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Old 29-10-2013, 15:02   #271
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
The problem lies in the fact that none of these failures are mandated to be reported unless there is loss of life, serious injury or on a commercial ship. Many owners will not report these types of problems for fear of reducing the value of their boats. Builders sure wont publicize these failures, in fact few manufacturers will announce any kind of failure and there are no mandatory recalls that I am aware of in the pleasure craft industry. So all we have to go by are the few accidents reported on forums and the few that make the news.
really good point
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Old 29-10-2013, 15:06   #272
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

The problem lies with people spouting their point of views without actually reading what the actual cruiser (OP) has to say...

I commend the man for surviving something I don't want to experience and for giving me the knowledge that a glass ruder has an indeterminate amount of time to failure after "clipping" something...

(5 thumbs for) OP!
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Old 29-10-2013, 15:21   #273
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
The problem lies in the fact that none of these failures are mandated to be reported unless there is loss of life, serious injury or on a commercial ship. Many owners will not report these types of problems for fear of reducing the value of their boats. Builders sure wont publicize these failures, in fact few manufacturers will announce any kind of failure and there are no mandatory recalls that I am aware of in the pleasure craft industry. So all we have to go by are the few accidents reported on forums and the few that make the news.
Without question you have struck at the heart of the issue here!!! It is certainly impossible to get good statistics or honest assessments about boat issues. Why would one post on a public forum about your boat issues when planning to sell in a couple years? That is why the boat survey is critically important and good business.
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Old 29-10-2013, 15:25   #274
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Bluewaters, a couple things. First, I'd get the boat hauled if at all possible because you really need to take a close look at the lower bearing and more than likely replace it. The assembly is designed assuming the bearings are self-aligning, which keeps the bearing/rudder stock assembly in column as the rudder flexes. If the lower bearing were to seize such that it could not pivot and self align it would put a lot of sheer stress on rudder stock exactly where it broke. Whether that was a problem or not, you may have damage there, and one way or another need to closely inspect it. Second, make sure you closely examine the glass on the rudder stock around and under (if possible) the metal collar immediately above the break point. The 40.7's have suffered a lot of problems with the rudder assembly right there so you should take a look. I agree with Minaret that the layup looks suspect, but I'm not a glass expert. I'd also guess the rudder was previously damaged or hit. Good luck!

Atoll, I'm going to have to disagree with you about JP3. My understanding is that they designed and built the entire steering system, including the rudder, for my Beneteau 40.7. Ask anyone who owns one of the 300-450 hull numbers (like me) about JP3's work quality some time - really bad, some of it just jaw-dropping awful. I've spent a lot of money out of pocket rebuilding my steering system into something good, piece by piece as things broke, and I can say that JP3 did not do any single thing right. About all I can say is that the rudder is still original although the stock required significant work. Jefa has done a good job building replacement parts for the JP3 junk.

For reference, my boat has a hollow fiberglass rudder stock, that's a tapered tube very similar to the one that failed here. Mine has a visibly higher glass to resin ratio than the one that failed. The rudder stocks do flex under load so the self-aligning mechanism of the bearings is critical. And the JP3 sleeve bearings that came with the 40.7 (I don't know if that's what was on the OP's boat) are notorious for swelling and seizing after just a few years.
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Old 29-10-2013, 15:48   #275
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
The problem lies in the fact that none of these failures are mandated to be reported unless there is loss of life, serious injury or on a commercial ship. Many owners will not report these types of problems for fear of reducing the value of their boats. Builders sure wont publicize these failures, in fact few manufacturers will announce any kind of failure and there are no mandatory recalls that I am aware of in the pleasure craft industry. So all we have to go by are the few accidents reported on forums and the few that make the news.
Yes, and this is why we don't hear all of the stories about rudders falling off full-keel boats also.

Using your logic, I peg the ratio of spade:full rudder failures at unity.

