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Old 06-01-2014, 06:55   #1
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Another vote for stronger rudders

A crewman on a yacht taking part in the Cape to Rio race died and others were injured as gales damaged at least seven boats in the competition from South Africa to Brazil.
The death and injuries on Bille, which also lost its mast, were reported yesterday, a day after the competition started in Cape Town, race Chairman Ray Matthews said in a statement on the event’s website. The boats sailed into rough seas about 75 nautical miles (86 miles) from the start, South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institution said in a separate e-mailed statement today.
“Various other yachts suffered damage in what is reported as conditions of up to eight-meter (26-foot) swells and up to 60-knot gale-force winds,” the NSRI said. “Some yachts are limping back” to Cape Town or Saldanha Bay, it said.
This year’s event, with 36 vessels from eight countries taking part, is the 14th edition of the race, which first took place in 1971. The competition ends in Rio de Janeiro.
Six other competitors reported problems including broken rudders, flooded engines and communication breakdowns, Matthews said.
The NSRI dispatched a rescue craft this morning to tow another yacht, Black Cat, back to Cape Town.
“Black Cat, with four persons onboard, are adrift at sea suffering rudder damage and are unable to sail,” the NSRI said.
Helicopter and vessel rescue units, together with the South African Air Force’s 22 Squadron, were placed on high alert to assist with emergencies, the NSRI said. The South African Navy last night dispatched naval frigate Isandlwana after a full recall of its crew.
To contact the reporter on this story: Andre Janse van Vuuren in Johannesburg atajansevanvuu@bloomberg.net

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Old 06-01-2014, 08:07   #2
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

Helps when they are attached to a skeg.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:18   #3
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

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Helps when they are attached to a skeg.
Depends. Skegs can cause problems with rudders as well...
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:06   #4
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

Stronger rudders do not necessarily mean you are going to be safe.

I had a friend that ran over a whale while surfing down a wave... The rudder caught on the whales back, pulling it aft. The rudder post acted like a can opener and sliced a 3 foot long gash in the hull of the boat. They were unable to control the water intrusion and the boat sunk in 20 minutes.

In a storm like the one describe above things are going to break and people are going to be injured... The only thing that might have helped these racers was staying in Port.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:45   #5
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

Yes the rudder can be a weak link in a storm. Many years ago while on duty in the North Atlantic on a coast guard cutter a stout motor sailor sent out a may day. The boat was in a hurricane ridding to a sea anchor and the rudder broken. When the force of the sea which can be very considerable slams into a rudder even well engineered rudders with strong stops are at risk of failure. The weak points are there including what ever method is used to attach the shaft to the body of the rudder. This attachment lives in salt water and is often not visible for adequate inspection. what is surprising to me with the aging fleet of FG boats is that this is not a more common, perhaps a testimony to modern construction techniques.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:49   #6
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

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This attachment lives in salt water and is often not visible for adequate inspection. what is surprising to me with the aging fleet of FG boats is that this is not a more common, perhaps a testimony to modern construction techniques.
It seems to me that we are seeing quite a few more problems this year than we have in the past.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:10   #7
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pirate Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

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It seems to me that we are seeing quite a few more problems this year than we have in the past.
Also mainly newer boats... one would expect it to be the other way round...
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:17   #8
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

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Yes the rudder can be a weak link in a storm. Many years ago while on duty in the North Atlantic on a coast guard cutter a stout motor sailor sent out a may day. The boat was in a hurricane ridding to a sea anchor and the rudder broken. When the force of the sea which can be very considerable slams into a rudder even well engineered rudders with strong stops are at risk of failure. The weak points are there including what ever method is used to attach the shaft to the body of the rudder. This attachment lives in salt water and is often not visible for adequate inspection. what is surprising to me with the aging fleet of FG boats is that this is not a more common, perhaps a testimony to modern construction techniques.
When you are riding to a sea anchor, the boat will get pushed backwards rapidly on every breaking wave. If you do not have the helm securely lashed amidships, the rudder is going to go sideways, hit the stops, and break something, whether or not it is spade, skeg, outboard, or keel hung.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:21   #9
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

That is why the Jordan drogue makes so much sense.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:40   #10
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

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If you do not have the helm securely lashed amidships, the rudder is going to go sideways, hit the stops, and break something, whether or not it is spade, skeg, outboard, or keel hung.
I would argue that even securely lashed the rudder is going to experience very heavy loads when riding bow on to a sea anchor. This would be especially so if the rudder is a large, barn door rudder as were/are on many heavy displacement motor sailors. I am speculating that may be what was on the MS mentioned above. Again, speculation. I think that a spade rudder would also experience very heavy loads under sea anchor, bow on.

My preference, prejudice, would be a Jordan Drogue, but I have not had the opportunity to use either a sea anchor or a JD.
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Old 06-01-2014, 14:06   #11
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

As long as the rudder is securely centered, it should not experience abnormal loads (normal max load is as the rudder starts to stall when heavy air reaching).

If you have a boat which is built as strong in the stern as it is in the bow and have bulletproof companionways, a drogue would be preferable. However, it you are concerned about 10 ft of white water hitting your transom and companionway, you might prefer the sea anchor.
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Old 07-01-2014, 21:43   #12
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

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As long as the rudder is securely centered, it should not experience abnormal loads (normal max load is as the rudder starts to stall when heavy air reaching).
Just curious but would you get such large forces if the rudder was free to turn 360 degrees? As best i understand it is just trying to get to its least point of resistance which when going backwards is backwards.

I understand that most rudders wouldn't allow this anyway but a spade could be designed to freewheel, so to speak.

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If you have a boat which is built as strong in the stern as it is in the bow and have bulletproof companionways, a drogue would be preferable. However, it you are concerned about 10 ft of white water hitting your transom and companionway, you might prefer the sea anchor.
AFAIK a Jordan drogue off the bow would allow a mono to sail around a lot and become somewhat abeam to the waves.

Is there anything wrong with the idea though?

It seems to me that the sea anchor just provides more stopping power so is it just getting / making a drogue designed to work off the bow?
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Old 08-01-2014, 00:40   #13
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

Seems like a good reason to have two transom hung dagger rudders. I can't think of a better solution.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:57   #14
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Re: Another vote for stronger rudders

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Just curious but would you get such large forces if the rudder was free to turn 360 degrees? As best i understand it is just trying to get to its least point of resistance which when going backwards is backwards.

I understand that most rudders wouldn't allow this anyway but a spade could be designed to freewheel, so to speak.
The Cal 34's rudder can rotate 360 degrees. What it really works well for is to back up. Spin the tiller around and that boat steers almost as well going backward as forward.
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