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Old 30-10-2008, 00:31   #1
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Adams 40 rudder setup safety

Hello Sailors,

My wife and I had all but decided on an Adams 40 (mid to late 80's, mid cockpit, shoal draft, all depending on budget of course) after looking at various Roberts, Alan Payne and others of similar price and size. The talk on the forum seems pretty positive about them, in particular it seems to suit us as:

1. We want something we can handle as a fit reasonably agile couple. (In our 40's)
2. We want something with plenty of room.
3. We want something capable of the East Coast of Aus and maybe the odd longer foray.
4. We can manage the repairs. (inversely proportional to budget of course)

Anyway, after all this reading of discussions of all the issues relevant to us, I showed a picture of one we were interested in to Dad (an ex naval architect) and he got VERY negative about the rudder arrangement.

His argument was that it was very risky for a couple of reasons:

1. It could be snapped off in a colision/grounding
2. In the event of a grounding, it would cause the boat to tip forward on its nose if the tide went down, and therefore not self right when the tide came up.

Are these points valid?

(I must admit, Dad seems to spend a LOT of time either aground or otherwise in dire straights (I did say Naval Architect, NOT Naval Navigator) and every time he gets on a boat I'd swear everything goes wrong. I did one trip with him on our Austral 20 three weeks back, and I am STILL making repairs! We'd never even scratched the boat till he got aboard.)

I've read the odd reference to setting up a transom mounted rudder, and I can certainly see some advantages there (I've always mistrusted steering systems that you can't plonk a stick onto to make a tiller. Tillers seem to work long after some steering gear has snapped/leaked/jambed or generally failed.). Of course, transom mounted rudders seemed to hit every jetty, dingy-tender, knee or elbow in a five mile radius.

I'd really appreciate thoughts on this one, I value his judgement but he lacks any really serious sailing experience.

Thank you,

Matthew
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Old 30-10-2008, 01:27   #2
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All boats have good and bad points...

All boats have good and bad points. Your father is possibly right. Whether those situations would ever occur is debatable.

Why not discuss with your father what is an appropriate boat and involve him in the buying decision and purchase?

It sounds like he would really appreciate some sort of involvement.
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Old 30-10-2008, 02:26   #3
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Hi Matt,
We've had the pleasure of owning an Adam 40 a decade back. Lovely design - great sea boat - and quick. Ours had a medium draft keel - and I assume this shoal draft you are looking at is shorter than the rudder? If not, then it will alwyas balance on its keel when dried out against a wall.
But frankly - no one should even consider going aground in a fin keeled yacht of this size in any event.
Good luck - if you want a world girdling cruiser thats stood the test of time there is no doubt the Adams 40 meets the spec.
Cheers
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Old 30-10-2008, 06:00   #4
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Is this similar the Adams 40 you're looking at?
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Old 30-10-2008, 08:23   #5
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too bad the keel isn't extended aft with the rudder hung from and protected by the keel. Otherwise it's a salty looking design. Just don't EVER run aground and you'll be OK! I have to agree with your dad, that rudder looks like an accident waiting to happen. How big is the rudder post?
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Old 30-10-2008, 15:38   #6
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GORD,

Two words. YES PLEASE!!!! Sorry, drooling here, is it for sale?

And so also it seems from RBATES comment dad does have a point. Which comes back to the idea of the transom mount rudder, or trying not to run into anything, unless someone can recommend a similar boat with all the properties listed at the start but an integrated rudder.

I SUPPOSE you could extend the keel aft to the rudder, incorporate the prop in the keel, but the center of effort would be thrown out pretty badly and I reckon you'd have to move the mast back a foot.

On the suggestiong of involving dad, I have and will continue to do so, but he seems almost religiously opposed to anything bigger than about 32 feet, and I just found that a bit small. (I am fairly tall myself, I LOVED the headroom in some of the old Boros, but at the risk of offending any Boro sailors, they also seemed a little tubby for open water.) I think his objection stems more from the difficulty of pushing something bigger than 30 feet off the nearest sandbank, plus trying to limit the damage to nearby jetties during the collisions that inevitably occur.


Matthew
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Old 31-10-2008, 03:37   #7
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YES, itís for sale (US$93,331 tax NOT paid)
Located In Marmaris, Turkey
Goto:
1985 ADAMS 40 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 31-10-2008, 04:49   #8
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You'd have to have the boat incredibly well balanced for it to tip onto it's nose. 99.9999% of the time it will lay over on one side or the other.

