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Old 12-09-2013, 17:46   #151
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
As I understand the primary point of this Hunter thread posted by Rakuflames is to get to the bottom as to why certain Hunter boats have experienced rudder failure. Why is it, that when I or other menbers even mention a personal experience on a Hunter which we've owned and sailed extensively, it's somehow unacceptable and viewed as an attack on the Hunter brand? I simply stated a first hand experience so that the original poster can take this information and hopefully find it useful.

Like another poster, we always felt while we owned the Hunter that the additional load on the Hunter rudder was normal for a larger boat and never thought it to be anything out of the ordinary. It was only when we sailed other boats, like an Oyster or our friend's Beneteau 461 that we discovered how much easier it is to balance the sails which in turn resulted in less steering effort.

I really just don't get it? Do Hunter owners want answers and suggestions when problems surface.... or just compliments?

I simply observed that there was a significant effort required to steer and balance our 450 compared to other boats we've sailed. Maybe these issues would be better settled on the Hunter owners forum rather than on a forum which invites suggestions from folks who own boats other than Hunters.

I started the thread and there was no hidden agenda. The post speaks for itself. That said, i have not had your experience, and my Hunter has such a light touch that i reduced the size of the wheel. Made the cockpit for this "alternatively coordinated sailor to move around her cockpit.
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Old 13-09-2013, 06:11   #152
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pirate Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

I haven't read the entire thread. Buddy of mine with a Hunter 31 just made his own rudder while hauled out here in NC. Dunno the story. He's in Maine now.
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Old 13-09-2013, 12:43   #153
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

People tend to get defensive with their boat choices, brand loyalty runs deep.
Kind of like telling someone their kids are ugly.
Sure, I agree, good sailing experience helps in tuning in a boat to keep it in a good sailing groove, I also agree that some boats are just harder to do that with than others.
Fortunately I've been able to sail a number of different boats and have found big differences in the ability to keep it in the groove and how much effort it took to do so.
That is also true within the same manufacturer, not just from one maker to another, some of their models were sweet sailing others not so much.
It's all the elements of design that go into it, rig choice, rig placement, keel placement and type, hull, as well as rudder design and placement/type.
So, let's not be too sensitive, no ones saying your kids are ugly, it's just technical discussion making comparisons between differently design sailboats made for different purposes.
I've owned enough boats and sailed enough others to know that in a world of equals, some are just more equal.
Some had great feedback and balance, some steered like trucks, all had their own tuning quirks.
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Old 13-09-2013, 17:51   #154
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by lifeofreilly57 View Post
People tend to get defensive with their boat choices, brand loyalty runs deep.
Kind of like telling someone their kids are ugly.
Sure, I agree, good sailing experience helps in tuning in a boat to keep it in a good sailing groove, I also agree that some boats are just harder to do that with than others.
Fortunately I've been able to sail a number of different boats and have found big differences in the ability to keep it in the groove and how much effort it took to do so.
That is also true within the same manufacturer, not just from one maker to another, some of their models were sweet sailing others not so much.
It's all the elements of design that go into it, rig choice, rig placement, keel placement and type, hull, as well as rudder design and placement/type.
So, let's not be too sensitive, no ones saying your kids are ugly, it's just technical discussion making comparisons between differently design sailboats made for different purposes.
I've owned enough boats and sailed enough others to know that in a world of equals, some are just more equal.
Some had great feedback and balance, some steered like trucks, all had their own tuning quirks.

See, I've got a Hunter, and I started the thread, and I haven't seen a lot of "sensitivity" -- only one person assuming it was a negative thing.

I just find it a *cuious* thing, because my rudder setup isn't all that unusual -- so why all the Hunters?

I know exactly why I lost both of mine -- the first was rusted through, and the second one got banged really, really hard. As I said before, and as I think Anne Cate also suggested, maybe it was designed that way, the way bumpers are now designed to protect the rest of the car. In any case it wasn't the rudder's fault that happened.

As I've said before, this boat sails easily and well. I have no complaints about how she sails at all -- I like a fast boat, and she's fast.

It's just ... curious, the way the landscape seems to be littered with Hunter rudders.
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Old 05-02-2014, 17:42   #155
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

I own a Hunter. Before buying it I looked at a lot of different boats made by many companies. I focused my search down to a couple of brands and asked a lot of questions. As we know all boats are a compromise, all companies have made good models and some real dogs. Most companies do try to improve and learn from their mistakes and listen to what their customers want.

I do not think any stress put on a rudder stock by sailing a boat would cause failure of that component. Just my feeling, I have never put a strain gauge on a rudder stock.

