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Old 15-11-2013, 10:39   #46
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

I posted this because it was the only information I could find. Obviosly this was not a structural failure. I think its not good form to post that you think maybe a boat has an issue but your not sure you just think you heard it somewhere. I was trying to dispell the rumor with at least something that had basis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I believe this thread was originally started to discuss spontaneus rudder failure at sea; now it seems to have changed to groundings on "rock hard sand shoals" due to current along the Savannah River. Nice try, but I still maintain that I haven't heard of any spontaneus failures of Oysters in the same sea conditions as those being discussed, and I still feel that ANY sailboat with a full length skeg or fully protected rudder has a better chance of not suffering the same fate (a broken rudder) as those being discussed.

BTW: I did my own fact check, and can only find mention of the boat named "Zambesi" in a pdf document almost 10 years old. No mention of structural failure. If it did break any underwater portion of the boat due to a hard grounding caused by swift current or storm, again that's entirely different than what happened to the boats in the rally.

If you have to look so far and wide on the internet as to include Oysters and other boats which were washed ashore or grounded in order to find one with a broken rudder or skeg, I think my point has been proven, and I feel confident in my choice of a full skeg rudder.
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Old 15-11-2013, 10:47   #47
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Quartering seas and unbalanced sails can put a lot of pressure on the helm, even in 20 kts and 6-8 ft seas. Many boats in those rallies set the autopilot and sit back for the ride. The helm can become unbalanced and the helmsman would never know it. One Caribbean 1500 that I participated in (2006, if I recall correctly) had three boats lose rudders and several autopilots burn out (in much heavier weather).

That's why I don't use the autopilot in situations like that. I like to be able to feel how the boat is doing and tweak the sails as necessary. Don't know if that was the issue in the Salty Dawg, but it may have been.
That's one reason in particular I like aux rudder wind vanes: they won't work if the boat is out of balance. You do the install as well, so you can verify for yourself that it's secured on like a tank ready for war.

It's also just a lot easier to see what's going on. It's a huge ass vane 4' tall that's swinging around. When it goes hard over, that's the rudder hard over. When it stays in a nice slot and doesn't slam over all the time, you're trimmed well. If it keeps having to hang to one side or another, there's your weather or lee helm. Even better, since it's an aux rudder, you can use your ship's rudder locked a few degrees to counter that, and you end up with a pretty decent ride.

I don't think this is true for everyone, but for folks that I've heard say that aux rudder wind vanes don't provide enough steerage makes me think they were way out of balance and are used to over-ruddering as a matter of practice.
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Old 15-11-2013, 11:09   #48
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

Quote:
I posted this because it was the only information I could find. Obviosly this was not a structural failure. I think its not good form to post that you think maybe a boat has an issue but your not sure you just think you heard it somewhere. I was trying to dispell the rumor with at least something that had basis.
Yes, you are right. I was wrong in posting what I thought I could find. In searching I was surprised at how few references I could find on broken rudders. Even the Carib 1500 doesn't seem to have any.
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Old 15-11-2013, 11:34   #49
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

[QUOTE=DeepFrz;1391502 In searching I was surprised at how few references I could find on broken rudders. [/QUOTE]

I bet during a search for rudder failures you get a lot of links to CF threads
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Old 15-11-2013, 12:01   #50
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Re: lost another rudder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbowers2004 View Post
and another...

Feature: Coast Guard crew answers the call

seems quite a few people lost their rudder this weekend.
Off any full keel boats?
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Old 15-11-2013, 12:36   #51
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

Sabray and Deepfrz, thank you for posting your last comments, not too many people would do the same these days. Your honesty is much appreciated.

Ken
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Old 15-11-2013, 13:31   #52
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Yes, you are right. I was wrong in posting what I thought I could find. In searching I was surprised at how few references I could find on broken rudders. Even the Carib 1500 doesn't seem to have any.
a quick google on my part found quite a few failures mentioned. Maybe it requires certain words.
I agree that some skegs are more for visual than practical, I've seen some pretty flimsy ones... maybe 1/4 thick max. others are thick and robust. Wish I could remember the thin ones but Endeavor comes to mind.. not sure.
just one example of links found:

ATTENTION to all owners of a ST. FRANCIS 44 catamaran!
If your rudder shafts are built like the ones on our boat were, then
it is just a matter of time until they too will break. Our PAPAGENA is a
St. Francis 44, hull no. 23, launched Dec. 1996.
In August 2003, PAPAGENA lost both! rudder blades within 16 hours of
each other on a 2000 nm passage from Chagos to Malaysia. Fortunately
for us a friendly yacht was nearby and towed us the remaining 270 nm to Thailand. And, as we know now, another St. Francis 44, SEAING DOUBLE, hull no. 21, also lost one rudder blade with exactly the same symptoms! The one-piece rudder stock as designed by the naval architect was
changed to a two-piece stock by the boatyard and the two pipes welded
together by rod. This type of weld makes the stainless steel hard and
brittle and a guaranteed source of concern. The fracture area on the
remaining upper part of the rudder stock was smooth and shiny (like broken glass), a clear indication of changes in the molecular structure of
the metal, also signs of corrosion within the fracture show that cracking
had started some time ago.
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Old 15-11-2013, 16:18   #53
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

