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Old 24-10-2013, 23:08   #91
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by jkangas View Post
When we were towed in we did 5+ knots. Had two drouges off the back. Fin keel, 19 ton boat.
I agree jkangas. Unfortunately we were not carrying a drogue and neither were the fishermen. It certainly would have helped. Apparently the tow rescue boat carries one as a matter of course for situations such as ours. We will be trailing a drogue when the next rescue boat tows us to Marin once we have managed to sort the rudder replacement. He has told us he carries one on board.
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Old 24-10-2013, 23:12   #92
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by toggles View Post
While the poor chap's predicament hits me in the feels and I donít want to hijack Iíd like to learn something from this... Iím a very low time coastal cruiser with a couple of trips out to sea about as far as he was when the rudder floated off.. Iím interested in a buying a bendy as a future cruising boat, my question is would a windvane steering system have saved the day? Would this be enough (without the rudder) if used as a tiller or as a vane to steer the boat? They seem like a pain to fit to the the newer scoop sterns but worth it if you can get home...
I hope we all learn something from this, thanks. I will certainly be updating any findings we may have when we remove the rudder post. For now I am attempting to answer all positive posts that contribute. I take this opportunity to apologise if I miss some posts but I hope everyone will understand that we are running around like blue-arsed flies trying to get sailing again.

Once again, we appreciate all the good contributions, so thank you to one and all of the many decent fellow sailors here.
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Old 24-10-2013, 23:19   #93
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Does anyone have Beneteau USA's telephone number please? Can't seem to find it on the internet (perhaps I am stupid or simply overwhelmed by everything we need to attend to and that is clouding my internet search abilities lol.

Oh, and I would like to extend a very big thank you to the gentleman at Volvo Penta right near where we are moored. His kind gesture of providing his internet wifi password has been a tremendous help to us. If anyone wishes to find out more details of his business here, I would be happy to provide this info in a private message. I still need to find the time to send him a personal thank you. It is small gestures such as these that restore one's faith in humanity.
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Old 24-10-2013, 23:25   #94
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I had my rudder on a Jeanneau 43DS snap right off at the hull join while at sea as well. I contacted Jeanneau directly and it took a bit over 3 weeks to get a rudder to me using expedited shipping (I was in the British Virgin Islands, there are worse places to spend time).

I know that sinking feeling when the wheel suddenly goes loose, the boat turns sharply into the wind and in my case I could see the rudder bobbing away in the waves so I knew that I was in trouble. At least there was no water ingression but it did take a day before I got a tow; I tried everything short of ripping out an inside door to use as a true star-board side rudder but combination of heavy seas and variable winds and a fin-keel made that a difficult task.
In my case the reason that the rudder broke off at the hull join was not directly possible to determine, but was most likely due to a hairline fracture due to a grounding before I bought the boat, coupled with crevice corrosion in a position where it could not be easily seen and the boat was kept in an electrically active spot so there might have been a year's worth of electrolysis to help the chemical and mechanical process along.
If you drop the remaining stock early enough a metallurgist should easily be able to do some forensic work.
You will know exactly how we felt then. Being a fibreglass shaft/post I am not sure who will be best suited to determine the probable cause. Trying to make a make-shift rudder for a 50ft boat in lumpy conditions, well, I reckon contrary to some armchair posters thoughts elsewhere, not much chance of success, which I am sure we both know first-hand.
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Old 24-10-2013, 23:48   #95
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Even a heavy bucket will make some difference when your being towed! Or a long warp looped behind the boat will help! Just a old guys way!
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Old 25-10-2013, 00:02   #96
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Even a heavy bucket will make some difference when your being towed! Or a long warp looped behind the boat will help! Just a old guys way!
I agree, unfortunately the bucket we had was too weak. We have searched for a heavy duty old style bucket but have not found one yet.

Oh boy, I dread what might come from this bucket talk ... no, please not here folks!
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Old 25-10-2013, 00:38   #97
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812 View Post
Thanks for your well-wishes, a fair question re the EPIRB. I waited for as long as I felt I could having had no response from the VHF distress call sending out my position. I used the manufacturers lanyard and in addition, tied a black nylon rope to it as extra security. It was the same length as the manufacturers lanyard. I set it off after securing it to the boat then threw it in the water. It was fine for a long time but unfortunately whilst being busy attaching the tow line to the bow it somehow went under the boat at the rear and became twisted around the prop. Without our attention focused on the epirb it snapped off and drifted away unnoticed until too late.

The lumpy 6ft seas, the wind increasing to 20-25 knots and the fishing boat that made a move that pulled our boat 180 degrees (no attempt to try and fault the fishing boat skipper), all contributed to the EPIRB being pushed under the hull onto the prop.