Getting to the rudder issue. I looked into this, talked to owners, Hunter dealers, and Hunter factory personnel. My understanding is this. Hunter originally used a rudder with a s/s stock that was supplied by Foss. Corrosion was an issue for some rudders with s/s stocks. Possible because of faulty electrics on some boats or marinas power supplies. Foss supplied Hunter with a rudder with a composite stock for testing. Hunter had a test jig that was used to test the s/s rudder stocks designs by trying to bend them. When the new Foss composite stock was tested they broke the jig without breaking the composite stock. That sold the company on the new composite stock. At some point later Hunter decided to build the composite stocks themselves.

In the mean time some of the composite rudders "just fell off while sailing for no reason ". It seems when a s/s rudder stock is grounded and damaged it bends and is replaced. When a composite stock is grounded it returns to its original position but has been damaged. At some point later for "no reason" the stock fails. It is not possible to inspect a composite stock and determine if it has been damaged and needs to be changed. So a few years ago Hunter went back to a s/s rudder stock. Our boat has the composite rudder stock, so far so good if it was s/s I would be checking it for corrosion and concerned about that issue. If I had a problem that required a new rudder and was then given the choice of a new rudder it would be composite. I think knowing the history of the rudder stock I would prefer the composite material. I think if you do not know the history of the composite rudder stock it could be a concern.

Just my view point on this issue, Bob
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Old 05-02-2014, 20:28   #156
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

Bob-
A composite rudder stock, like any piece of frp, cannot really be inspected by the eye. But then again, neither can a lot of other things including welded steel. There are a lot of test methods that are used in other applications that can do the job though. I would expect one of the new inexpensive ultrasound units would be perfect for looking at frp (including rudder stocks) to "see" if there are fractures in the fibers. A fast look on the web turned up one portable on Amazon, new, for $2500. Not cheap, but not out of line for a shop or professional to do field testing with.

Considering that stainless rudder stocks are pretty much guaranteed to fail without warning sooner or later...the idea of an frp only failing if it was abused by grounding, isn't necessarily a bad idea. Even if you know, with notarized statements attesting that the construction was proper, the rudder stock and armature were the exact same alloy, the welding was done with the exact proper rods...there's still no easy way to tell if the stainless has unbounded from the frp rudder shell, allowed water to enter, and started to corrode inside. Unless you weigh the rudder when new, and then repeat annually to compare the weight to see if there's now water inside?
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Old 05-02-2014, 22:14   #157
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Bob-
A composite rudder stock, like any piece of frp, cannot really be inspected by the eye. But then again, neither can a lot of other things including welded steel. There are a lot of test methods that are used in other applications that can do the job though. I would expect one of the new inexpensive ultrasound units would be perfect for looking at frp (including rudder stocks) to "see" if there are fractures in the fibers. A fast look on the web turned up one portable on Amazon, new, for $2500. Not cheap, but not out of line for a shop or professional to do field testing with.

Considering that stainless rudder stocks are pretty much guaranteed to fail without warning sooner or later...the idea of an frp only failing if it was abused by grounding, isn't necessarily a bad idea. Even if you know, with notarized statements attesting that the construction was proper, the rudder stock and armature were the exact same alloy, the welding was done with the exact proper rods...there's still no easy way to tell if the stainless has unbounded from the frp rudder shell, allowed water to enter, and started to corrode inside. Unless you weigh the rudder when new, and then repeat annually to compare the weight to see if there's now water inside?
Thanks for the response. I do not know anything about NDT testing of frp. At one time I did a bit of work with medical imaging ultrasound. Not sure what the wavelength would be in frp , but I'm guessing you would need a fairly high frequency (<10Mhz maybe) to see fractured fibres in it. Ultrasound works better in metals I think as you are often looking for cracks, bubbles, weld inclusions etc. and the air or slag provides a big reflection. If the resin where fractured then it would be easy to find as you would have air with a big difference in speed of sound, so a big reflection. If is just the fibres that are fractured without any air I think that is a very different matter if there isn't any air in there. Maybe there is ? If not you might need to actually be able to resolve the fibres themselves, I don't know how easy that would be. A handheld A-scan would not work at these high frequencies. The transducer would need to be clamped looking down into a tank of water at the rudder stock below set on v-blocks so it could be rotated and moved back and forth slowly and controlled. Then the transducer would just need to be hit with an electrical pulse to make it ring and then look at the echoes on an oscilloscope screen after each pulse. A scan over a large section of the stock should tell you if there were a bunch of broken fibres where there was a stress point. I suppose compare the echoes in the frp between the bearings to echoes between the lower bearing and rudder blade ?

