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Old 22-10-2008, 23:04   #181
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Originally Posted by SelkirkWind View Post
Ok, HUD, sounds plausible. It occurs to me that this will work well on a wide beam boat, but not a small mono as the angle is not significant enough. I would think that in order for this to work, and assuming a run or broad reach, the drag must pass through the centerline of the boat significantly in order to effect a heading change. What do you think?
I would disagree immediately, and suggest you go test it out.

A most interesting training practice is to secure your rudder amidships (sometime when you have plenty of open water and a reasonably steady wind), and play with all the variables which can quickly and easily be used to steer the boat. Once you figure out how to balance the boat by oversheeting/undersheeting the sails, here are just a few of the things I have done which work perfectly well:
  1. spinaker pole/boat hook (without any "paddle", just shifting how deep in the water and/or which side it's on.)
  2. crew weight (note that fore/aft can affect direction as well.)
  3. dragging a bight (or an anchor, or a drogue, or a dinghy, or whatever... I've read about someone using a tire fender as their rudder.) Fore and aft as well as side to side can affect course.
  4. Sail trim, of course. But also the size of the main/foresail can move the center of effort fore or aft. Try reefing the main and see how it affects things.
  5. Dinghy oar, which was less effective than I'd expected and eventually temporarily lost overboard.
I haven't had the opportunity to adjust sails on two or more masts yet. And I've never tried any of this on a multihull. Nor have I done this in 20+ foot waves or winds above 25 kt. But because I've tried some things in less extreme conditions I know it *can* be done, and I'm pretty likely to try something.

In my opinion, sail trim works better upwind (I can get the boat to sail upwind without rudder about 55 off the wind, more than that seems to result in less vmg) and drags/friction work better off the wind. Don't expect to sail at all efficiently, which doesn't mean you'll be going slow - just that high angles of heel are going to make directional stability unlikely so better to sail flat which is usually also slower. But your mileage may vary.


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Old 23-10-2008, 03:41   #182
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Am I trying to come up with other reasons to justify why I failed in my attempt to get to Hawaii, since I was solo, and thus have no one else to blame?
I'm getting tired of reading post after post of experienced sailors offering hands-on advice, while the person who is supposed to be the beneficiary of all this is obviously not listening.

One last time: Ronnie, you screwed up. Your boat was capable of handling the situation, but you couldn't. No one to blame but yourself. Until that realization hits home, you are doomed to make the same mistakes, no matter on what vessel, no matter where in the world.

Next time, we would appreciate if you would scuttle the boat so it does not represent a hazard for the very people who are attempting to pound some common sense into that young & reckless head of yours.

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Old 23-10-2008, 04:04   #183
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P.S. - After 13 pages of what I now consider part of a future " Sailing 101 - lessons learned the hard way" educational program, I am somewhat relieved that there are ways that mother nature can remind us that she has ultimate control, no matter what disrespect we attempt to justify.

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Old 23-10-2008, 07:54   #184
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I'm getting tired of reading post after post of experienced sailors offering hands-on advice, while the person who is supposed to be the beneficiary of all this is obviously not listening.

One last time: Ronnie, you screwed up. Your boat was capable of handling the situation, but you couldn't. No one to blame but yourself. Until that realization hits home, you are doomed to make the same mistakes, no matter on what vessel, no matter where in the world.

Next time, we would appreciate if you would scuttle the boat so it does not represent a hazard for the very people who are attempting to pound some common sense into that young & reckless head of yours.

BWS
dude, i was being more than sarcastic in the quoted post that evoked this response from you, with a level of sarcasm that helen keller could have picked up on.

and, yes, i know i screwed up. i realize that there are some guys out there who are bad ass enough to work there way through the situation that overwhelmed me.

everyone tries to sound like a hero when posting responses to my actions, when in reality, i would bet that nearly, if not every person on this board would have done the same thing that I did, when in the situation i was in, over 800 miles from land, solo, in inclimate weather. is it possible to sail a boat back to shore with a broken rudder post? sure it is. you have all said a million ways that i could have done this. is it feasible? probably not.

to the people who were talking about wider beam boats sailing better with no rudder control, my boat was 41 feet with a 10' 3" beam. hardly would i consider that "beamy"

to the person who said there boat would sail at 55 degrees to the wind. dude, my boat LOVED sailing at 60 degrees to the wind, almost no matter what my sail trim was like. it LOVED that angle for some reason. that very characteristic meant that there was almost always some degree of weather helm, requiring either self steering or constant human input.

not trying to be inflammatory, just trying to be real, as I always am. reference every post or blog ive ever typed for evidence. i never mean any disrespect to anyone, i just call it like i see it.
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Old 23-10-2008, 08:04   #185
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[FONT=Arial]

I would disagree immediately, and suggest you go test it out.