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Old 29-10-2013, 15:59   #276
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Very rare to see a skeg hung rudder fail to a point where the rudder is lost or detached from the boat, simple as the rudder is suported in a heel plate and not by a pin in the top of the stock like a spade rudder, guess you need a brutal impact to destroy the skeg and loose the rudder, it can happen and it happen but comparing the chances spade v Skeg the spade is toasted.... by design,,,,
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Old 29-10-2013, 16:05   #277
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

No, we just don't hear about all of them breaking for the reasons stated above. Theorizing on the strength of a skeg hung is no different than theorizing on a spade.

Look, I'm trying to understand this too, and I am applying principles stated in this thread equally. You can't make a claim that only spade rudder failures are not reported, while all hung rudders are.

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Old 29-10-2013, 16:20   #278
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

OK, still a great thread.
I've been wanting to open/write a new thread, but I'll just jump in here as it seems pertinent.

I've thought about the vulnerability of my own boat's spade rudder for a while.
I've been pondering how difficult it would be to add a SKEG to an existing spade rudder design?
Adding a skeg would certainly help protect a spade rudder, but would there be significant design problems, like putting the balanced spade behind a skeg?
Let alone the difficulty in permanently affixing the added skeg to the bottom?
[ANANA ('I am not a naval architect', as should be apparent)]

Anybody have any thoughts on this idea? There are a lot of spade rudders out there waiting to get whacked by subsurface debris or bottom obstructions.
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Old 29-10-2013, 16:40   #279
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by Tx J View Post
OK, still a great thread.
I've been wanting to open/write a new thread, but I'll just jump in here as it seems pertinent.

I've thought about the vulnerability of my own boat's spade rudder for a while.
I've been pondering how difficult it would be to add a SKEG to an existing spade rudder design?
Adding a skeg would certainly help protect a spade rudder, but would there be significant design problems, like putting the balanced spade behind a skeg?
Let alone the difficulty in permanently affixing the added skeg to the bottom?
[ANANA ('I am not a naval architect', as should be apparent)]

Anybody have any thoughts on this idea? There are a lot of spade rudders out there waiting to get whacked by subsurface debris or bottom obstructions.


Imposible, expensive, a nightmare to redesign and with a big doubt in the result.. Better to inspect your spade rudder for corrosion , cracks, delamination, and live with it and enjoy it...
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Old 29-10-2013, 17:05   #280
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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colemj said: You can't make a claim that only spade rudder failures are not reported, while all hung rudders are.
You have completely misquoted me. Pls read my post. There was no mention of spade or skeg hung rudders. We just don't have any way of gathering accurate statistics.
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Old 29-10-2013, 18:06   #281
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by gjorgensen View Post
Bluewaters, a couple things. First, I'd get the boat hauled if at all possible because you really need to take a close look at the lower bearing and more than likely replace it. The assembly is designed assuming the bearings are self-aligning, which keeps the bearing/rudder stock assembly in column as the rudder flexes. If the lower bearing were to seize such that it could not pivot and self align it would put a lot of sheer stress on rudder stock exactly where it broke. Whether that was a problem or not, you may have damage there, and one way or another need to closely inspect it. Second, make sure you closely examine the glass on the rudder stock around and under (if possible) the metal collar immediately above the break point. The 40.7's have suffered a lot of problems with the rudder assembly right there so you should take a look. I agree with Minaret that the layup looks suspect, but I'm not a glass expert. I'd also guess the rudder was previously damaged or hit. Good luck!

Atoll, I'm going to have to disagree with you about JP3. My understanding is that they designed and built the entire steering system, including the rudder, for my Beneteau 40.7. Ask anyone who owns one of the 300-450 hull numbers (like me) about JP3's work quality some time - really bad, some of it just jaw-dropping awful. I've spent a lot of money out of pocket rebuilding my steering system into something good, piece by piece as things broke, and I can say that JP3 did not do any single thing right. About all I can say is that the rudder is still original although the stock required significant work. Jefa has done a good job building replacement parts for the JP3 junk.