You are basically setting up a very high resolution fish finder for very small fish .

If you had a bad piece of frp it would make the whole thing easier so you knew what to look for. What we would call a phantom in medical imaging.

Or maybe it's easier to replace the rudder and put the old one away as spare ? At least you then know what the history is ?

Sorry I think I got off topic......

Bob
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Old 05-02-2014, 22:28   #158
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

I ran a Catalina aground once, and broke the rudder. Seems like to me that could happen to any boat that has a rudder, though some might be more likely than others.
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Old 07-02-2014, 16:58   #159
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Considering that stainless rudder stocks are pretty much guaranteed to fail without warning sooner or later..
Really? Could you please point me towards some reading material that might expound on that notion a little?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 07-02-2014, 20:20   #160
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by sailcruiser View Post
Maybe...my boat (not a Hunter or B&G rig) has a good sized main and at 15 knots I need a single reef or I'm in for a workout. My headsail size choice matters but the main seems to be more the culprit for weather helm on my particular boat. I can only imagine that this is amplified on a larger main.
I read this thread and it's almost hilarious.

(not a Hunter or B&G rig)
It's a B&R rig. Bergstrom & Ridder. There's a big difference between a boat with a good sized main and a B&R. B&R rigs do not exhibit excessive weather helm or excessive helm effort. Anybody claiming they do doesn't know how to sail one.
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Old 07-02-2014, 20:27   #161
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

I've read this complete thread. Some but little mention was made of the damage from ungrounding. Yes in a perfect world at the dock you don't go aground. And yes blah blah blah go sail outside. However on a soft grounding with no damage incurred until ungrounded by "professionals", certain effort should be taken by an experienced tow person to undermined the soft grounding material with the special propellers that they have on their 300hp motors. I've experienced two tows, one good, one very bad. Now we could get into the young bull, old bull story here as it could apply, but I think I made my point. Thre are horrpr stories out there about ungroundings. And yes I have kedged and boomed and rocked and all manner of things.....lol.
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Old 07-02-2014, 20:38   #162
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

The bad... bent rudderpost was the least of our problems. Undue stress to hull resulting in deck issues and cockpit sole cracks and a rudder tube issue. Then insurance adjustor and boatyard with very questionable practices......
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:13   #163
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by CruisingCouple View Post
I read this thread and it's almost hilarious.

(not a Hunter or B&G rig)
It's a B&R rig. Bergstrom & Ridder. There's a big difference between a boat with a good sized main and a B&R. B&R rigs do not exhibit excessive weather helm or excessive helm effort. Anybody claiming they do doesn't know how to sail one.
Only issue Ive noticed with the b&r rig is the shrouds are swept so far back. In large seas with the fin keel and the main not able to get as far out its hard to prevent the accidental gybe. Long ago I was on a chartered boat and remember a hell of a time at the helm, I ended up putting our a preventer that I should have taken down at the end of my watch. The next persons watch I heard a hell of a commotion on deck and found that they had gybed repeatedly and broken the boom.

As far as the all stainless rudders are doomed to fail,,, mines been in service for 38 years. I guess Im doomed. The best answer Ive seen is one that was built completely from monel. The owner said he had the option of filling it with oil which he saw no need to do. Hmm googling morgan outisland rudder failure I get no relevant hits. Then I tried googling hunter rudder failure. Seems to be a popular topic.

As for towing off a grounding, never gonna happen. I was witness to one incident of a poor soul running aground at low tide at the "crossroads"on the icw where north meets south carolina. I dingied up to the boat with my sounding lead to assist. The owner said no thanks a tow is on the way. I looked at him curiously and said "you know the tide will be on the rise all morning right?" His reply was" I pay for towing insurance and Im going to use it." I watched in amazement as the tow boat tried to pull one way, then tried to pull the other then the other , all the while twisting the dug in keel with most of the weight of the boat sitting on it. Couldnt believe such stupidity.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:37   #164
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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The next persons watch I heard a hell of a commotion on deck and found that they had gybed repeatedly and broken the boom.
That is not the boat's fault, or the rig's fault. Neither is losing rudders by running aground.

In either case there is only one thing to blame. And it ain't Hunter. That's what makes threads like this so wildly hilarious.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:46   #165
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pirate Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by CruisingCouple View Post
That is not the boat's fault, or the rig's fault. Neither is losing rudders by running aground.

In either case there is only one thing to blame. And it ain't Hunter. That's what makes threads like this so wildly hilarious.
By sheer (no pun) numbers it kinda sorta seems like there is a connection between Hunter and the blame you referred to. What's so "wildly hilarious" bout dat?

Jus' sayin.

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