[*]Sail trim, of course. But also the size of the main/foresail can move the center of effort fore or aft. Try reefing the main and see how it affects things.
[/LIST]I haven't had the opportunity to adjust sails on two or more masts yet. And I've never tried any of this on a multihull. Nor have I done this in 20+ foot waves or winds above 25 kt. But because I've tried some things in less extreme conditions I know it *can* be done, and I'm pretty likely to try something.

In my opinion, sail trim works better upwind (I can get the boat to sail upwind without rudder about 55 off the wind, more than that seems to result in less vmg) and drags/friction work better off the wind. Don't expect to sail at all efficiently, which doesn't mean you'll be going slow - just that high angles of heel are going to make directional stability unlikely so better to sail flat which is usually also slower. But your mileage may vary.


I am going to take your advise and try it. I have steared the boat with sails before, but not in such heavy conditions. In fact, by my own sailing rules, I would have been bare poles and running a drogue as soon as it was up over 30+ and 15 foot seas. I can see your point about upwind, but in this case, he would have been on a run (having seen the wind plot).

I am no expert in wild seas, but running a drogue from the stern and bringing her around to take the waves on the bow would have been my reaction to the conditions. But then I am a multihull guy and not afraid of sinking. The thought running through my head is with regard to windage. At this wind and wave height, my plan could be a problem if the windage driven velocity of my boat exceeded the current and the drogue ended up bring stern to. I would tie off and rig the drogue of the bow in that case, despite the possible issues (I would use a long bridle).
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Old 23-10-2008, 08:23   #186
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I'm getting tired of reading post after post of experienced sailors offering hands-on advice, while the person who is supposed to be the beneficiary of all this is obviously not listening.
Seriously, how can you say i'm "obviously not listening?" How can you honestly justify that statement? I have taken all advice, criticism, suggestions and warnings to heart. I have admitted several times that, yes, I screwed up in a lot of ways. I left in an under-prepared boat. I probably lacked (and still do) the experience necessary to cross an ocean by myself. I think that I have been more than humble and gracious in defeat. Just because i'm young doesnt mean I don't listen to advice.

As far as scuttling the boat, I asked the coast guard if they wanted me to scuttle the boat, and they said that it was not necessary. They simply told me to turn off or otherwise disable the EPIRB (which I did) and that they would put out a 1 time advisory warning pertaining to my vessel and its whereabouts.

There are a lot of sailors on this board that I personally think talk out of their ass. There are also a lot of sailors on this board that I have a very deep amount of respect for. Either way, I have listened to all of the advice, or other inputs that have been sent my way, and taken them to heart. Just because someone says jump off of a bridge, do this, or do that, doesnt mean that I will necessarily follow suit. (Sorry if that offends anyone) Whether I do jump off of that hypothetical bridge, or not, does not constitute me "obviously not listening". A big part of sailing is about being an individual and chasing your own personal dreams and aspirations. That means making your own decisions and living with the resultant consequences, either good or bad. I made my own decisions, and unfortunately am in a difficult spot right now as a result of those decisions mixed with other extenuating circumstances.

Now there is a 13 page thread about it, which i have read 3 times over now, and have put alot of the advice given and lessons learned into my mental bank to access in the future.

Please don't make unfounded statements proclaiming my ignorance. I think I am anything but.

edit: also, just because I don't reply to every single piece of advice or criticism given, doesnt mean that i don't listen.
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Old 23-10-2008, 08:42   #187
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everyone tries to sound like a hero when posting responses to my actions, when in reality, i would bet that nearly, if not every person on this board would have done the same thing that I did, when in the situation i was in, over 800 miles from land, solo, in inclimate weather. is it possible to sail a boat back to shore with a broken rudder post? sure it is. you have all said a million ways that i could have done this. is it feasible? probably not.

