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post #4 of Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Spade rudders vs blue water passage making

A few years back a buddy of mine lost a spade rudder on a LH54 about half way between Norfolk and Tortola. I had helped deliver the boat to Norfolk from up here, and luckily for me could not continue to Tortola.

They lost steering in the middle of the night. Next day they sent the youngest crew member over the side to find the rudder gone. They made it to within 10 miles of Tortola towing wraps for crude steering. 500 odd miles of zigzagging, with a quartering wind which was lucky. It was written up in one of the sailing mags, cannot remember which one.

The culprit in this case was crevice corrosion on the stainless rudder shaft at the bearing. Not an easy spot to inspect. Even if it was hung on a bottom hinge too not sure it would have made a difference.
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