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Old 25-10-2013, 03:59   #106
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Actually, that stern-cleat tow might work. When I made my Jordan drogue I was worried about the attachment points and consulted Jeanneau and actually got a friendly e-mail with sketches from the designer, Mr. Briand. Not only could I use the mounts I wanted to add to the transom, but the aft cleats were each designed to hold half the weight of the boat... so making a bridle and towing backwards could have worked. Since Jeanneau and Beneteau are part of the same conglomerate they might have similar structural requirements.

I can't imagine what the drag would be like when being towed astern, though.
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Old 25-10-2013, 04:03   #107
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
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.
assuming the aft section was strong enough to take the load!
i would think in any sort of a sea the sugar scoop transom would pull under,risking swamping,delamination.....etc
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Old 25-10-2013, 04:12   #108
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Atoll - you have a valid point. On my current boat the transom opens to a garage area and the seal between the garage door and hull is not watertight. In any kind of seas (and let's face it, rudders will probably not break off in dead calm conditions) when being towed at speed I don't think that my boat would do too well.
Now you've got me re-thinking my Jordan drogue as well, since that will keep the stern to the possibly breaking seas in survival conditions and I'm not sure if that is going to work for me. Thx.
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Old 25-10-2013, 04:29   #109
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Atoll - you have a valid point. On my current boat the transom opens to a garage area and the seal between the garage door and hull is not watertight. In any kind of seas (and let's face it, rudders will probably not break off in dead calm conditions) when being towed at speed I don't think that my boat would do too well.
Now you've got me re-thinking my Jordan drogue as well, since that will keep the stern to the possibly breaking seas in survival conditions and I'm not sure if that is going to work for me. Thx.
though i have never tried it,i have heard that using a bridal for the drogue works well,that is having the main line from the bow,with a second line from a midships cleat,to keep the bow from directly pointing into the waves,and at a slight angle to the wave train.
i would think this also gives a degree of protection for the stern if the boat slips backward in the trough's
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Old 25-10-2013, 04:33   #110
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

I can see your point Alex, and will bow to your knowledge on boat construction.
Still, it is something to keep in mind, conditions might allow it.

I have pulled a section of the poop deck out from a container ship which was aground off Ghana, guess that was serious delamination.
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Old 25-10-2013, 04:40   #111
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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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.
No, you have to manually activate it and then put it in the water. It will not send a signal without the 2 stages being done. 1st step is to remove from the cradle and push the lever all the way over. This will not as yet send signals out. the 2nd step is a must ... place/throw into water with the aerial clear to the sky. Only then will it activate. Hope this helps.
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Old 25-10-2013, 04:47   #112
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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I can see your point Alex, and will bow to your knowledge on boat construction.
Still, it is something to keep in mind, conditions might allow it.

I have pulled a section of the poop deck out from a container ship which was aground off Ghana, guess that was serious delamination.
at anchor in koh pipi during the tsunami,a friend on his steel boat had his windlass ripped out of the deck,leaving a gaping hole in the steel plate!

add enough horsepower,and a bit of resistance and you can break anything!

i'm a great believer in taking the path of least resistance!
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Old 25-10-2013, 04:48   #113
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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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.
We tried different lengths of tow but it didn't seem to make a difference at all to the "porpoising" or swing. The one advantage of a longer tow rope, which we didn't have the luxury of, would be that the rope would not "snap" as hard when the slack became taught. It also would not "force" the bow down when it was still naturally trying to rise. I certainly wouldn't consider towing a sugar scoop backwards. I can assure you that the front cleats are very strong. I spent a lot of time at the bow during the tow just to monitor what was happening.
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Old 25-10-2013, 04:54   #114
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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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. .
Sounds like carrying an old car tyre or two could be just the thing so long as you weren't being towed fast enough for it to skip across the surface. Would need to be kept in an old sack though or it would make a mess of anything that touched it over time.

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Old 25-10-2013, 05:22   #115
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

I've heard of an anchor being used as well. In my case the first bucket blew the handle off, on the others I made the holes larger to thread the line through. I should have also punctured the bottom to make it more like a sieve. The trailing warps made a bit of a difference, but not much. Basically the fin keel serves as a swivel and in any seas the boat is going to rotate around that central pooint without the lateral resistance of a rudder.

But is the tire worth the space it takes? A couple of small cones from a Jordan drogue or an open-ended small para-anchor could serve a double purpose and take up less volume and weight.

I really feel for anyone caught in this type of scenario, the options are rather limited. I thought about using an interior door as a makeshift rudder or steering device (since I had a functional engine I could use that for propulsion) but by then I'd gotten in contact with shore regarding a possible tow and reasoned that the tow would be cheaper than a door. I was very fortunate that the owner of Speedy's Ferry on Virgin Gorda had a twin-engined fishing boat called "Unbelievable" and some willing crew to bring me back to the BVI and they charged a ridiculously low fee for their time and effort!
When this happened I posted the event on another forum and, similarly to this thread, there were a number of well-meaning posts offering solutions which might sound good but are not practicable. Sometimes not so well meaning, including one who opined that "any competent sailor can sail a boat with a broken rudder", to which I think I responded with a list of professionally skippered and crewed boats in recent years that were abandoned at sea due to rudder issues. I feel that if your boat survives rudder loss then you can consider yourself lucky. If the boat doesn't survive and you do then it you are both lucky and planned ahead accordingly.

