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Old 25-10-2013, 17:56   #151
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The performance of both composites and austenitic (300 series) and martensitic (heat treatable) stainless steels is well understood from an engineering perspective.

The problem for boat owners is that the manufacturers can now produce components at minimum spec that don't often pose warranty risks for them because we understand these materials so well. This results in just enough strength, durability and in service performance for the boat owner and IMHO introduces more risk to them primarily due to the effects of highly variable in service fatigue and sometimes from manufacturing defects. (nicely explained in miners law)

I own a liberty 458, a tough blue water cruiser. It was built in the early 80s when boat builders didn't understand the strength, toughness and durability of fiberglass. Hence it is over engineered in todays market. However i still have at least five (5) levels of redundancy for our safety critical systems. The OP's experience is something we've considered in our open ocean trip planning.
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Old 25-10-2013, 18:22   #152
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Re s/s vs composite rudder posts:

I was wondering if the grounding that the op mentioned could have fractured some of the fibres in the composite layup, generating a weak point that could spread under the repeated stress cycles of sea duty thus resulting in failure at a later time? This sort of damage might well not be detected by in situ inspection after the grounding. One good thing about typical 300 series s/s shafts is that impacts like that either cause plastic deformation (bending) or if bending does not occur, then little permanent damage results.

And for the OP -- hang in there, mate! It will eventually all come together if you persevere. And don't pay much attention to the folks who criticize your actions in dealing with the situation. Some years ago Ann and I suffered a dismasting at sea, and had to abandon the mast, sails and hardware before we were able to motor the 100 miles or so into Moreton Bay (Oz). Lots of critics who felt that we should have recovered all of that gear... but they were not there to evaluate the situation. It was expensive and time consuming to refit (uninsured) but in time we were back at sea and none the worse, while most of the critics were still sitting at the YC bar pontificating.

So be of stout heart! You have the advantage of lots of support from folks with useful knowledge here, and it sounds like you are already on the road to recovery.

Good luck,

Jim
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Old 25-10-2013, 18:56   #153
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Hi Bluewaters,
Sorry to hear of your problem, noticed you still need to be towed another distance, to help prevent the porpoising try a few different items trailed behind you, i used to tow lots of different boats and we used this to make many a boat tow. things to try are small dinghy anchors, small drouges or even just chain, we often trailed one either side and adjusted them (shorter or longer) to make a tow possible, even have 3ft of 10 mm chain on 6ft of rope on the port side transom of a dinghy to make it tow in a straight line, often you don't need much to prevent this, and sometimes a little propulsion from your prop can help.

Hope everything works out for you, good luck
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Old 25-10-2013, 19:10   #154
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

bluewaters-
"There is a lot more to this but" Why does that not surprise me? Understood.
I'm glad my antique EPIRB dates back to the age when you cold either manually activate it, or simply throw it in the water. Seawater will "short out" two of the case screws and turn it on. I was wondering why you had to toss it in the water, I hope whoever engineered that added two-step feature to your model finds himself stranded on a desert island with cases of canned food--and no can opener.

Be careful to disinfect and dress barnacle cuts. What we of the "penicillin age" often don't realize is that keelhauling was often actually a painful death sentence, as the barnacle cuts almost always infected and then death usually followed.

If you haven't dropped the remainder of the rudder post yet, you may be able to save yourself some diving after it. Take a good stiff piece of wire coat-hanger or similar, bend it into a large "V" shape with a loop at the v part. Pass a line through that loop. Now dive under the boat, jam the V (point first) into the rudder post, and the spring force of the wire should hold it in. When you drop the post, it should stay attached to that line.
Or maybe just stay clear of the barnacle, and chase the post after it drops, huh?
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Old 25-10-2013, 19:31   #155
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
bluewaters-
"There is a lot more to this but" Why does that not surprise me? Understood.
I'm glad my antique EPIRB dates back to the age when you cold either manually activate it, or simply throw it in the water. Seawater will "short out" two of the case screws and turn it on. I was wondering why you had to toss it in the water, I hope whoever engineered that added two-step feature to your model finds himself stranded on a desert island with cases of canned food--and no can opener.

Be careful to disinfect and dress barnacle cuts. What we of the "penicillin age" often don't realize is that keelhauling was often actually a painful death sentence, as the barnacle cuts almost always infected and then death usually followed.

