Well folks, every sailor has a fear of something. We have just been through a massive ordeal and are appealing for any help we can get. We were 72nm out in the Caribbean
(on our way from Grenada
to St. Martin). Doing 6.5knots in 16knots of wind
on a starboard broad reach in our 2007 Beneteau Oceanis
50 when suddenly without warning our rudder
sheared right off! Yes, you read it right.
We managed to get a little control and direction with the sails
but it was a hopeless situation. I immediately activated an emergency distress
call on our VHF
, giving our position. Called a PAN PAN PAN multiple times etc. After an hour or so of this I decided to activate the EPIRB
We were lucky. A fishing boat
had moved into range of our VHF
and picked up our distress
call and position and made way to us. To cut a long story short, they managed to tow us for 29 long, gruelling hours through lumpy 6-8 foot seas in increasing winds of 18-25knots.
Somehow the EPIRB
got wound around the propeller
and broke away while we were attempting to re-attach a broken tow-line (the 5th time). So much to tell but we are now safe with our boat
moored on a fishing
jetty in Case-Pilote, Martinique
Our problem now is to get a new rudder
ordered and fitted. With a deep draft
we have no option but to be towed again to Le Marin in the South of Martinique. That we have managed to put in place and another 6-7 hours tow awaits us.
What we don't know is how to source a replacement rudder from Beneteau
. Is there anyone in our community here that can assist us with info on where to source a rudder. As one might appreciate we have been through a huge ordeal, which isn't over yet. We want to get a rudder professionally fitted and hope to be able to afford and continue our liveaboard
lifestyle. So, if there is anyone out there that can be of assistance with our predicament please give us any useful information that you can.