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Old 26-06-2014, 09:05   #1
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Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

After developing severe rudder issues in heavy weather on the 24th of June, the 45' sailing yacht, Simanderal, was abandoned by her skipper/owner, Michael Hughes. There were two other adults on board, all of whom were successfully rescued by the container ship, Mearsk Mediterranean.. No one was injured.

A full account of the incident can be found on Simanderal's site: Simanderal - Michael Hughes and Ger White

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 28-06-2014, 16:06   #2
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

This is a frightening read, and the crew were indeed lucky to have a tanker within hailing distance, which took them off.
Having always been a long keeler myself, I have viewed these “modern” designs with some skepticism, and the recent capsize of Cheeki Rafiki when the keel fell off with the loss of all hands, has not changed that.
I have never liked the idea of having a whopping great lump of lead swinging back and forth below the hull and bolted to it—no matter with however many bolts. Nor do I like the idea of a skeg hung rudder pivoting through a single hole in the stern, with no pintles or gudgeon pin to support the lower end. The stresses on this ‘blade’ are enormous in heavy seas.
The old cruising designs were not full length keels for fun. The ballast is inside the boat, not perched on the end of some screwed on pod. Rudders are also supported at the bottom, which takes load off the through hull and I think it’s fair to say the structural failure Simanderal had would have been much less likely with a keel hung rudder.
Obviously there are a lot of these designs about, which have crossed oceans back and forth, but not for me thanks.
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Old 28-06-2014, 16:16   #3
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

Malos are exceptionally well built boats. They have Skeg hung rudders. Your comments are illinformed

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Old 28-06-2014, 16:47   #4
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

Despite my comments about Webb Chiles on the other thread, I have no doubt he'd never abandon a sound vessel with "rudder issues"

It's far, far to easy to push the panic button these days.
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Old 28-06-2014, 17:00   #5
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

Off topic I know but Webb Chiles is carrying a spare rudder.

Edit: The Malo rudder was swinging around and the shaft was causing structural damage to the boat. The steering lines had broken and the crew could see no way to repair the damage or stop the flow of incoming water. They did the appropriate thing IMO and they all are alive.
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Old 28-06-2014, 17:43   #6
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

I have a Tayana 52, with skew hung rudder and an encapsulated keel. 2 previous owners spent 10 and 13 years circumnavigating - with no steering issues.
I don't think you can generalize on design and construction.


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Old 30-06-2014, 14:21   #7
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

They did not abandon a yacht with "rudder issues". They abandoned a yacht which was sinking.
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Old 30-06-2014, 15:28   #8
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

What a harrowing experience for the guys on Simanderel! What a sad, sad thing.

Boatguy, and others,

This was beyond "rudder issues", though that's where it started. The boat was sinking, being torn apart. Terrifying, actually. We wondered whether it might have been possible to drop the rudder out entirely, but the conditions were extremely rough, and with the shaft flailing about like to kill you, controlling it enough to jettison it may well have been practically impossible for people of normal strength. And then, you're without a rudder and still have a big hole in the boat.

Sometimes, with sailing, *s--t* happens; usually one can cope, but not always, as we on CF have seen this year , with various abandonments. Nobody ever starts a voyage expecting to be in extremis. Frankly, to many, abandonment is a better deal conceptually than drowning. Somehow, life is sweet. One hopes one would have the sense to ask for help before it gets too late, because far out at sea, as the Malo was, it can take a very long time to reach you....and it may not.

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Old 30-06-2014, 15:36   #9
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

Oh gad, just read the log entry. What a terribly sad ending. So close after such an incredibly long journey across the indian ocean and the world. Heartbreaking!
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Old 30-06-2014, 15:55   #10
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

For this particular failure it is likely that you would have been in the same boat as the OP and I with my spade rudder would have been in better shape. My guess is that the lower pintle/gudgeon failed allowing the rudder post to flail about, no different on their skeg hung rudder than one on a full keel. All the loads on my boat are taken by a fiberglass tube glassed into the hull and deck. No metal gudgeon/pintles in the water to maintain , and the post can't flail around until part of the deck or hull has failed. Many spade rudders are designed so the rudder will fail before destroying the hull.

