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Old 10-09-2013, 15:19   #46
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
Well for those with a broken rudder, why not Cf!!


Posted by Rubikoop.

I did assist a Hunter that hit a rock under power that caused the keel to completely fall off. All keel bolts sheared off cleanly. There was no water ingress thankfully.

Hard to believe mate... seriously...

Maybe. I just don't believe that people have such drab lives that they have to make up BS stories to get into a conversation. I think one should have actual evidence -- not personal opinion -- to call someone a liar in a large group (and it doesn't get much larger than the internet.
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Old 10-09-2013, 15:26   #47
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by Rubikoop View Post
I did assist a Hunter that hit a rock under power that caused the keel to completely fall off. All keel bolts sheared off cleanly. There was no water ingress thankfully.
Sure..... Got any pictures of any of these events? Here in Maine we have HUNDREDS of solid granite groundings per year and I have yet to see a single one where the keel bolts all sheered off "cleanly". Considering the keel bolts are designed to be considerably stronger than the boat it would be more believable if you said the keel stub ripped off....
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Old 10-09-2013, 15:33   #48
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Sure..... Got any pictures of any of these events? Here in Maine we have HUNDREDS of solid granite groundings per year and I have yet to see a single one where the keel bolts all sheered off "cleanly". Considering the keel bolts are designed to be considerably stronger than the boat it would be more believable if you said the keel stub ripped off....

Weird things happen. Once in a million things happen. Just because we have credibly heard about something doesn't mean we were provided with pictures.

There is no need to imply that someone is lying. We are all capable of making that call for ourselves.
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Old 10-09-2013, 16:03   #49
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

"Rudders like keels don't just break and fall off, they get help."
Offhand I would agree with you but sometimes rudders DO "just break" due to inherent design flaws.
Beneteau went to carbonfiber rudder posts and composite rudders, because the normal stainless steel post, sealed where it enters a fiberglass rudder body, welded onto an interior steel frame, WILL suffer crevice corrosion and WILL fail as that entry point seal fails from thermal cycling or poor adhesion. This is not a question of "if" but only "how long".
Then there's Foss Foam, who encourage owners to paint their rudders a light color and keep them covered from direct sunlight or some such delicate nonsense, because they think routine thermal cycling will cause water to be sucked in, with subsequent failure.
All you have to do is gently bump the rudder on the bottom, and that seal around the rudder post is likely to start weeping. Once that starts, the crevice corrosion, or a failure on the welds to the rudder armature, is a certainty.
Then you just need one good wave broadside, or one good hard jibe, and the embrittled rudder post or weld lets go.
The standard rudder construction is simply NOT suitable for long term reliability. Which is a problem, since new rudders are so damned expensive when or if they can be had at all.
And I have no idea if anyone except Beneteau has been paying attention to this issue. Not that Beneteau is perfect, because they've got a few models infamous for having the rudder deeper than the keel, and oops, we know how that movie ends.
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Old 10-09-2013, 16:03   #50
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I did not have an underwater camera with me but pulling into the anchorage from over 100 yards away the first obvious sign of an issue was that the bow thruster was above water with 16" of bottom paint showing along the length of the boat. The boat was heeling at about 15 degrees and slowly sailing on a mooring ball heeling on each "tack" in about 15kts of wind. The bilge was dry. I snorkeled the bottom while my friend dove it and photographed it. All bolts were sheared as if they were made of glass. One showed minimal signs of deflection before it broke.
I'm not a nautical vocabulary wizard so when I say keel I'm referring to the giant heavy thing that is bolted on the bottom. There was a large chunk of the hull (fiberglass I believe) hanging down that perhaps is called the stub. It looked to provide a flat surface to bolt the keel to and appeared undamaged.
All I have is video and still photos from the surface taken from my phone as I drove next to it on a power boat to act as an escort should the boat turtle.
The keel was eventually raised, broken keel bolts removed, new keel bolts installed and the keel reattached.
For those that doubt my initial post there's not much I can do to convince you, nor do I really care. I don't believe I have a history of posting when I don't know what I'm talking about. Looking at the photos, the boat name is visible in them and I'm not inclined to post them as the owner is a friend. I'm not sure how to blur the boat name but know there must be a way.
For the brain trust on here I doubt any photo would change their mind because they've not personally seen it yet.
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Old 10-09-2013, 16:07   #51
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Rudders like keels don't just break and fall off, they get help."
Offhand I would agree with you but sometimes rudders DO "just break" due to inherent design flaws.
Beneteau went to carbonfiber rudder posts and composite rudders, because the normal stainless steel post, sealed where it enters a fiberglass rudder body, welded onto an interior steel frame, WILL suffer crevice corrosion and WILL fail as that entry point seal fails from thermal cycling or poor adhesion. This is not a question of "if" but only "how long".
Then there's Foss Foam, who encourage owners to paint their rudders a light color and keep them covered from direct sunlight or some such delicate nonsense, because they think routine thermal cycling will cause water to be sucked in, with subsequent failure.
All you have to do is gently bump the rudder on the bottom, and that seal around the rudder post is likely to start weeping. Once that starts, the crevice corrosion, or a failure on the welds to the rudder armature, is a certainty.
Then you just need one good wave broadside, or one good hard jibe, and the embrittled rudder post or weld lets go.
The standard rudder construction is simply NOT suitable for long term reliability. Which is a problem, since new rudders are so damned expensive when or if they can be had at all.
And I have no idea if anyone except Beneteau has been paying attention to this issue. Not that Beneteau is perfect, because they've got a few models infamous for having the rudder deeper than the keel, and oops, we know how that movie ends.

