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Old 08-02-2016, 06:22   #181
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I was not specifically disagreeing, replying or responding to any of your comments.

But . . . this design is intrinsically less good than with the bearing mounted on the deck. For two reasons - under the deck has both a longer span, and provides less lever arm for the quadrant and tiller arm. (I think we all agree with this)

Yes, this design could be made stronger - with some combination of better construction technique, different materials, more materials, but all those things would add cost. (I think we all agree with this)

The thing to realize about Bendy is that they are designing their boats to suit the 95% which don't sail very hard and they are trying very hard to keep the cost down to be more competitive in that market. The primary reason they use this design (a Bendy engineer has told me this directly) is because it saves money by making the bearing alignment very easy/straightforward and because it suits the structural needs of the vast majority of their owners.

Previously I had discussions/negotiations about their brass thru hull fittings and mixed metal ball valves - again it was a cost issue. They said there were 100's of places they could do things 'better' on the boat, but if they did them all better the boat would cost $100k more and very few of their owners would notice, so it was a better business decision to do things this way.

It is pretty straightforward, they are designing to a cost, in order to be as price competitive as they can, and that requires meaningful compromises in the boat, including in important safety related areas. (we have not directly discussed this but I would guess we all agree that it is a fact)

The problem seems to come when these boats are put in hard commercial service, where there are a ton more fatigue cycles that the typical user, and/or in groundings where the structure is then not taken completely apart and completely inspected and rebuilt as necessary. Excellent maintenance and inspection to true commercial standards can (in large part) compensate for all this. But some of these structural defects can be very hard to identify (see the discussion above and quotes from the MCA report on Cheeki Rafik).

I do not know what the failure rate is in total, or among the subset of boats that are 'well used'. I do know that the failure rate of the valves is higher than the public is generally aware because Bendy works hard and successfully to keep them quiet. In fact the boat building industry generally has quite a reputation and history of covering up problems -The tartan hull problems as an example, and as quite topical - look at the long history of gunboats problems which have been at least partially hidden until the chapter 11 revealed them all).

But it is clear that the keel structure problem killed 4 sailors, and this rudder tube design could kill sailors.

As a particular comment . . . When you tab plywood, you have to taper the edges, so that the tabbing bonds to multiple layers of the plywood. But that costs labor/money, and at least the Bendy 48 I just looked at in Annapolis it was not done.

BTW, I believe if you look at MarkJ's tube (it is post 87) you will see a different structural solution to holding the tube in place. One which is probably more reliable (4x the bracing and tabbing structure, which also directly reinforce the bottom end of the tube) but also rather more labor cost.
Yes I know that you were "not specifically disagreeing, replying or responding to any of your comments" in fact there are a big confusion about that. When I was asking someone to be clear in what he mean I was referring this post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
The guys at Beneteau should give you a raise. Not very convincing, but certainly persistent.
But I am happy you have misunderstood me because it originated a nice post.

I agree with all except with this: "But it is clear that the keel structure problem killed 4 sailors, and this rudder tube design could kill sailors."

Stating that you are assuming that the rudder design and the keel structure are defective and not appropriated but built to a cost and needing a correct maintenance.

Regarding this particular boat (Oceanis 48) I don't know if the rudder structure is not strong enough (by design), if it was weakened and not properly repaired after a grounding or if it has a building defect. But I have no doubt that with those materials and with a similar way you can built a strong enough structure, even if I had already said, I don't like that design for several reasons.

Even if on this case the structure is not strong enough and there is a scantlings/design problem I have no reasons to think that the scantlings are wrong on all other Oceanis, as some infer.

In fact I remember cases were a problem on a boat from a series was not extended to the other boats of the same series, built the same way, for instance the case of the Bavaria Mach 42 keel.

Regarding the keel structure on that First 40.7 to be responsible for the killing of sailors, that was not what the report concluded. I would say that it was pretty clear that the boat was grounded many times, not properly repaired and that the keel bolts were not tight. I would say that what killed sailors was the lack of appropriated boat maintenance.

Many other First 40.7 are very hard sailed, some having done multiple Sydney-Hobarts, others having circumnavigated on lower latitudes and stormy seas, without having any keel problem. Like the rudder, not saying that it is the strongest on the market but I would say that it is appropriated for the intended uses, with the maintenance schedule those uses imply (cruiser-racer).

And here we have a problem because modern boats demand much more maintenance than most owners do. That is not really a problem with new boats, that don't need any special maintenance for some years, even if a rudder should be dismounted each 3 years or so, but with used boats.