I don't think you can say that in all fairness. A lot of people here have more sea miles under a keel than you most likely have on 2-3 cars, or motorcycles you have owned. You had no other options, because you did not know they existed.

If & when you decide to sail to sail again. I know you will approach things differently! I believe you will make it around the world. Hell, you are already 1/3 of the way there. Maybe camels, cars, buses, motorcycles, boats, or anything else will get you there. I am hoping it will be one more sailboat, and you actually finish what you set out to do.

You need to read Talbot's post #162 on doing exactly what has been offered to you as advice. I give you tons of credit for being as honest, and forthcoming as you have. I think those on the dock in San Diego that let you leave thinking you can compare your trip to a YOU TUBE video should be spanked severely. Any sailor worth one grain of salt knows Mother Nature does exactly as she pleases, and when she pleases.

I just wonder how long it will be before your boat is spotted afloat? It happens often enough that it is common. FEAR sets in, and the boat is left behind. Then the boat is found peacefully floating along within a year. Maybe the boat will find her way to Hawaii, and you can reclaim her.

If it were me, and I didn't want to be a side show. I would put this behind me now, and move on. I would personally quit defending myself, and simply move on. There was no learning curve here. You ran into Half Dome, or El Capitan, a sheer wall of granite. You survived it, and you are much smarter for it. Get on with your business, and make it successful!

As always BEST WISHES................i2f
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Old 23-10-2008, 08:54   #188
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What he said and if you get near Singapore look me up and I'll buy you a beer! Singers is way cooler than Hong Kong - no winters here...
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Old 23-10-2008, 09:14   #189
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All of the above still begs the question: How many of you "prepared" sailors with older fibreglass boats have cut your rudder open to see how well the plates that weld to the rudder shaft are attached? I have seen them simply tack welded at the factory, and as I mentioned before even if they have more than tack welds are they corroding? Additionally, the large shaft acts as a heat sink when welding and what looks to be a good weld may have little penetration if the welder isnt skilled and/or doesnt make the proper joint prep. Most fibreglass boat builders may not have welding on site, so your shaft was probably done by the lowest bidder. Or "joe" welds them because he once took a welding class. Once those plates shear off, the rudder stock truns but the rudder doesn't. What signlehander is going to jump in the cold pacific water in 15 ft seas to jury rig that?
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Old 23-10-2008, 09:36   #190
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All of the above still begs the question: How many of you "prepared" sailors with older fibreglass boats have cut your rudder open to see how well the plates that weld to the rudder shaft are attached? I have seen them simply tack welded at the factory, and as I mentioned before even if they have more than tack welds are they corroding? Additionally, the large shaft acts as a heat sink when welding and what looks to be a good weld may have little penetration if the welder isnt skilled and/or doesnt make the proper joint prep. Most fibreglass boat builders may not have welding on site, so your shaft was probably done by the lowest bidder. Or "joe" welds them because he once took a welding class. Once those plates shear off, the rudder stock truns but the rudder doesn't. What signlehander is going to jump in the cold pacific water in 15 ft seas to jury rig that?
Fair question, I haven't because the rudder is laminated plywood and the foil section is close to perfect. It would completely destroy the rudder to check the welds however the workmanship of the original builders is excellent in every other aspect of the boat (and it was built by shipwrights for their own use).

So I had it X-rayed (which is only a poor second as far as inspections go) and keep my fingers crossed . But then again I have hard points at the top aft section of the rudder to which I can attach lines to control the rudder externally from the cockpit should the post tang welds fail inside the rudder.

