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Old 03-11-2014, 08:16   #226
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Re: Rudder Failures

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I just realized that I had one more rudder incident logged with not much information.

Unknown boat not abandoned but rudder shaft snapped.
Rudder Stock Failure - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
Anecdotal evidence means nothing regarding statistics. For that to have any meaning you would have to know the total of sailboats around (that is huge) and the total number of rudders that have been lost. Posting about 5,10 or even 20 rudder lost in 15 years time without knowing the total amount of sailboats it only say to us that is a very tiny percentage but without any value because as you said we have no way of knowing how many rudders were really lost (and how many sailboats are around).

Contrary to that 15 years of ARC editions give you a significant number of boats that crossed the Atlantic (about 3000) and regarding that you not only know how many boats were, how many lost the rudder and what type of boats lost the rudder. You can take from there meaningful statistic evidence in what regards rudder loss, at least in what regards to European boats.

The rudder you posted is obviously not one of a new boat and the neglect in maintenance is clearly evident. If the rudder was regularly dismounted the damage on the stock would be evident many years ago.

Your post reinforces the idea that most of the rudder failures are due to inadequate maintenance.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:34   #227
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Re: Rudder Failures

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These boats they have anything in common?

I mean I know Bavaria and Hunter do.
...
No Oysters, no HRs, no Contests, no Contessas, no Westerlies, no Moodies, no Malos, no Najads, no Rustlers, no Rivals, no Zaals, Koopmans, Hoeks ... OK, OK, I am beating a dead horse. I know.
For your record, past 2006 there were at least the following rudder failures:
..
I did not notice this part of your post. It is vastly more probably that a Bavaria has rudder problem that any of these boats put together. That would not mean necessarily (statistically) that the Bavaria has weaker rudders but that all other put together have a lot less boats sailing around than Bavaria.

In fact what the last 5 years of the ARC statistically show is that, even if in much bigger number, it is not the Bavaria, Beneteau or Jeanneau, or any other mass market new boat that are losing the rudder on the ARC, but a one off racer and two boats considered similar or superior in sea-wordiness to the boats you refer. Besides that one off racer the other two boats that lost the rudder where a Motiva 39, arguably one of the best bluewater boats for the ones that like heavy boats and a big Bruce Roberts designed 50fter, also a must for the ones that like that type of boats for bluewater cruising.

MOTIVA 39-S : Seilbåt m/dekksalong : Båtguiden :: Båtguiden :: Batguiden.no

I am quite sure that in both cases it was not a design flaw or a weakness of the system (very well proven boats) but just bad maintenance.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:40   #228
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Re: Rudder Failures

I really am not interested in statistics but like you I am interested in emphasizing the need for proper rudder/boat maintenance. I agree that many people disregard proper maintenance on a boat and that sometimes kills them and others. There is the other aspect of rudder loss though, and that is poor engineering/construction of the steering system. For that I we can only supply anecdotal evidence. Hopefully anecdotal evidence is enough to alert at least some people to what they are about to get into.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:41   #229
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Re: Rudder Failures

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I'm not sure what your background is but your thought that price is not a factor, number 1 actually, suggests that you are not involved in how manufactures make decisions. I'm in the building business and I understand it very well, others are in the rebuild and repair business and they understand it very well. You seem to believe that the steering systems in the cheaper boats are built to the same standards as higher cost boats and that the failure rate is the same no matter what you pay for a boat, you are simply wrong. Others are trying to give you feedback so you might be a little more skeptical on how you view this topic but it doesn't appear that its sinking in.
Then why do we see rudder failures in higher priced boats?

I think transmitterdan explained things pretty well in this regard. Price itself is not the determining factor - though you might still want to believe it is.

Don't worry, I am skeptical...on how I view feedback. And stuff only sinks in if it's right.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:12   #230
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Re: Rudder Failures

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If you are right and if that is that bad it is just a miracle that thousands of production boats cross the Atlantic each year, not to mention the ones that sail thousands of miles here and there, without a a big percentage of them losing the rudder. In fact the percentage to whom that happen is very small, if we consider the total number of production boats around.

I am not a great believer in miracles and I believe in statistics as a way to access reality..
There are still a lot of wood sailboats around here and when you see the rudders dry out there are very visible cracks between the planks, water soaked as they are, they rarely fail. what gives here? all that technical gibberish is just that. most FRP sailboats still have their original rudders after 30-40 years. does anyone think once built they will last forever? I see no problem with todays rudders unless faulty
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:10   #231
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Re: Rudder Failures

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There are still a lot of wood sailboats around here and when you see the rudders dry out there are very visible cracks between the planks, water soaked as they are, they rarely fail. what gives here? all that technical gibberish is just that. most FRP sailboats still have their original rudders after 30-40 years. does anyone think once built they will last forever? I see no problem with todays rudders unless faulty

Mine is 35 years old, original rudder stock, bronze bushings and still very strong ..... Btw... This ARC thing make me dizzy....
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:42   #232
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Re: Rudder Failures

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most FRP sailboats still have their original rudders after 30-40 years. does anyone think once built they will last forever? I see no problem with todays rudders unless faulty
I think this is exactly right. Buying a 30-40 year old "bluewater" boat because of "how strong steering system was built" (35-40 years ago) is ridiculous.