When I realised the problem I dived under the boat to try and retrieve the EPIRB but to my dismay, only found a tightly wound lanyard and rope twisted around the prop. It took about 3-4 dives with my snorkle and mask under the boat (being bashed by the underside of the hull and having some nice hard barnacles rake my back and arm lol), before I could free the rope and lanyard from the prop. Hope this gives some insight. In hindsight, perhaps it might have been better for me to release the EPIRB attached to the front railing or a cleat nearer the foredeck.
Ah, I see. Probably just my inexperience, or maybe a UK thing, but all the EPIRBs I have seen could be manually activated, I didn't know some only worked after being chucked in the water(!). Reckon I'll stick with the manual type after hearing that.
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Old 25-10-2013, 01:00   #98
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812 View Post
Does anyone have Beneteau USA's telephone number please? Can't seem to find it on the internet (perhaps I am stupid or simply overwhelmed by everything we need to attend to and that is clouding my internet search abilities lol.


Here are two numbers I have for Beneteau USA
(410) 990-0270
(843) 629-5320
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Old 25-10-2013, 01:51   #99
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
Even a heavy bucket will make some difference when your being towed! Or a long warp looped behind the boat will help! Just a old guys way!
This is typical of this thread - people posting opinions based on stuff that they've read but have actually never tried. This bucket thing, at 3 knots, is absolute b*****t. When I was towed I trailed every single line I had to created drag behind the pivot point of the fin keel. I also had 3 heavy rubber buckets with reinforced handles that each lasted less than 5 minutes before being torn off. Even at lower speeds they would not have lasted much longer.

Remember that having a rudder that is unusable is very different from having no rudder. A broken and locked rudder will keep the boat on a heading, but with no rudder at all a fin keeled boat will swing around, almost 180 degrees (depending upon seas and elasticity of the tow rope and skill of the towboat skipper).
The same applies to balancing sails in order to make way - I've done this numerous times for practice when sailing by locking my wheel and trimming the sails to maintain course. Without a rudder this method will not work, unless perhaps on a lake with no waves and a constant wind of a couple of knots. Certainly not at sea with 2+ meter waves and 15 knots of wind. This is one of the few times where I wished for a skeg or full-keel.

p.s. I've since made up a Jordan Series drogue which should work well as a drag device if I only use a small portion of the cones, should something like that happen to me again.
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Old 25-10-2013, 02:00   #100
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Sorry to hear of your problems. Don't know if this has been mentioned ( 10 pages of thread is a lot to go through ) but as you are in Case Pilote, go and see Frank Agren at Contact Frank the owner is Swedish and speaks excellent English. Although he is essentially an engine man I'm sure he'll be able to help you get local resources. His team rebuilt my generator and also did some work on my engines a few years back. Good luck.
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Old 25-10-2013, 03:38   #101
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

From their website:

Please send us your product inquiries by mail at:
Beneteau America, Inc.
105 Eastern Avenue, Suite 201
Annapolis, MD 21403
By phone: (410) 990-0270
By email: power@beneteau.com or sail@beneteau.com

For customer service inquiries by mail at:
1313 Highway 76 West
Marion, SC 29571
By phone: (843) 629-5320
By email: power@beneteau.com or sail@beneteau.com
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Old 25-10-2013, 03:43   #102
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

On the subject of being rudderless and towed, anyone consider making up a tow bridle on the stern??
When I skippered salvage tugs, if we had a casualty which was heavily trimmed by the head and dead ship, we would lock the rudder and tow her astern
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Old 25-10-2013, 03:52   #103
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
On the subject of being rudderless and towed, anyone consider making up a tow bridle on the stern??
When I skippered salvage tugs, if we had a casualty which was heavily trimmed by the head and dead ship, we would lock the rudder and tow her astern
on a bendy i would think this would be a great way to end up towing the two aft cleats with parts of the deck still attached
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Old 25-10-2013, 03:55   #104
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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
On the subject of being rudderless and towed, anyone consider making up a tow bridle on the stern??
When I skippered salvage tugs, if we had a casualty which was heavily trimmed by the head and dead ship, we would lock the rudder and tow her astern
I thought about that when we were being towed. We were in about the same conditions as Bluewater. Would have been one rough slamming ride! Also thought about trying a tow with a much shorter line than what we were using so the boat couldn't get as fast of a run going during swings. We ended up abandoning the tow and waiting until a professional tow could come get us then used the drouges.
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Old 25-10-2013, 03:55   #105
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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on a bendy i would think this would be a great way to end up towing the two aft cleats with parts of the deck still attached
Now now be nice.
I've backed up all the cleats on mine with proper backing plates, and there are the sheet winches to back the bridle up to.
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