I bought not one but two rudders from Foss Foam (within the last couple of years) and wasn't told any such thing. In addition, in the case of the new rudder, someone went over that blade completely with a moisture reader and found NO moisture intrusion.
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Old 10-09-2013, 16:09   #52
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubikoop View Post
I did not have an underwater camera with me but pulling into the anchorage from over 100 yards away the first obvious sign of an issue was that the bow thruster was above water with 16" of bottom paint showing along the length of the boat. The boat was heeling at about 15 degrees and slowly sailing on a mooring ball heeling on each "tack" in about 15kts of wind. The bilge was dry. I snorkeled the bottom while my friend dove it and photographed it. All bolts were sheared as if they were made of glass. One showed minimal signs of deflection before it broke.
I'm not a nautical vocabulary wizard so when I say keel I'm referring to the giant heavy thing that is bolted on the bottom. There was a large chunk of the hull (fiberglass I believe) hanging down that perhaps is called the stub. It looked to provide a flat surface to bolt the keel to and appeared undamaged.
All I have is video and still photos from the surface taken from my phone as I drove next to it on a power boat to act as an escort should the boat turtle.
The keel was eventually raised, broken keel bolts removed, new keel bolts installed and the keel reattached.
For those that doubt my initial post there's not much I can do to convince you, nor do I really care. I don't believe I have a history of posting when I don't know what I'm talking about. Looking at the photos, the boat name is visible in them and I'm not inclined to post them as the owner is a friend. I'm not sure how to blur the boat name but know there must be a way.
For the brain trust on here I doubt any photo would change their mind because they've not personally seen it yet.

I completely agree with you. You should not expose a friend to a possible feeding frenzy.
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Old 10-09-2013, 16:19   #53
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

Raku, Foss has or had two locations (FL and CA) and the product and management may be different. Then again, they may have also corrected some of their problems over the past ten years.

Or they may be like Dell Computers: Thousands of folks swear by them, thousands more have sworn off them. Or AOL, which at their peak had 20 million customers--and churned a full million every month, who quit and never came back.

All I know is that they made a rudder to the wrong dimensions, despite clear written instructions. Then they screwed up the shipping time (extensively) and then they screwed up the chance to make good on the remake, doing basically nothing to expedite the work, never getting the rudder right, and keeping the boat out of water for nearly three months instead of 3-4 weeks. Without so much as a "sorry".

Anyone can make a mistake, but it takes a special crew to screw it up repeatedly and pretend that's just business as usual. So maybe there's new management, or maybe you're just dealing with a stock item and they have fewer problems with that. But personally? I'm just saying they've dropped the ball bigtime in the past.
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Old 10-09-2013, 17:04   #54
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Raku, Foss has or had two locations (FL and CA) and the product and management may be different. Then again, they may have also corrected some of their problems over the past ten years.

Or they may be like Dell Computers: Thousands of folks swear by them, thousands more have sworn off them. Or AOL, which at their peak had 20 million customers--and churned a full million every month, who quit and never came back.

All I know is that they made a rudder to the wrong dimensions, despite clear written instructions. Then they screwed up the shipping time (extensively) and then they screwed up the chance to make good on the remake, doing basically nothing to expedite the work, never getting the rudder right, and keeping the boat out of water for nearly three months instead of 3-4 weeks. Without so much as a "sorry".

