel are still pretty rare and the best way to prevent is to play attention and do your small standard maintenance items.
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Old 04-08-2017, 13:29   #3
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

Everything can and will eventually fail, electrical "things" seem to be common failures, pumps and any other electrical thing, fridge, battery bank, alternator, etc,
Basic structural things are uncommon I think, winches, rigging etc.

Then there are the things you can break or not maintain properly
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Old 04-08-2017, 13:38   #4
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

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What are there top 10 things that can fail while cruising?
People.
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Old 04-08-2017, 14:03   #5
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

> $5k? hmmmm, never had that in 40 years. Running the boat on a reef I suppose. A sail ripped open by a gust might be likely with old sails.
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Old 04-08-2017, 14:09   #6
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

The SSCA used to run an annual equipment survey (don't know if they still do). It was interesting data, and had failure information.

The consistent highest failure rates were: water makers, gen sets, and autopilots.

Of those three, for typical cruising couple, the autopilot is the most concerning failure.
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Old 04-08-2017, 14:24   #7
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

Autopilots, engines, dinghies and lightning damage should be on the list.
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Old 04-08-2017, 14:59   #8
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

Rudder. Standing rigging. Through Hull fitting(s). Bilge Pump(s). Furler (main or jib), Engine et al (stuffing box, fuel tanks, fuel filter(s), fuel, etc.), water tanks
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Old 04-08-2017, 16:17   #9
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
The SSCA used to run an annual equipment survey (don't know if they still do). It was interesting data, and had failure information.

The consistent highest failure rates were: water makers, gen sets, and autopilots.

Of those three, for typical cruising couple, the autopilot is the most concerning failure.
Thanks for the tip. Here's a link to a tres cool gear list but not MTTF focused.

http://www.svsoggypaws.com/files/pre...SCA%202013.pdf
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Old 04-08-2017, 16:41   #10
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

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What are there top 10 things that can fail while cruising? And let's define a fail as any medium/serious injury and/or $5,000 in equipment damage. Knowing the most common faults is a good start to avoiding them.
Nothing on my boat that would cost $5k to replace. Heck so far I have only 2200 into the boat as is. It is ready to go now. A few minor things that will cost less than a grand and its done. ( not counting refrigeration system )
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Old 04-08-2017, 16:59   #11
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

From the top down.... and not so much dollar issues as 'spoil ones day' stuff..

Loss of rig..

Blown sails..

Both come under preventive maintenance and should not happen.

'Breakdown maintenance ' includes

Autopilot.

Fridge.

Pumps assorted ( EDIT... includes bog pumps.... )

The latter can be dealt with by carrying spares...

the former two ... not so much .. you just have to suck it down til you get to town....
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:36   #12
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

This only gets to the 5k threshold if it is ignored, but I would put leaks at the top of my list. Leaks around the mast partners, leaks in the portlights, God forbid leaks at the hull-to-deck joint. Most days, a minor annoyance, but if not dealt with, big problems.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:25   #13
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

Only from personal experience, ignoring the 5K as price changes all the time.

most to least:
Crew
Autopilot
Spinnaker pole
Vang attachments
Electric heads

That is the top 5 after that they tend to mix together
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:38   #14
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

It's a random process. There isn't a top ten as far as I can tell. It all fails. I used to think at least the stainless, the hull and joinery wouldn't fail, but stainless fails in many ways, you can get osmosis on he hull and water on wood will warp it and delaminate it.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Boats, just like people.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:54   #15
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Re: Top 10 points of failure?

What kind of boat are we talking about? a 65' Sundeer? Or a dugout canoe?
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