Many will consider that a 10 year old boat is an almost new boat and that's a mistake. The rig should already have been changed and it is time to have a very detailed inspection on the metal ball valves and probably better substitute them all. The keel bolts should have already been checked, and on most cases they need some adjustment, as well as the keel structure inspected, looking for any problem.

The lack of an appropriated maintenance on modern boats is the main reason of the problems that sometimes occur with them and with this I am not saying that the rudder of the Oceanis 48 cannot be a defective design or that other problems cannot occur due to defective design.

Regarding Beneteau, Jeanneau and now also Dufour I don't like the type of contre moule integral structure that they use for supporting the keel. That is not a defect, just a dislike. The advantages is that they are cheaper, offer a big contact surface to bonding and are effective. The disadvantages is that there is very difficult to check for debonding and expensive to repair.

Bottom point: the real problem is that most sailors are not aware or really don't want to know about maintenance of their sailboats. Maintaining a sailboat in perfect conditions is an expensive affair. If we wait for something to break before substituting it, on the right scheduled, or according the needs revealed by inspections, then surely the boats will have problems...and not on the shipyard but on the sea.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:59   #182
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post
...the real problem is that most sailors are not aware or really don't want to know about maintenance of their sailboats...
Uh...no. The real problem, here, is an unbelievably crappy design.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:05   #183
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

Paolo, the first time I see you admit there may be a problem with this boats, for sure with minimal effort the ikea furniture rudder box can be a kicking ass rudder box, as a example gime few kgs of FG and some resin plus few pieces of marine ply and i make this piece of **** a real rudder post support, the question is why the builder looks like allergic to Fg? hummm we suspect the answer..

Regarding other Oceanis with the same rudder box , have been built using the same materials and scantlings.... and if not , there is still a QC problem out there... if you glue a 1 inch panel there we expect the same inch in the others, no?

And this is not a maintenance problem my friend since rudder structures , not talking about bearings , rudder post , just the FG structure is normally free of defects and maintenace free... obviously if you ran aground on this boats you need to check for cracks and other stuff , but since is not strong enough to take normal vessel operation work not even groundings you can add the rudder box to the list.. i wonder if Beneteau in the owner manual say something about this, i guess no.. Those isues are the culprit for bad reputation and even they send a mayor builder to bankruptcy.. time to time..

I work for a long time with French people and companys, they are smart people and very skillful, inovative , but they have a defect, they are prone to negate the obvious, it happen to me last year with a Renault Kangoo 1.5 dci , we use the van for work, its almost 3 years old and with 35000 kms, well one day, i take the car and 30 minutes later i ear a clunk clunk clunk noise coming from the engine , tow to the carshop to found a crankshaft rod bearing toasted,,,, WTFFF... the car pass all the maintenance in renault, we ask the dealer for a answer and they refuse to take any responsability ..

Later i found in the net there is thousands of affected renault owners by a builder defect in the crank bearings, they slip in the rod clogging the oil gallery, and bang, bye bye engine with 35000 kms... and you know what they think in Renault┐ hahaha poor souls!!! until there is a law suit with hundreds if not thousands of customer nothing is going to change..... French rules...
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:29   #184
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

In reviewing the facts...

1) Boat not taking on water until auto-pilot goes haywire.

2) Auto pilot goes suddenly berserk, ramming the wheel from stop to stop while the boat is motorsailing at over 6 kts.

Why? cause unknown - it could be the rudder shaft sheared first, throwing the auto helm feedback loop into oscillation. They are designed to handle common situations like excess lee helm, or loss of electrical connections to the electronic compass or knot log, but maybe they go nuts when the rudder shaft is sheared from the helm.

Q: When the auto pilot was throwing the wheel from rail to rail, was the boat changing course sharply from port to starboard? If not, then the shaft sheared first and the auto pilot was trying to trim a sheared rudder linkage.

3) The rail to rail helm action is not immediately stopped ... it took a while to work out how to shut off the auto pilot. During all this, the rudder was at an unknown angle in the water ... possibly turned a full 90 degrees from the line of motion of the boat.

4) Once auto-pilot is shut off - the rudder appears to be sheared from its stearing mechanism (quadrant or manual tiller tube). Nothing can turn the rudder.

5) Boat starts taking water from an unknown source (meaning not obvious from the main cabin - probably in the very aft section of the hull).

The fiberglass supporting this shaft tube will have tremendous loads. Another Bene owner submitted a photo of this section being cracked.

