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Old 26-03-2010, 21:32   #31
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It scares me that they can indeed actually fall out!
I've heard more stories of them not falling off and still being a serious problem. Just falling off is pretty rare. Captains falling off - common and serious. Crew falling off - more common and less serious. It's easier to feel it isn't serious if you are still on the boat. This proves the theory of relativity.

There are just so many bad things that can happen I couldn't begin to make a list. Number 1 - losing your rubber. Taking the extra precaution and ending badly and maybe not that day is the worst.
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Old 26-03-2010, 21:40   #32
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Spade rudder posts should be seriously inspected, probably replaced, after 20 years in the water. Especially if crossing oceans, where a bona fide spare should be carried as well. Grind back the glass and foam at the post. Stainless is prone to corrosion and cracks there.

Normally water does not come in when the rudder falls off. They usually to float.

The sailing performance of a spade rudder is well worth the trouble, in my opinion.

The rudder is more important to well-being than the rig, yet utterly passed over in most inspections.
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Old 26-03-2010, 21:56   #33
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Inspecting posts

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Spade rudder posts should be seriously inspected, probably replaced,
yes, many post here should be more carefully inspected

Christian, you are a shameless opportunist. Love it.
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Old 26-03-2010, 22:32   #34
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I recently watched a movie about the history of the Transpac race and they talked about the great californian sled Ragtime losing its rudder about 150 miles from the finish and they dropped the spinnaker,evaluated the situation,put up twin headsails and steered by trimming and finished the race second over the line.
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Old 26-03-2010, 22:47   #35
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There is a race leaving from my marina tomorrow, an over nighter. Last year one of the participants out in a strong wind and in the dark got into some strong current and snapped their rudder. They managed to get into a nearby harbour where they drop the hook. The next day the for sail sign went up. Didn't even bring it home. Pretty scary out there in the dark with out a rudder I guess. I know it was a smaller boat but not much else about it.
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Old 26-03-2010, 23:10   #36
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Met an old German sailor in mexico that sailed his old wooden boat without a rudder. He said he didn't need one, he steerd just fine with ze sails. Don't know how he did it but his vessel anchored thousands of miles from home was proof. Not joking, a true old salt.
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Old 27-03-2010, 04:00   #37
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Just throwin this out there.. like the thing falling off?? Im just curious as most now have the spade rudders with no support. The damn thing falling out is a major concern of mine...plus the hole that may come with it.
Yes , Rudders do fall off - spade, and skeg supported rudders when the base of the skeg no longer holds the rudder in place. If the hole that is left when the rudder falls off is connected with the inside of the boat (if it's a monohull) then it is likely that the boat will sink, unless the hole can be blocked.
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Old 27-03-2010, 06:40   #38
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Three Hylas 54s lost their rudders on oneseason on the trip to the Caribbean. The rudders all broke off in the same place as there was no steel in the lower half of the rudder. Hylas said that it was designed to break as a sacrificial rudder.??? Sounds like poor design and construction to me. They replaced the rudders with ones of the same design!
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Old 27-03-2010, 07:15   #39
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oh they do

but not very often,

a well designed and built spade rudder is by no means less strong, but it is far more at risk of damage from a floating object; the faster you go ...

last year in the ARC I think there was one rudder loss

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Old 27-03-2010, 07:19   #40
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"Spade rudder posts should be seriously inspected, probably replaced,"
Except, the rudder post (as opposed to the tube/shaft the post goes into) is usually integral to the rudder and armature. On a 36-38' boat that can be a $5000 replacement item, if the boat is still in production or the maker has any spare inventory.
Replacing a rudder post is typically "not economically feasible" unless you're preparing for some serious time offshore in a top dollar boat. And repairs? Oh yah, try to find a yard that has really good credentials, can replace the post, and guarantee the job will be done properly for anything less. Not easy.
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Old 24-05-2010, 15:19   #41
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Some very interesting comments and a picture worth looking at on this site. About half way down the page. What amazed me about this article was that the rudder damage was not covered by insurance as it was deemed "normal wear and tear".

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So our claim was rejected on the grounds of “wear and tear/metal fatigue”—another shock.
Also interesting was that the rudder was inspected very carefully on a regular basis and there was no visible sign of weakness.

In-Depth Discussion of Aluminum Boat Design & Selection, Part II|Offshore Sailboat Voyaging|Attainable Adventure Cruising
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Old 24-05-2010, 16:47   #42
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"Also interesting was that the rudder was inspected very carefully on a regular basis and there was no visible sign of weakness"
Unless they use xray, magneflux, ultrasound, or dyelux AND they use one of those to look inside the armature (concealed in the rudder) as well as dropping the rudder to examine the rest of the tube--there's no way to adequately inspect a stainless rudder post for crevice corrossion. Eyeballing the half inch between the hull and rudder will tell you very little and then only about that half inch.
Stainless has just been the wrong material for this job.
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Old 25-05-2010, 06:31   #43
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Another Hunter loses it's rudder

Another Hunter loses it's rudder
St. Pete sailing yacht loses rudder, adrift in gulf



Hunter should have retrofitted every boat they made with a proper rudder post.
Having lost a rudder on a 42', I can tell you that there is no controlling it. It can't even be towed without yawing all over the place.
Hunter makes a emergency rudder that you can bolt on the stern. Perhaps they should simply give one of those to every owner with a fiberglass rudder post.

The owner of this boat is also the owner of Sailor's Wharf. The yard that used to be the Hunter dealer here in St. Pete. I'm kind of surprised that he didn't have one of the emergency rudder kits on board. He certainly knew of the potential for problems.
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Old 25-05-2010, 07:43   #44
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HelloSailor, exactly the point I was trying to make and that the author made. In the case referred to in my last post it would have taken an x-ray of the post to show the cracks.

knothead, the problem is certainly not isolated to Hunter. Any spade rudder is at risk and with a "modern" type keel they are very difficult to tow, even when dragging a drogue.
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Old 25-05-2010, 07:57   #45
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I had about 10 tillers/rudders tear off of my Sunfish when I was a kid, but I'd sail it in 20 knot winds routinely. But that was on a lake, and I could always drift up onto shore and walk home.

Adding nothing here, sorry.
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