Joe Adams' boats have an excellent reputation as fast, seaworthy boats. It won't be the roomiest 40 footer you'll ever see though.
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Old 31-10-2008, 05:12   #9
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One never stops learning.
That's the first time I was aware Joe Adams designed this with a full keel.
Our Adams 40 (and another half dozen or so seen out of the water) had a medium draft but mid length fin keel - with what appeared to be a deeper draft than the design in the picture.
But a very similar rudder.
Ours had a racing rig and it went like a train upwinf and down. Legged it alongside (or ahead of) Farr 1104's for pace around the racetrack on all points of sail.
Suspect the full keel will in cruise mode make tracking easier, and loose out going to windward or in a tight marina!
But seeing this profile, seriously doubt it would fall on its nose if grounded against any wall or posts even if you jumped up and down on the bow!
Good luck in your search.
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Old 31-10-2008, 20:49   #10
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Well, the shoal draft profile certainly looks a little more stable fore and aft. Yes, thank you 44'cruisingcat, good point about balance. Me thinks I hear the voice of a multihull sailor. :^)

I'd still love to know if anyone has done a transom mount rudder conversion on anything similar, I'll do a bit more asking around and see if I can spot the conversion, though at least the experience of previous owners so far seems pretty positive.

It's just that I do like a steering system that is easy to FIX if it breaks too. After all, I might want to take Dad sailing one day.

M
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Old 31-10-2008, 22:12   #11
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I sailed an Adams 40 in aluminium with a transom hung rudder. I don't know if it was originally designed that way though. Boat was called "Kickatinalong" Did many Sydney-Hobart races.

There are quite a few variations on the Adams 40, aft cockpit, centre cockpit, different keels etc.

edit: On reflection kickatinalong might have been a bit longer than 40 feet. Maybe around 43-44 IIRC. So she maybe a different design altogether.
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Old 31-10-2008, 22:47   #12
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Long Keel Adams 40...

Me old mate Jerry built a few steel long keel multi chine Adams 40's with his mate Rick in the old timber yard on Blackwattle Bay (if my memory serves me right).

They made good cruising boats, though a little light on headroom.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:30   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
I sailed an Adams 40 in aluminium with a transom hung rudder. I don't know if it was originally designed that way though. Boat was called "Kickatinalong" Did many Sydney-Hobart races.

There are quite a few variations on the Adams 40, aft cockpit, centre cockpit, different keels etc.

edit: On reflection kickatinalong might have been a bit longer than 40 feet. Maybe around 43-44 IIRC. So she maybe a different design altogether.
Are you sure it was a Joe Adams design - and not Terry Ings?

I had one of Terrys JOG 30 footers - 'Krakatini' - with which we cleaned up on the west coast. Aluminium. Transom hung rudder. Blaster of a boat.



I'm sure anyone seriously interested will see Joe Adams had his well proven race designs (most with flat undewater profiles like the Adams 10) and I have admitedly seen a bigger but similar shaped 40+ footer by him which could have readily carried a transom hung rudder.

But the somewhat classic cruiser known as an 'Adam 40' has a pinched in stern (look back at the photo) with a transom above the waterline - so trying to add on a transom hung rudder is not a good option.

IMHO the Adams designs are what make them so good, so it would be a brave and foolish chap who modifed a great design to risk creating a clunker.

Cheers
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Old 01-11-2008, 14:47   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagman View Post
Are you sure it was a Joe Adams design - and not Terry Ings?
Yep. Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2008.. The Yachts

Thinking about it a bit more, (it was a LONG time ago) I'm sure I remember the boat having a centreboard too. So I 'd say it was a different design altogether. It did have a transom hung rudder though.

Getting back to the original topic, there are likely hundreds of cruising boats going around with spade hung rudders these days. Probably the majority of production boats have them.

Skeg hung is possibly the preferred choice for a cruising boat, but I doubt if you could really say a skeg hung rudder was unsafe.
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Old 02-11-2008, 16:53   #15
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Yep, Swagman, good point about trying to change the rudder arrangement, I don't really fancy myself better at boat design than Joe Adams. Mind you, I did just finish building a 1.2m radio controlled replica of our Austral 20, so there could be a touch of Flight of the Phoenix if I did get to making changes.

On the upside, Gordo, your picture did put dad's mind at ease. He looked at the keel layout and approved (with due regard toe 44'crusingcat's remarks about balance). That was the first really good photo I have seen of the underside of the Shoal Draft version. Usually, they are photographed either in the water, or beached, so it is hard to see the full underwater lines. Thank you for that.

So much seems good about the Adams from the comments of current and previous owners that I am still very much inclined to go with the gut feeling and find a shoal draft mid 80's version. And as remarked here, there are lots of spade hung rudders cruising the world without sinking every day.

Now the only problem is that I live in South Australia and this means regular trips to Queensland to inspect candidates, and as Boracay seems to have discovered, when comparing the Adams 40 to the Roberts 44, they disappear pretty quickly if they are any good.

Thanks for all the good advice and comments.

Matthew
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