My Conclusion - It all adds up to catastrophic failure of the rudder shaft/tube at the thru hull, triggered by huge lateral forces applied to the rudder shaft when the rudder was sharply turned while sailing/steaming under power. It is possible the rudder became stuck at 90 degrees if the stearing quadrant was sheared, applying tremendous load on the supporting fibreglass at the thru hull.

All in all, an ugly scenario. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:44   #185
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

Derf--you didn't bother to read the whole thread, did you? (I don't blame you, but you would never have reached your conclusion if you had)
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:52   #186
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
Paolo, the first time I see you admit there may be a problem with this boats, for sure with minimal effort the ikea furniture rudder box can be a kicking ass rudder box, as a example gime few kgs of FG and some resin plus few pieces of marine ply and i make this piece of **** a real rudder post support, the question is why the builder looks like allergic to Fg? hummm we suspect the answer..

Regarding other Oceanis with the same rudder box , have been built using the same materials and scantlings.... and if not , there is still a QC problem out there... if you glue a 1 inch panel there we expect the same inch in the others, no?

And this is not a maintenance problem my friend since rudder structures , not talking about bearings , rudder post , just the FG structure is normally free of defects and maintenace free... obviously if you ran aground on this boats you need to check for cracks and other stuff , but since is not strong enough to take normal vessel operation work not even groundings you can add the rudder box to the list.. i wonder if Beneteau in the owner manual say something about this, i guess no.. Those isues are the culprit for bad reputation and even they send a mayor builder to bankruptcy.. time to time..

I work for a long time with French people and companys, they are smart people and very skillful, inovative , but they have a defect, they are prone to negate the obvious, it happen to me last year with a Renault Kangoo 1.5 dci , we use the van for work, its almost 3 years old and with 35000 kms, well one day, i take the car and 30 minutes later i ear a clunk clunk clunk noise coming from the engine , tow to the carshop to found a crankshaft rod bearing toasted,,,, WTFFF... the car pass all the maintenance in renault, we ask the dealer for a answer and they refuse to take any responsability ..

Later i found in the net there is thousands of affected renault owners by a builder defect in the crank bearings, they slip in the rod clogging the oil gallery, and bang, bye bye engine with 35000 kms... and you know what they think in Renault┐ hahaha poor souls!!! until there is a law suit with hundreds if not thousands of customer nothing is going to change..... French rules...

French rules is right. You know I am excluded from telling the full truth here by NDA's....
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:54   #187
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I was not specifically disagreeing, replying or responding to any of your comments.

But . . . this design is intrinsically less good than with the bearing mounted on the deck. For two reasons - under the deck has both a longer span, and provides less lever arm for the quadrant and tiller arm. (I think we all agree with this)

Yes, this design could be made stronger - with some combination of better construction technique, different materials, more materials, but all those things would add cost. (I think we all agree with this)

The thing to realize about Bendy is that they are designing their boats to suit the 95% which don't sail very hard and they are trying very hard to keep the cost down to be more competitive in that market. The primary reason they use this design (a Bendy engineer has told me this directly) is because it saves money by making the bearing alignment very easy/straightforward and because it suits the structural needs of the vast majority of their owners.

Previously I had discussions/negotiations about their brass thru hull fittings and mixed metal ball valves - again it was a cost issue. They said there were 100's of places they could do things 'better' on the boat, but if they did them all better the boat would cost $100k more and very few of their owners would notice, so it was a better business decision to do things this way.

It is pretty straightforward, they are designing to a cost, in order to be as price competitive as they can, and that requires meaningful compromises in the boat, including in important safety related areas. (we have not directly discussed this but I would guess we all agree that it is a fact)

The problem seems to come when these boats are put in hard commercial service, where there are a ton more fatigue cycles that the typical user, and/or in groundings where the structure is then not taken completely apart and completely inspected and rebuilt as necessary. Excellent maintenance and inspection to true commercial standards can (in large part) compensate for all this. But some of these structural defects can be very hard to identify (see the discussion above and quotes from the MCA report on Cheeki Rafik).

I do not know what the failure rate is in total, or among the subset of boats that are 'well used'. I do know that the failure rate of the valves is higher than the public is generally aware because Bendy works hard and successfully to keep them quiet. In fact the boat building industry generally has quite a reputation and history of covering up problems -The tartan hull problems as an example, and as quite topical - look at the long history of gunboats problems which have been at least partially hidden until the chapter 11 revealed them all).

But it is clear that the keel structure problem killed 4 sailors, and this rudder tube design could kill sailors.

