I'm no stranger to armchair critics, pilots do it all the time and usually the end result is good for the critics. It's not a bad thing to do, as it usually can result in people truly evaluating what they would do in that circumstance and how they would prevent it. There are some educational aspects of it, provided you keep it reasonable.
The educational lesson here is to be better equipped if you lose the rudder. I also think that the captain handled himself fairly well, in the situation anyway. He let someone know what was going on, where they were, and left his options open. He then disregarded his interest in the boat and accepted rescue when the alternative was far riskier and more strenuous to himself and the crew. He should have been more involved in the repairs from the start and he should have realized, especially after having problems several times, that there should be some alternative rudder in case it fails again.
That said, I find it ludicrous that most of you would turn down a rescue for the sake of a boat when there is a crew on board, no rudder, and rising seas. Especially after having been told your current location has very little commercial and pleasure traffic, so chances of another rescue would be slim. Would you really risk the circumstance and put yourself and the crew through that type of situation and with those risks? For what? Your boat? Your pride? It is the height of arrogance and selfishness to put the needs of the boat (and your interest in the boat) above that of your crew. The safe decision was to abandon ship and accept failure.
They likely could have survived and finished the journey, but they would have had a higher risk of bigger problems down the line. There are plenty of people who have had to do this and will probably be more in the future, but it doesn't mean that continuing on is always the right decision. I'd have done the same thing he did.
I would imagine that the rudder acts as a lateral stabilizing force when in place, as part of the design of the boat. As a result, I don't think your ability to steer without a rudder (or keep a straight course!) would be as good. In other words, testing on a boat with the rudder in place may yield different results than one without the rudder.
That's just a theory, though.
I'm no stranger to armchair critics, pilots do it all the time and usually the end result is good for the critics.
Lets hope they do a better job of critical thinking flying your plane than this as it appears not only did you miss the most critical evidence IMHO you felt the need to belittle others opinions with arrogance, which is not necessary, and may prevent the educational experience for others who may want to express an opinion.
The educational lesson here may really be to have the enough experienced crew to set out accross the Atlantic. In reading this and another report including their first rescue it is apparent that the crew of 4 really only had one person with enough skill to handle this adventure. Had he become incapacitated, the only recourse the crew would have had at that point would have been to be rescued and give up the vessel. IMHO not a good plan. A plane crossing the Atlantic has more than a Captain and then a crew
of flight attendants. There are others with experience of flying the plane to releive the Captain.
The couple who came on board had virtually zero experience. The captain and his wife/ companion split thier watch so each took an inexperience person. This to cross the Atlantic? I mean we are not talking coastal cruising here. The crew was sick from the get go. One wanted to leave almost immediately and the second wasnt far behind. Leave and leave the Captain with 3 people...not a safe situation. The Captain should have turned around and headed back then and dropped the landlubbers asses on land or stay close to the coast until they felt better and then pressed on. Maybe his rudder issues would have popped up close to shoer again. Instead he pressed on. He didnt know if they would get better, he pressed on with 3 quesy sick crew members with little experience. This is lesson number 1. If crew safety was the issue...it should have started here.
The rudder failure being caused by poor workmanship. Not sure where that was identified as the reason. I am sure its a good theory as it was an issue point before, and before it was hit by an object in the water. Also to assumn he was hands off....where does that information come from? I have read the logs, and cant find that. Can someone point me to what I may have missed?
As a side note and as far as the reports of increasing seas and impending weather...you know that contradicts what was found at the scene and the Captains statement,
The last picture of Viewfinder drifting away, lost at sea
From the Captain of the Viewfinder
Luckily, the rescue took place during the day and the weather conditions were good,” Laverdière said. “There were a couple of tense moments, but our lives were never in danger
Pointe Claire couple rescued at sea for second time | West Island Gazette
Even with the calm conditions found at the rescue, short of the Captain and his inexperienced crew fashioning a temporary rudder to steer Viewfinder, there was no hope. The Captains actions after the problem occured seemed ok and he certainly recovered his ability to put the crews safety first finally, I would agree. The more I read the more I understood the lack of experience other than him on the boat, and they were too far out to get to safe refuge. I get that.
So it looks from the posts that hes got his insurance money and hes looking for anew boat to continue his adventures. I hope he has learned about taking inexperienced crew.