Anyone can make a mistake, but it takes a special crew to screw it up repeatedly and pretend that's just business as usual. So maybe there's new management, or maybe you're just dealing with a stock item and they have fewer problems with that. But personally? I'm just saying they've dropped the ball bigtime in the past.

Foss was founded by the father of the man who currently runs it. Your experience is 180 opposite of what mine has been with them, twice.

And, they've had three locations. First the son moved it to Clearwater, and then to a little town north of Gainesville so the current owner could be close by his now ailing father.

The foam they use is patented and proprietary; no one else has it. He showed us the extensive collection of molds he has for dozens of different boats. I don't know anything about making a custom rudder. On the other hand, I've never seen a company that didn't drop the ball once. Sometimes, how well that problem is resolved depends partly on the customer. I'm not saying *you* were abusive, but having run my own small business I did run across the rare, pumped up customer who thought it was his or her right, and a helpful response, to get extremely angry.

Having been on the receiving end of someone who would rather make a Fscene than work toward solving a problem, I take such stories with a grain of salt, because there are always two sides.

Foss Foam was terrific the two times I dealt with them. Both times they had the rudders done under schedule, and they were extremely helpful. I'm sorry if you had a different experience but I have no reason to think that your experience is the norm.
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Old 10-09-2013, 17:14   #55
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

I don't know how Hunter's rudders are built today but I do have some experience that you might find useful. In 1993 I was sailing my 1979 Hunter 25 in the Key West to Cuba race. I was about halfway to Havana in 6-foot seas with wind around 20 knots when I heard a loud bang and my crew reported "Something feels wrong with the tiller."

Sure enough, something was wrong with the tiller. The rudder shaft had broken off right where it exited the hull. The boat began yawing about 60 degrees so I didn't know where we were heading. Fortunately after a while the GPS showed our course made good was to the northeast--back to the Keys. By fiddling with sail trim I was able to get us pointed back to Key West instead of farther up the Keys. Once we were within sight of Cow Key channel I started the outboard and steered with it to a protected anchorage.

The rudder shaft was a piece of 2" diameter thin-walled stainless steel tubing filled with a very hard polyurethane foam. The foam prevented the tubing from buckling so long as the tube walls were intact. Apparently a patch of rust where the shaft came out of the rudder tube compromised the integrity of the stainless steel tube wall. Once the metal started to tear the foam provided no strength at all.

Hunter wasn't much help. They hadn't made that model for thirteen years. They gave me the number of the rudder manufacturer in Clearwater (I don't remember the name of the company). He had three rudders left in stock but the price was $800.

I chose to fabricate a temporary rudder to get the boat home. I bought a length of 1-1/2" galvanized pipe, wrapped it in fiberglass to build it up to the correct diameter to fit the rudder tube, and filled it with expanding foam to prevent water intrusion when I installed it in the boat.

For the rudder blade I stitched two pieces of 3/8" plywood around the shaft, through bolted them to the shaft, filled the empty space with foam, and fiberglassed the outside. I made the rudder just a tad bigger and almost neutrally balanced (to reduce the tiller force required to steer the boat--it makes self-steering easier). I always intended to build a permanent rudder with a stainless steel shaft and a better shaped foam and fiberglass blade but the temporary rudder worked so well I never did.

When I got back to St. Petersburg I bought some stainless steel tubing and a wooden dowel that was a quarter inch smaller than the tube's inside diameter. I wrapped the dowel with fiberglass so it was a slip fit inside the tube. Then I epoxied it in place. I gave that rudder shaft to the new owner when I sold the boat in 2012. My guess is he'll never use it either, since the temporary rudder is so robust and works so well.

If Hunters are still being built with rudder shafts made of thin-walled stainless steel tubing filled with foam Hunter owners are going to continue experiencing rudder shaft failures. If you own a boat with that kind of rudder shaft that's more than ten years old you should remove it for inspection every couple of years and replace it if there is any sign of corrosion where it exits the rudder tube. Alternatively, you could replace it pre-emptively with something more robust.

Nothing in the marine environment lasts forever. Everything has a service life. If you exceed it you put yourself at risk. It doesn't help that the manufacturer won't tell you the service life of his products. Often he can't, because the manufacturers of components he uses don't tell him the life expectacy of those components.