The rudder is also well balanced which helps to limit the forces on the internal tangs.
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Old 23-10-2008, 09:48   #191
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All of the above still begs the question: How many of you "prepared" sailors with older fibreglass boats have cut your rudder open to see how well the plates that weld to the rudder shaft are attached? I have seen them simply tack welded at the factory, and as I mentioned before even if they have more than tack welds are they corroding? Additionally, the large shaft acts as a heat sink when welding and what looks to be a good weld may have little penetration if the welder isnt skilled and/or doesnt make the proper joint prep. Most fibreglass boat builders may not have welding on site, so your shaft was probably done by the lowest bidder. Or "joe" welds them because he once took a welding class. Once those plates shear off, the rudder stock truns but the rudder doesn't. What signlehander is going to jump in the cold pacific water in 15 ft seas to jury rig that?
Well nobody is going to jump into 15ft. seas. I think the point is that the boat should have been controlled, and do what needs to be done when the weather is calm. I don't know what Ronnie had on board, but I am sure there were bumpers, line, anchors, unused sails, and all kinds of things that can rigged for a drouge.

I have persoanlly cut into my rudder for the fact there was a bubble in the skin. A rather large bubble. I cut it all apart on one side, so I could look at everything, and then rebuilt it.

I do carry a hand drill for emergencies underwater. Thing is probably as old as I am, but it works. It takes up less space than a flashlight. What's the rush? The boat will drift toward Hawaii, and you sit tight, and wait for your time to get in the water. Ronnie has said he had months worth of food.

There should be extra bolts, eyebolts, padeyes, and any other miscellaneous items to through bolt the rudder to attatch lines. Hell a block of wood with knot at the end of a line. Nobody is saying the fix will be easy, but there are other choices than leaving the boat. I am curious to when the weather subsided after Ronnie left? One day, possibly 2 to three days?

If you are going to sail, and no matter how far you sail away from land. You need to be a McGiver. Self suffenciency is the key. If you can't do that. Then you better cross your fingers NOTHING breaks. Sooner, or later something will break!
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Old 23-10-2008, 09:56   #192
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BTW, FWIW, I endorse I2F's post completely
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Old 23-10-2008, 10:00   #193
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Seeing that the only moving part on a sailboat hull is rudder post,given the the boats history, amount of movement over 40+ years,not surprising it failed.Makes me think it might be good to devise back up pre tested steering (oar?)that could be installed after pitchpole or other disaster resulting in loss of steering.
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Old 23-10-2008, 10:26   #194
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edit: also, just because I don't reply to every single piece of advice or criticism given, doesnt mean that i don't listen.
Just keep in mind, ronniesimpson, that BlueWaterSail was not only addressing you. He was talking to those of us who responded to you. (My own comment was to SelkirkWind, and not you directly, though I assumed you might read it.)
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Old 23-10-2008, 10:58   #195
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I am going to take your advise and try it. I have steared the boat with sails before, but not in such heavy conditions. In fact, by my own sailing rules, I would have been bare poles and running a drogue as soon as it was up over 30+ and 15 foot seas. I can see your point about upwind, but in this case, he would have been on a run (having seen the wind plot).

I am no expert in wild seas, but running a drogue from the stern and bringing her around to take the waves on the bow would have been my reaction to the conditions. But then I am a multihull guy and not afraid of sinking. The thought running through my head is with regard to windage. At this wind and wave height, my plan could be a problem if the windage driven velocity of my boat exceeded the current and the drogue ended up bring stern to. I would tie off and rig the drogue of the bow in that case, despite the possible issues (I would use a long bridle).
Interesting... in 30+ with waves I'm at 2nd reef in main and the storm jib and wishing I didn't have to drop the main but getting around to that point in the argument. Difference in speed of a boat that goes slow *without* the drogue.

The reason I would not stream the drogue from the bow is because it will tend to hold the bow down as wave lifts it, resulting in heavier strains on the bow fittings and more water coming aboard. If I could rig it from a fitting at the bow waterline I might consider that.

I would consider streaming the drogue from the stern, attaching a spring line to it, and veering it further so I could bring the boat to any angle relative to the waves I wanted. (The way that is done is to bring the spring line to the bow up either side, and cranking in on it until you're at the angle you want to be at. But it would be scary when you bring the boat through being beam-to.) I would have set the boat to roll along downwind and downwave as slowly as I felt was safe, whether the rudder was broken or not. Well, I might have hove-to first, to get some rest.

I'd like to think I would never have gotten so far into this particular venture, though. Since I feel automated steering is more important than any other thing after sails for a solo sailor, I hope I would have absolutely panicked when the first u-bolt failed and bailed out at 100-200 miles. But I don't know if I would have.
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