If you haven't dropped the remainder of the rudder post yet, you may be able to save yourself some diving after it. Take a good stiff piece of wire coat-hanger or similar, bend it into a large "V" shape with a loop at the v part. Pass a line through that loop. Now dive under the boat, jam the V (point first) into the rudder post, and the spring force of the wire should hold it in. When you drop the post, it should stay attached to that line.
Or maybe just stay clear of the barnacle, and chase the post after it drops, huh?
barnacle bugs! Never thought of that thanks.
I got nipped by a crab two years ago and still have a bump on my finger. I cut it open and cleaned it out several times but it keeps healing up and the bump stays there. It fills with an almost clear jelly like stuff. Went to the doc two more times who also cleaned it out with the same results. Maybe I got barnacle bugs? Since then I always wear gloves. No pain just a bump on my finger
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Old 25-10-2013, 20:42   #156
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Dunno, but apparently there are some nasty bacteria in seawater and on sea critters at times. Some years ago I had to fend off form some coral and a tiny piece embedded in my finger. Mentioned it to a doctor some months later and he was emphatic "OUT. NOW." Even though it hadn't bothered me at all.

I'd suspect that if yours refilled several times, the doc is missing something very small but still in there. Now, if you could learn to grow pearls instead of worthless jelly...(G)
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Old 25-10-2013, 21:04   #157
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
So... did I miss this?.... where did this rudder fail? right at the top of the rudder blade where it is in open water or up inside the tube?
The whole thing just seems wierd... I mean there are plenty of old Taiwan built cruising boats around that were built in the 80's with no failres yet. I would imagine the shafts are some type of 304-ish SS.... am I missing something....? Are we overlooking something...?
The rudder was a spade,well known to fail where shaft exits hull.I can't think of too many Taiwan boats that were not full keeled,with fully attached rudder.
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Old 25-10-2013, 23:35   #158
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

" I mean there are plenty of old Taiwan built cruising boats around that were built in the 80's with no failres yet. I would imagine the shafts are some type of 304-ish SS.... am I missing something....?"

Give 'em all ten thousand days at sea in heavy wx and you might see a nice uniform 100% failure rate. (Ten thousand, two thousand, fifty thousand, pick a number, any number.)

I know someone who picked up six nails and got six flat tires in three years. I know someone else who has had only one flat in 25+ years. Does it mean something? Sure, one of them has just had better luck. All tires are vulnerable to nails, all rudder stocks are vulnerable to failure modes. Boats of different pedigrees, built or overbuilt by knowing designers or overzealous accountants, built maybe when steel was cheaper...There could be all sorts of reasons why it *seems* like so many boats from a certain time and place are doing better or worse than others. Could be the buyers do their sailing differently, too.

Plenty of stuff to miss.
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Old 26-10-2013, 04:01   #159
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
bluewaters-
"There is a lot more to this but" Why does that not surprise me? Understood.
I'm glad my antique EPIRB dates back to the age when you cold either manually activate it, or simply throw it in the water. Seawater will "short out" two of the case screws and turn it on. I was wondering why you had to toss it in the water, I hope whoever engineered that added two-step feature to your model finds himself stranded on a desert island with cases of canned food--and no can opener.

Be careful to disinfect and dress barnacle cuts. What we of the "penicillin age" often don't realize is that keelhauling was often actually a painful death sentence, as the barnacle cuts almost always infected and then death usually followed.

If you haven't dropped the remainder of the rudder post yet, you may be able to save yourself some diving after it. Take a good stiff piece of wire coat-hanger or similar, bend it into a large "V" shape with a loop at the v part. Pass a line through that loop. Now dive under the boat, jam the V (point first) into the rudder post, and the spring force of the wire should hold it in. When you drop the post, it should stay attached to that line.
Or maybe just stay clear of the barnacle, and chase the post after it drops, huh?
Thank you for that advice, much appreciated. My wife immediatelt started treatment of the bleeding rakes from the barnacles and they have healed quite ok, thanks. Swabbed with alcohol, then Betadine and a precautionary course of antibiotics we keep on board and I am A for away!

The water we are in is very dirty (fishing harbour), so I am very wary of diving into it to retrieve the dropped rudder post when I do it, so thanks for that advice. I was thinking of attaching 4 ropes to the corner of some netting, slipping it under the hull and then hopefully when the post drops it will be caught in the net and we can slowly lower it and pull it towards the stern to retrieve it from the net? Any thoughts on this to improve it?
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Old 26-10-2013, 04:03   #160
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by aclmck View Post
Hi Bluewaters,
Sorry to hear of your problem, noticed you still need to be towed another distance, to help prevent the porpoising try a few different items trailed behind you, i used to tow lots of different boats and we used this to make many a boat tow. things to try are small dinghy anchors, small drouges or even just chain, we often trailed one either side and adjusted them (shorter or longer) to make a tow possible, even have 3ft of 10 mm chain on 6ft of rope on the port side transom of a dinghy to make it tow in a straight line, often you don't need much to prevent this, and sometimes a little propulsion from your prop can help.

Hope everything works out for you, good luck
Thank you for some useful advice.
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Old 26-10-2013, 04:07   #161
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Re s/s vs composite rudder posts:

I was wondering if the grounding that the op mentioned could have fractured some of the fibres in the composite layup, generating a weak point that could spread under the repeated stress cycles of sea duty thus resulting in failure at a later time? This sort of damage might well not be detected by in situ inspection after the grounding. One good thing about typical 300 series s/s shafts is that impacts like that either cause plastic deformation (bending) or if bending does not occur, then little permanent damage results.

