First I don't like second/third hand stories/reports. As I am in the Caribbean
and in the Leeward Islands
, this is news to me..and news travels fast, something as big as that for sure it would be being talked about quite a lot.
So when and where did this happen?
Also were they sailing or motoring?
An uncommanded full rudder deflection at say even five knots would be an interesting experience in iteslf.
This boat has sail drives maybe even dock
and go so that is a possible route
for the sea water ingress. but that does not explain the lack of steering
Now a 48 foot charter boat would I suspect have at least four people on board....... how come no one could locate the leak and slow it down even - what is it about a frightened man with a bucket.
When our autopilot misbehaves which it has done a few times in 14 years it does not give an uncommanded helm
movemet but decides it 'needs a wee rest' and disconnects, since we are generally sailing with a fairly well balanced sail plan IF the autohelm is driving Highland Fling it can take a few minutes to 'notice' that the pilot is now in standby mode.
Also a properly set up autohelm well the rudder stops should be reached before the end travel of the ram.......not knowing the design and installation
on an Oceanis 48 IF the ram is on the quadrant I would imagine that the ram would rip itself off of its mounting before destroying the rudder shaft IF It was trying to drive the quadrant past its end stops.....
However if it has it own tiller with a pin going through the rudder stock I suppose it is possible with the quadrand on the end stop for that pin to have enough force applied to it to shear the rudder post.....NOT on a O461 as the post is composite but massive and I suppose a fuse or a breaker would trip if the motor
stalled.......mind you this is probably a hydralic ram system so the pump would not stall per se but could keep on pumping without popping a fuse.
I was reparing one the other week for a fellow cruiser and the pump just kept pumping even though the ram was at the end of its travel.......the spool valve and the solenoid that actuates it was faulty, we of course were asking for a helm movement with the boat at anchor
but like I said the pilot was waiting for a heading change before it switched off the hydralic pump motor
and not looking at helm actuator travel/movement or an end of travel situation.
For sure I would like to know more about the specifics of this event and first hand would be very helpful.