For reference, my boat has a hollow fiberglass rudder stock, that's a tapered tube very similar to the one that failed here. Mine has a visibly higher glass to resin ratio than the one that failed. The rudder stocks do flex under load so the self-aligning mechanism of the bearings is critical. And the JP3 sleeve bearings that came with the 40.7 (I don't know if that's what was on the OP's boat) are notorious for swelling and seizing after just a few years.
i suspect jp3 builds rudders to the specification of its clients.
i've never heard of problems on swans rudders built by jp3

i am not in any way defending them,though i am currently waiting for a new spade rudder to be delivered from their factory in france for a boat that i will be delivering.

i suspect spade rudders by nature are prone to failure,unless massively overbuilt,after all these days most commercial cargo ships use them with few failures!
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Old 30-10-2013, 18:08   #282
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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i suspect jp3 builds rudders to the specification of its clients.
i've never heard of problems on swans rudders built by jp3
No doubt. Beneteau significantly beefed up the spec for the entire steering system of the 40.7 after about hull 450 or so, and I have no doubt that ours was under-speced. But the workmanship (or lack thereof) was totally on JP3.

One thing I'd add is that Jefa has been extremely helpful in upgrading the system. They're a truly great company to work with even from the US. And I'm not just saying that because of my ancestry.
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Old 30-10-2013, 18:28   #283
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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No doubt. Beneteau significantly beefed up the spec for the entire steering system of the 40.7 after about hull 450 or so, and I have no doubt that ours was under-speced. But the workmanship (or lack thereof) was totally on JP3.

One thing I'd add is that Jefa has been extremely helpful in upgrading the system. They're a truly great company to work with even from the US. And I'm not just saying that because of my ancestry.
no one would think that, we all have ancestors
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Old 30-10-2013, 18:43   #284
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Hi folks, apologies for not keeping you up to speed, we had 2 days of internet failure and we were rushing around trying to resolve our predicament. Here is the latest:

1. We do not want to take any shortcuts and have ordered a brand new rudder from the Beneteau factory (being built already according to the rep and will be delivered to us where our boat is in about two weeks time). I really hope that proves true. We have ordered the three bearings with the rudder so that we are certain that we have the best and newest that Beneteau can provide.

2. Beneteau rep has said these rudders can be fitted in the water without hauling out and are providing a diver to do the job (our expense of course).

3. The rep asked there "experts" in Le Marin to have a look at the rudder post and give an opinion ... I was present at all times. They are of the opinion that sea water ingressed over a period of 2,3 or 4 years, which compromised a section of resin and this is where and why it snapped/failed). They were adamant that this was not recent.

4. Beneteau have advised that this is in fact a rudder/post for a Beneteau Cyclades (which is what I reckoned). They have said that the Cyclades and the Oceanis have identical rudders that are interchangeable. What they have conveniently not answered is my question as to whether it was at the factory that this particular rudder was fitted or whether it had been fitted to a Cyclades. It is important for me to know this because if it was not fitted by the factory to our Oceanis, then one of the previous owners replaced the original rudder and surely that would only be done because of damage. The bottom line is that either way, one of the previous owners in all probability clipped something that caused a hairline crack or similar that could not be seen by the naked eye. This then deteriorated over time to the point where we were the happy recipients of rudder loss at sea

5. The local fishermen at Case-Pilote have been really good to us, providing us with free water for our tanks as well as an electrical plug in at no charge. The local Volvo Penta dealer has kindly provided us with his internet password so that we can get internet.

We have to admit that Beneteau (if they keep to their promised delivery period), will be providing excellent support, for which we are grateful. We must hasten to add that we are also pleasantly surprised at the price for the complete rudder/post and 3 bearings plus sleeves etc. "2800.00 odd Euros plus delivery of about 1000.00 Euros (we are told by the rep but are waiting for the exact delivery figure).

Lastly (and I hope I haven't forgotten to share something), I have read through the previous posts and note that there are a few kind words said by some posters. For this we thank you and once again wish to extend our gratitude to all our fellow sailors, who have been very supportive and helpful. My apologies for not replying to each post because some posts deserve a direct response, however, hopefully you will understand that we are dog-tired with the running around etc etc. and we have a lot of catching up to do because of the days without internet.

We will keep everyone up to speed of any progress or developments.
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Old 30-10-2013, 19:03   #285
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

well done mate.
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