And for the OP -- hang in there, mate! It will eventually all come together if you persevere. And don't pay much attention to the folks who criticize your actions in dealing with the situation. Some years ago Ann and I suffered a dismasting at sea, and had to abandon the mast, sails and hardware before we were able to motor the 100 miles or so into Moreton Bay (Oz). Lots of critics who felt that we should have recovered all of that gear... but they were not there to evaluate the situation. It was expensive and time consuming to refit (uninsured) but in time we were back at sea and none the worse, while most of the critics were still sitting at the YC bar pontificating.

So be of stout heart! You have the advantage of lots of support from folks with useful knowledge here, and it sounds like you are already on the road to recovery.

Good luck,

Jim
A really nice post with great encouragement for us and we thank you very much for that. Well done on geting your vessel to safety together with all on board. Yes, only you as the Captain of your ship will know the situation you found yourself in and in the end you did your best and as it turns out you did well. I am ignoring the negative crticisms, as I know I did what I needed to do with what I had and we too are safe with our vessel undamaged.

It is posts like yours that bolster one's determination, morale & fortitude to rectify a situation and get back sailing asap. All the best.
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Old 26-10-2013, 04:20   #162
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfloyd4445 View Post
now your talking!!.........made me laugh good point. At some point one has to stop loading gear parts for things that may happen or the boat will sink at the dock. When I read your original post I knew exactly what happened. I've seen other stainless shafts break for seemingly no reason. Thinking of the incident on that kind of a boat I can imagine how difficult it would be to rig up a rudder. Don't let these arm chair...opps..computer chair critics get you down they are just trying to learn from your experience.
Thank you for the encouragement, much appreciated. You are right and I am happy to learn and have others learn from all of this if there is anything new that can be added to our collective experience. I guess it would be naive to think the world does not have people we can do without lol.

I am thick skinned though. I just honestly want to get on with the important things now and we are truly greatful to everyone here who has contributed with some sound advice, encouragement and the like. I had a long chat via Skype yesterday with a gentleman in Melbourne, Florida (Jon Thomas). He was fantastically supportive and encouraging and I am going to see if I can follow up on his advice and make a temporary rudder while we wait for Beneteau to respond and provide us with prices and delivery time frames. I am not great with my hands but it's never too late to try.

Being a weekend on this French Island, Island time has kicked in solidly so we will have an uphill struggle to get materials. My motto to my kids has always been "NEVER GIVE UP".
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Old 26-10-2013, 04:45   #163
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812 View Post
The water we are in is very dirty (fishing harbour), so I am very wary of diving into it to retrieve the dropped rudder post when I do it, so thanks for that advice. I was thinking of attaching 4 ropes to the corner of some netting, slipping it under the hull and then hopefully when the post drops it will be caught in the net and we can slowly lower it and pull it towards the stern to retrieve it from the net? Any thoughts on this to improve it?
If the rudder post fitting is anything like the 473 and other bendy models, the lower bearing may have come lose (only held in place with Sikaflex or similar, and it may drop out with the post. Make sure what ever you use to catch the post will be able to catch the bearing as well.
I think the bearing costs about $150, dont want to lose it.
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Old 26-10-2013, 05:03   #164
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812 View Post
Thank you for the encouragement, much appreciated. You are right and I am happy to learn and have others learn from all of this if there is anything new that can be added to our collective experience. I guess it would be naive to think the world does not have people we can do without lol.

I am thick skinned though. I just honestly want to get on with the important things now and we are truly greatful to everyone here who has contributed with some sound advice, encouragement and the like. I had a long chat via Skype yesterday with a gentleman in Melbourne, Florida (Jon Thomas). He was fantastically supportive and encouraging and I am going to see if I can follow up on his advice and make a temporary rudder while we wait for Beneteau to respond and provide us with prices and delivery time frames. I am not great with my hands but it's never too late to try.

Being a weekend on this French Island, Island time has kicked in solidly so we will have an uphill struggle to get materials. My motto to my kids has always been "NEVER GIVE UP".
have you thought about how you are going to seal up the hole left by the shaft once you remove it,if you end up towing the boat you will have a lot of water spurting up there.

it might be better to wait till you lift the boat,and instead make a free standing rudder/rudders that will bolt to the transom. on a frame.

making a temporary rudder to fit in the hole will be costly and time consuming imo.
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Old 26-10-2013, 06:01   #165
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Just thinkin' maybe a soccer ball[or similar] and a bicycle pump would be a good addition to an emergency kit. Stuff it in the hole and inflate !! May be good on the rudder shaft hole. Good luck. Bruce.
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