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Old 20-01-2021, 21:45   #1
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Blade Trinity

I've only ever sailed cruisers with blade rudders. Since I've never been in anything worse than a Force 8, and since I only sail other people's boats that other people keep well maintained, I've never had a problem. The biggest problem where I sail with blades (and bulb keels) is hooking a lobster trap line. (Yeah, I've done it. So keel haul me.).

Has anyone here experienced more catastrophic blade rudder failure? You read a lot about the protective advantages of a skeg-hung rudder, or a rudder that's attached to a full keel, and I get it. I've also seen pictures of blades that have snapped off. And yet, lots of folks on this forum are going offshore in Hunters, Bennies, Catalinas, et. al.

Has that ever happened to you? And what were the circumstances, if you don't mind sharing?
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Old 20-01-2021, 22:24   #2
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Re: Blade Trinity

I did crew on a Frers 65 that had its blade rudder disappear, well we discovered later that it snapped off at the hull, at 3 am in choppy seas in the South China Sea off Viet Nam in 1981. Now while I will admit that soured me on blade or spade rudders, I fully recognize a multitude of boats with that kind of rudder cover many miles without trouble. To be fair, the rudder had been bent in some kind of accident before I got on the boat and the remedy apparently was just to bend it back, so I heard. Probably not the right remedy. On a positive note, many adventures followed that mishap and it led to a really enjoyable end to the trip!
In my own area I do appreciate that my keel and attached rudder glide smoothly over kelp and lobster pot buoys. That's just me.
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Old 20-01-2021, 23:38   #3
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Re: Blade Trinity

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I did crew on a Frers 65 that had its blade rudder disappear, well we discovered later that it snapped off at the hull, at 3 am in choppy seas in the South China Sea off Viet Nam in 1981. Now while I will admit that soured me on blade or spade rudders, I fully recognize a multitude of boats with that kind of rudder cover many miles without trouble. To be fair, the rudder had been bent in some kind of accident before I got on the boat and the remedy apparently was just to bend it back, so I heard. Probably not the right remedy. On a positive note, many adventures followed that mishap and it led to a really enjoyable end to the trip!
In my own area I do appreciate that my keel and attached rudder glide smoothly over kelp and lobster pot buoys. That's just me.
That Columbia is a real sweet boat.
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Old 20-01-2021, 23:51   #4
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Re: Blade Trinity

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That Columbia is a real sweet boat.
Thanks, I am a bit partial to her myself!
I should say that my second choice when I was boat searching was a Cal 28 so clearly I am not wedded strictly to long keels or irrationally opposed to blade rudders. I certainly eye them with suspicion though.
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Old 20-01-2021, 23:59   #5
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Re: Blade Trinity

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Thanks, I am a bit partial to her myself!
I should say that my second choice when I was boat searching was a Cal 28 so clearly I am not wedded strictly to long keels or irrationally opposed to blade rudders. I certainly eye them with suspicion though.
Look, I'm not gonna lie. When I do my daily browsing over the various boats, I can say for sure that I see a lot of great things about the Catalina 385. I love a brand-new production boat!
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Old 21-01-2021, 00:05   #6
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Re: Blade Trinity

I don't now any of its particulars but it seems like a good boat to me and I have to admit I like the idea of not having too much work to do on a boat for a while! Around here I do appreciate an ability to point a little higher than my little boat does, so a fin keel and blade rudder definitely have their advantages...maybe
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Old 21-01-2021, 00:08   #7
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Re: Blade Trinity

Since yer new around here I gotta warn ya, you and I are opening a big can o' worms here with this topic!
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Old 21-01-2021, 03:02   #8
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Re: Blade Trinity

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Since yer new around here I gotta warn ya, you and I are opening a big can o' worms here with this topic!
Thanks for the warning, Don.

Forum... Bring it
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