My fin keel is encapsulated, the fin is part of the hull, ballast inside and glassed in place. How many wood full keelers have the ballast bolted onto the outside of the hull? Most? All?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
This is a frightening read, and the crew were indeed lucky to have a tanker within hailing distance, which took them off.
Having always been a long keeler myself, I have viewed these “modern” designs with some skepticism, and the recent capsize of Cheeki Rafiki when the keel fell off with the loss of all hands, has not changed that.
I have never liked the idea of having a whopping great lump of lead swinging back and forth below the hull and bolted to it—no matter with however many bolts. Nor do I like the idea of a skeg hung rudder pivoting through a single hole in the stern, with no pintles or gudgeon pin to support the lower end. The stresses on this ‘blade’ are enormous in heavy seas.
The old cruising designs were not full length keels for fun. The ballast is inside the boat, not perched on the end of some screwed on pod. Rudders are also supported at the bottom, which takes load off the through hull and I think it’s fair to say the structural failure Simanderal had would have been much less likely with a keel hung rudder.
Obviously there are a lot of these designs about, which have crossed oceans back and forth, but not for me thanks.
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Old 30-06-2014, 17:20   #11
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

A couple of thoughts...

Our boat has a watertight bulkhead across the aft end of the hull. The complete structure for the skeg and rudder are aft of that bulkhead, so that in the event of structural damage to the rudder, no water should enter the hull proper. It is the only boat I've ever inspected that is built this way. I wonder why, for I see no downsides other than a small cost increase and some difficulty in running wiring to the autopilot and solar panels, etc.

Second, as John says above, all the traditional full keel boats had bolt on ballast. They also frequently were distressed by leaks in the garboard planking and the deadwood. And for that matter JR, I don't think you understand skeg hung rudders very well if you think they have no pintles or gudgeons supporting the blade. That is the function of the skeg: to have pintle and gudgeon mounts in order to support the blade.

As in all the other systems on a yacht, these things can be executed well or poorly. I've certainly seen some bloody poorly done keel-hung rudders in boatyards, and I have seen some very well done skeg and even spade rudders. For instance, the spade rudders on Steve Dashew's boats are absolutely bullet-proof.

These categorical condemnations and praisings for one design type or another show only inexperience and ignorance IMO.

Cheers,

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Old 30-06-2014, 17:45   #12
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

Quote:
Our boat has a watertight bulkhead across the aft end of the hull. The complete structure for the skeg and rudder are aft of that bulkhead, so that in the event of structural damage to the rudder, no water should enter the hull proper. It is the only boat I've ever inspected that is built this way.
Many metal boats have an aft watertight bulkhead. Also, I believe, the Amel has a forward and aft watertight bulkhead.
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Old 30-06-2014, 18:04   #13
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

Thats a long way from anywhere...


From an earlier post
Quote:
We havenít seen a single vesselóeither on AIS or visually---since we left the Chagos 200 mile limit---- Since then, zippo. Itís lonely---only the sea and sky.
It plays on your mind

Quote:
by this time 2 of us were permanently hand baling to augment the pumps--meant there was no manpower or time to build a steering rig.
Quote:
By 1500 I think it was clear enough that we were going to have to abandon. At the same time Falmouth advised that a tanker, the MAERSK Mediterranean was diverting to rescue us and should be with us in 6 or 7 hours--and we decided our efforts now would be directed at keeping afloat until then.
In such a lonely sea I would have grabbed that oportunity too.

I think they did very well. Hope their insurance pays out and they can either go cruising again or find a nice holiday house a loooooong way from the sea


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Old 30-06-2014, 19:25   #14
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

I clearly mixed up my rudder terminology here. I should have said ďspade hungĒ not skeg hung.
I canít find anything about the underwater configuration on the Malo website. So was the rudder skeg hung or spade hung?
There is an interesting discussion on Sailnet about this.
Spade Rudders vs. Skeg Hung - SailNet Community
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Old 30-06-2014, 19:32   #15
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Re: Malo 45, Simanderal, Abandoned 340 Miles from the Seychelles

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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
I canít find anything about the underwater configuration on the Malo website. So was the rudder skeg hung or spade hung?

I would call that a mini skeg:
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