Fabbian
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Old 10-09-2013, 17:22   #56
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by fgd3 View Post
I don't know how Hunter's rudders are built today but I do have some experience that you might find useful. In 1993 I was sailing my 1979 Hunter 25 in the Key West to Cuba race. I was about halfway to Havana in 6-foot seas with wind around 20 knots when I heard a loud bang and my crew reported "Something feels wrong with the tiller."

Sure enough, something was wrong with the tiller. The rudder shaft had broken off right where it exited the hull. The boat began yawing about 60 degrees so I didn't know where we were heading. Fortunately after a while the GPS showed our course made good was to the northeast--back to the Keys. By fiddling with sail trim I was able to get us pointed back to Key West instead of farther up the Keys. Once we were within sight of Cow Key channel I started the outboard and steered with it to a protected anchorage.

The rudder shaft was a piece of 2" diameter thin-walled stainless steel tubing filled with a very hard polyurethane foam. The foam prevented the tubing from buckling so long as the tube walls were intact. Apparently a patch of rust where the shaft came out of the rudder tube compromised the integrity of the stainless steel tube wall. Once the metal started to tear the foam provided no strength at all.

Hunter wasn't much help. They hadn't made that model for thirteen years. They gave me the number of the rudder manufacturer in Clearwater (I don't remember the name of the company). He had three rudders left in stock but the price was $800.

I chose to fabricate a temporary rudder to get the boat home. I bought a length of 1-1/2" galvanized pipe, wrapped it in fiberglass to build it up to the correct diameter to fit the rudder tube, and filled it with expanding foam to prevent water intrusion when I installed it in the boat.

For the rudder blade I stitched two pieces of 3/8" plywood around the shaft, through bolted them to the shaft, filled the empty space with foam, and fiberglassed the outside. I made the rudder just a tad bigger and almost neutrally balanced (to reduce the tiller force required to steer the boat--it makes self-steering easier). I always intended to build a permanent rudder with a stainless steel shaft and a better shaped foam and fiberglass blade but the temporary rudder worked so well I never did.

When I got back to St. Petersburg I bought some stainless steel tubing and a wooden dowel that was a quarter inch smaller than the tube's inside diameter. I wrapped the dowel with fiberglass so it was a slip fit inside the tube. Then I epoxied it in place. I gave that rudder shaft to the new owner when I sold the boat in 2012. My guess is he'll never use it either, since the temporary rudder is so robust and works so well.

If Hunters are still being built with rudder shafts made of thin-walled stainless steel tubing filled with foam Hunter owners are going to continue experiencing rudder shaft failures. If you own a boat with that kind of rudder shaft that's more than ten years old you should remove it for inspection every couple of years and replace it if there is any sign of corrosion where it exits the rudder tube. Alternatively, you could replace it pre-emptively with something more robust.

Nothing in the marine environment lasts forever. Everything has a service life. If you exceed it you put yourself at risk. It doesn't help that the manufacturer won't tell you the service life of his products. Often he can't, because the manufacturers of components he uses don't tell him the life expectacy of those components.

Fabbian

Thank you for that, Fabbian!

They no longer fill the post, but it explains why my first rudder failed.

I guess it would be a good thing to check any time the boat is pulled.
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Old 10-09-2013, 17:27   #57
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Thank you for that, Fabbian!

They no longer fill the post, but it explains why my first rudder failed.

I guess it would be a good thing to check any time the boat is pulled.
If they don't fill the shaft, what do they do? A hollow shaft is weaker than a filled shaft, all other things being equal.

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Old 10-09-2013, 17:44   #58
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

Could be solid SS 316,, or 304.. but the point if is solid or hollow in the new boats,, or is Fg ?? We can ask DonL to take a look at their rudder ..
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Old 10-09-2013, 18:00   #59
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
Could be solid SS 316,, or 304.. but the point if is solid or hollow in the new boats,, or is Fg ?? We can ask DonL to take a look at their rudder ..

I know what mine is. It isn't broke and I don't see any reason to feed the fire either way as I don't have an 80s boat or a 450/460.
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Old 10-09-2013, 18:04   #60
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Well for those with a broken rudder, why not Cf!!
I think Uncontrollable Urge had a CF rudder post fail in deep water. The US Sailing report said it failed just below where the post exited the hull. The rudder post failed on S/N #1 of the boat type too in not difficult conditions. It was a CF tube. UU's rudder was made "stronger" by using solid CF rather than a CF tube. I would not want a CF spade rudder on my cruising boat until more is understood about that technology and application.
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