As a particular comment . . . When you tab plywood, you have to taper the edges, so that the tabbing bonds to multiple layers of the plywood. But that costs labor/money, and at least the Bendy 48 I just looked at in Annapolis it was not done.

BTW, I believe if you look at MarkJ's tube (it is post 87) you will see a different structural solution to holding the tube in place. One which is probably more reliable (4x the bracing and tabbing structure, which also directly reinforce the bottom end of the tube) but also rather more labor cost.



They certainly are good at the cover up. I can't say most of what I've seen, but I've done major structural modifications to many boats on commission, on instruction from the factory, all under NDA agreements.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:57   #188
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

Oops... what did I miss?
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:03   #189
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

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Originally Posted by derfy View Post
Oops... what did I miss?
12 thread pages...
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:05   #190
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

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Originally Posted by derfy View Post
Oops... what did I miss?
The rudder did not turn as evidenced by the boat not responding to the back and forth of the AP. The only plausible explanation is that the upper rudder support plate failed. The autopilot was then pushing the entire rudder post from starboard to port and back again because it had no rudder feedback. It thought the rudder was not turning (because it wasn't). This action broke the rudder tube at the hull allowing massive amounts of water into the boat.

This is based on some second hand reports. But this type of failure is not unheard of. Search for the sinking of the Blue Pearl to read a similar story.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:17   #191
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Stating that you are assuming that the rudder design and the keel structure are defective and not appropriated but built to a cost and needing a correct maintenance.

Regarding this particular boat (Oceanis 48) I don't know if the rudder structure is not strong enough (by design), if it was weakened and not properly repaired after a grounding or if it has a building defect. But I have no doubt that with those materials and with a similar way you can built a strong enough structure, even if I had already said, I don't like that design for several reasons.
Paolo,

The rudder bearing support plate should not need maintenance in a sailing vessel. This is a mission critical part and should be built to outlast the boat sans maintenance. If maintenance is required in this case (which I doubt) please point out the chapter and verse from the owner's manual where the maintenance procedure and periodicity is described.

If this area is damaged by grounding then it should be designed so that damage is obvious to the owner. There should be broken bits all over the place. Not only that there should be some backup structure that maintains the rudder post inside the tube so the tube is not damaged risking the boat.

In this case what we have is a situation where a hairline fracture in the Plexus/plywood bond is all that might happen in a mild grounding. This goes unnoticed until the first hard-on-the-wind sailing and the whole rudder tube is sheared off below the water line merely by the steering forces applied to the rudder. After that it becomes impossible to rig an emergency tiller because the upper part of the rudder post has become unstable.

You are categorically wrong that plywood and Plexus are good enough materials to build a proper rudder support structure. They are not and these failures are proof of that.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:29   #192
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I tried to Google marine crash pumps and came up only with forum posts but no actual products.


What product should we be looking at?

I certainly don't want a pump attached to the engine as that's likely not to be working.

12v?

Or portable engine fire type pump?
A 12V crash pump is not a practical option. You're talking about 10s of horsepower at a minimum to move enough water to handle a damage control situation.

In the military and rescue services they tend to be engine driven stand alone units that are air shippable and can be handled by 2,4 or more handlers depending on size.

We're currently looking at a bank of 12V bilge pumps and a large centrifigul generator driven pump with a quick start option and camlocks for suction and discharge hoses.

In any practical scenario you also need damage control options for stemming water flow. Also consider that you'll typically only have one person available to deal with the damage.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:37   #193
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

Sorry I missed the update from the crew on page 8.

Seems my initial conclusion was not too far off...
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:02   #194
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

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Paolo,

The rudder bearing support plate should not need maintenance in a sailing vessel. This is a mission critical part and should be built to outlast the boat sans maintenance. If maintenance is required in this case (which I doubt) please point out the chapter and verse from the owner's manual where the maintenance procedure and periodicity is described.

....
The rudder support no, but the rudder bearings yes. If the top rudder bearing has play or is deteriorated the forces on the support can be drastically increased.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:31   #195
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Re: Oceanis 485 steering failure

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The rudder support no, but the rudder bearings yes. If the top rudder bearing has play or is deteriorated the forces on the support can be drastically increased.

As old Ron Reagan famously said, "Well there you go again."

No matter what maintenance is or is not done to the bearing the rudder post should not be shoved aside by the autopilot or manual steering.

Please get off this kick about maintenance being a potential contributing factor to the loss of this boat. No matter how crappy the maintenance the rudder tube should not break off when sailing. I don't care if they ran over a whale (or container, fish pot, log or any other detritus the ocean has lurking just below the surface) the rudder tube should not be broken.
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