So congratalutions to Bluewater2s812 on handling events as they came.
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Old 25-10-2013, 05:46   #116
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I've heard of an anchor being used as well. In my case the first bucket blew the handle off, on the others I made the holes larger to thread the line through. I should have also punctured the bottom to make it more like a sieve. The trailing warps made a bit of a difference, but not much. Basically the fin keel serves as a swivel and in any seas the boat is going to rotate around that central pooint without the lateral resistance of a rudder.

But is the tire worth the space it takes? A couple of small cones from a Jordan drogue or an open-ended small para-anchor could serve a double purpose and take up less volume and weight.

I really feel for anyone caught in this type of scenario, the options are rather limited. I thought about using an interior door as a makeshift rudder or steering device (since I had a functional engine I could use that for propulsion) but by then I'd gotten in contact with shore regarding a possible tow and reasoned that the tow would be cheaper than a door. I was very fortunate that the owner of Speedy's Ferry on Virgin Gorda had a twin-engined fishing boat called "Unbelievable" and some willing crew to bring me back to the BVI and they charged a ridiculously low fee for their time and effort!
When this happened I posted the event on another forum and, similarly to this thread, there were a number of well-meaning posts offering solutions which might sound good but are not practicable. Sometimes not so well meaning, including one who opined that "any competent sailor can sail a boat with a broken rudder", to which I think I responded with a list of professionally skippered and crewed boats in recent years that were abandoned at sea due to rudder issues. I feel that if your boat survives rudder loss then you can consider yourself lucky. If the boat doesn't survive and you do then it you are both lucky and planned ahead accordingly.

So congratalutions to Bluewater2s812 on handling events as they came.
Thank you very much Zanshin. Much appreciate the compliment. Yes, we are lucky, no damage and no loss of life and also, the boat has survived intact, other than the rudder and post of course. We are very grateful for your post, all of which we agree with. We are encouraged by this sort of support. Quite frankly we would like to hear how these armchair critics/opinions ACTUALLY managed to set up their emergency rudder/temporary rudder. Like you and us (and I am sure many others) who have experienced total rudder loss, we can relate first-hand about the experience. Its easy to be critical when one has not actually experienced the situation.

I can imagine that rigging a rudder on a relatively small boat might, and I stress might, be a possibility. On a big boat far out to see having to cover 72nm to get to safety, I don't think so, especially when the swells are 6-8 foot, lumpy and confused and the wind increasing from 16 knots to 20/25 knots. I managed to get some direction with a very strange sail configuration reefed to the 3rd reef and that brought a little stability but quite frankly it was hopeless because we were simply staying in the same spot at 1- 2knots max because of the wind, current and wave action.

Well done to you too, for saving your boat. It is no easy task and we both know this. I certainly hope that whatever we find at the end of this ordeal, that we will be able to shed some light on the cause so that we can all perhaps learn and support each other. I sincerely hope that one day we are afforded the opportunity to come to the assistance of a fellow sailor in trouble and trust that we will be able to "think on our feet" and be effective.

Once again, there are great fellow sailors who are contributing here and for that we are thankful.
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Old 25-10-2013, 06:13   #117
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

Setting up an jerry rigged rudder to keep you going is obviously tough. While I think it can be done on a lot of boats, the point would not be to sail the boat into a harbor. It would be to get the boat in the general vicinity of getting assistance. That's exactly where you were -- with a little luck. I suspect if you were 600 miles east you would have figured a way to get close enough to get support also. Hope the repair goes well.
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Old 25-10-2013, 06:30   #118
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We tried a Jerry rigged rudder on our whisker pole. The forces are HUGE even though we didn't have much surface area. Took about 4 hours to make maybe a mile and was exhausting.
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Old 25-10-2013, 06:51   #119
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

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Setting up an jerry rigged rudder to keep you going is obviously tough.
agreed, unless it has all been worked out beforehand with holes drilled in the loo door, u bolts sized for the spinnaker pole and some way of mounting it, then you are probably on a loosing battle, partcularly if its rough weather.

There was another yacht abandoned last year 350 miles SE of Bermuda. They spent a month on board drifting slowly but a storm forecast had them calling for help and abandoned the yacht. Peeps critised the decision, but it was an experienced skipper with serveral trans-atlantic trips and he had a month to come up with a plan to fix the rudder jammed hard over and he couldn't.



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Old 25-10-2013, 07:27   #120
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Re: Rudder nightmare at sea

About communicating in French, if you have an iPad you can get an app called Jibbigo. It is free to use online and has many languages. You pay a few dollars to buy the rights to use it to translate between two languages offline. You type in what you want to say and it translates. Seems to work very well but probably does not have technical sailing terms. Don't know if one of the marine stores in Le Marin would have it, there is a terrific book called French for Cruisers which does have the technical terms plus general stuff.
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