There's nothing wrong with the new technologies. It just comes back to maintenance and seamanship.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:43   #233
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Re: Rudder Failures

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I think this is exactly right. Buying a 30-40 year old "bluewater" boat because of "how strong steering system was built" (35-40 years ago) is ridiculous.

There's nothing wrong with the new technologies. It just comes back to maintenance and seamanship.

Hahaha, Define new technology!!! in production boats???
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:47   #234
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Re: Rudder Failures

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Mine is 35 years old, original rudder stock, bronze bushings and still very strong ..... Btw... This ARC thing make me dizzy....
and you never had done maintenance to your rudder? I am kidding I know you make a proper maintenance.

I never said that all the rudders need the same degree of maintenance, quite the contrary but that does not mean that the ones that need more maintenance are badly designed if they offer other advantages. Like on a sports car, that offers a bigger feeling and more sensibility at the wheel, a light but well designed system that allow a bigger effectiveness and a bigger sensibility, will probably need more maintenance.

The problem is not on the design, that even needing more maintenance is perfectly able to cross oceans and to circumnavigate, but on an adequate maintenance, that is not equal on all boats. Even the strongest rudder system, like on that Motiva 39, will fall apart with time if not properly maintained.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:17   #235
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Re: Rudder Failures

I bet the only people who really know how many and what type of rudders are failing are the insurance companies. And if there was some clear failure of certains ones the insurance companies would be requiring special surveys on them.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:54   #236
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Re: Rudder Failures

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I bet the only people who really know how many and what type of rudders are failing are the insurance companies. And if there was some clear failure of certains ones the insurance companies would be requiring special surveys on them.
That is a very good point. Here insurance companies demand each sail drive seal to be changed each 7 years and the rig to be changed each 7/8 years but I never heard anything about rudder demands. Of course this is in Europe, it can be different on the other side of the pound.
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Old 03-11-2014, 13:00   #237
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Re: Rudder Failures

A64pilot, relative to your post about IP rudders, why not send minaret or MaineSail a PM and ask? Both are highly competent, and qualified to comment also on the types of rudders they have repaired.

Polux, regardless of our hypothesizing, I think it is the boatyards that really have the data, if they keep records of their jobs. How to get it, and how to analyse it are the hard bits.

My two cents.

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Old 03-11-2014, 15:56   #238
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Re: Rudder Failures

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and you never had done maintenance to your rudder? I am kidding I know you make a proper maintenance.

I never said that all the rudders need the same degree of maintenance, quite the contrary but that does not mean that the ones that need more maintenance are badly designed if they offer other advantages. Like on a sports car, that offers a bigger feeling and more sensibility at the wheel, a light but well designed system that allow a bigger effectiveness and a bigger sensibility, will probably need more maintenance.

The problem is not on the design, that even needing more maintenance is perfectly able to cross oceans and to circumnavigate, but on an adequate maintenance, that is not equal on all boats. Even the strongest rudder system, like on that Motiva 39, will fall apart with time if not properly maintained.

Nothing! is bulletproof , i just droped 3 years ago to recaulk the heel shoe, apart from new antifouling and repack the stufing box, no cracks, no wáter inside, no corrosión ....

Seriously a spade rudder dont need to much in terms of maintenance, bearings and thats all!!! and maybe quadrant wires, the other part is to look for troubles, corrosión, cracks, waterlogged blades, or rudder post problems, if its a bad design and bad construction the only thing you can do is to rebuild it or corret the shortcuts from your own, i mean a hollow stock filled with foam is BS, the rudderstock supported in ikea furniture is BS, AP`S RAMS bolted to doubtful structures is crap, lack of quadrant stops BS, tiny pins or screws holding the top of the rudder BS, the rudder draft same as the keel draft , no comment, quadrant wires not aligned properly with the pulleys BS.....


So, i dont buy the bad designed steering system with enough maintenance can be ok for a TW... and here i recall what i say in a previous topic, the 90% of new production boats owners dont know a crap about the boat they are buying...in terms of how is build it and fitted....My 2 cents,..
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Old 03-11-2014, 16:52   #239
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Re: Rudder Failures

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Rebuilding a Pacific Seacraft rudder now. How many rudders have I had to fix which broke first? Several. How many have I repaired, rebuilt, or replaced, which were headed for imminent failure? Many. Dozens, for sure.


Want to decrease the odds of rudder failure, or, much more likely, a rudder rebuild? Don't buy a cheap boat with under built steering gear.


I think all this talk of percentage of boats who suffer failure at sea means little. Most bad rudders are caught before failure. Percentage of boats which have had a rudder replaced or rebuilt might be more revealing.
What is your opinion of the PSC build quality, specifically as it deals with this thread topic?
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Old 03-11-2014, 16:57   #240
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Re: Rudder Failures

I was researching the Beneteau 461 a few years ago as there were some good deals out there. I found 3 that ate their AP's when they had to sail in heavy weather. Not sure if they were factory installed (undersized) or owner installed, IIRC there was no damage to the rudder.
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