I did find mention of rudder failure but I was looking for actual news releases, magazine articles, etc. and not just forum entries. I know that there have been many rudder failures and many other steering failures. I have been watching them with interest for a number of years. I do know of one rudder that failed that was on a partial skeg and the boat lost the bottom part of the rudder. That was on the Carib 1500 a few years ago.
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Old 17-11-2013, 08:07   #54
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

While the Rally boats did have a fair number of boats with very significant damage and issues, I believe there was only 1 lost rudder -- Jammin. There were another 3 or so boats that had very compromised or disabling steering loss - broken rudder arm ,etc.
The note earlier on in this thread about the conditions that Jammin lost their rudder implying they were benign is just wrong. It was gear breaking conditions requiring that you beat to weather for an extended period of time (12-24hrs) to get clear of the Gulfstream prior to the winds clocking to the NW. Wind speeds were a consistent 28-32 with gusts at least to 38kts and in some areas to 50kts(more northerly boats). Just about every boat that left on Wed. had some damage to report - though mostly minor irritants compared to the 2 dismastings, lost rudder and a couple of lost boats. We had 3 Portvisors taken off by boarding seas.
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Old 17-11-2013, 08:47   #55
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Sheesh, if one finds "20 kt winds and 6-8 foot seas very uncomfortable", one shouldn't go to sea
without a rudder? yes i would think anybody would be uncomfortable and in need of help
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Old 17-11-2013, 08:54   #56
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

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without a rudder? yes i would think anybody would be uncomfortable and in need of help
And in the Gulfstream current. The winds were more like 30kts sustained, gusting 38, and with gusts reported to 50 in some areas. Without a rudder it would have been truly ugly.
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Old 18-11-2013, 10:01   #57
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

From the Log by Jammin' the Catalina 42 that lost it's rudder.

Jammin | Salty Dawg Rally

Quote:
We were never in danger of sinking but we lacked the ability to set a course and get anywhere. We also lacked the conditions to build a rudder out of cabin doors and get the whisker pole due to the state of the seas. The seas were anywhere from 2 to 6 feet for an hour or less, and as much as 10 to 15 feet the rest of the time. The winds were an issue as well. But it was the confused waves breaking over all sides of the boat, tossing us back and forth, pitching us forward and backwards, and swaying us on a diagonal every now and then. Water, water, everywhere. I counted how often they were occurring and occasionally I reached 55 seconds but most of the time it was every 5 to 12 seconds.
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Old 18-11-2013, 11:00   #58
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

"We were never in danger of sinking but we lacked the ability to set a course and get anywhere. We also lacked the conditions to build a rudder out of cabin doors and get the whisker pole due to the state of the seas. The seas were anywhere from 2 to 6 feet for an hour or less, and as much as 10 to 15 feet the rest of the time. The winds were an issue as well. But it was the confused waves breaking over all sides of the boat, tossing us back and forth, pitching us forward and backwards, and swaying us on a diagonal every now and then. Water, water, everywhere. I counted how often they were occurring and occasionally I reached 55 seconds but most of the time it was every 5 to 12 seconds."

I wonder what would have happened if they had rigged and deployed an improvised drogue off the stern. Something like a combination of a spare anchor and rode plus some dock lines and whatever other suitable stuff they had on board. Perhaps that would have stabilized the boat in a downwind/down sea attitude and given them the opportunity to regroup and rethink.

Any thoughts?

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Old 18-11-2013, 11:10   #59
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Hard to say. With seas from all directions they may have been pooped a lot. That boat has a scoop transom I believe. Have to also have super strong attachments for a drogue.

A sea anchor off the bow might have been more comfortable. But given the conditions would be near impossible to safely deploy.

They were in a tough spot for sure. Glad that no one was lost.
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Old 18-11-2013, 13:16   #60
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Re: Lost Another Rudder!

From Jammin's log:
Quote:
Dave was having trouble with the auto pilot–it kept beeping off so he had to reset it–that lasted about 20 minutes. Then we heard two noises, one off the stern and one above our head. The latter was the traveler and boom swinging to port, and the former was the buzzer for the auto pilot.

...we were rudderless.
Speculation is always risky, but...

The fact that the autopilot was tripping prior to the loss of the rudder leads me to speculate that it was overloaded, probably due to heavy weather helm caused by unbalanced sails.

After I had an autopilot installed it took me some sea miles to understand the importance of balancing the helm so the little bugger didn't have to work so hard. Got so I could tell from the whine of it's motor whether it was happy or not. I doubt that an autopilot could twist a rudder off unless there was some underlying structural problem, like corrosion or whatever, but they are very strong--stronger than a helmsman, so I'm sure it could happen.
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