Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Thanked 213 Times in 162 Posts
Rep Power: 16
Re: Rudder lost at sea and rescue
I am not sure where you beleive I said you faulted Jim for being hands off. You clearly didnt. In fact I agreed with you 100%. So whats the issue here. I was paying you a compliment.
Heres what I wrote;
What I wrote is how I feel. I dont have the expertise. I dont have the experience in repairs and I think most are like me. Because you do have the expertise you dont think like me. I was expressing that many of us are at the mercy of these " yard monkeys" as you refer to them. Even if I watched them 100% of the time while they did repairs ( which I cant as I have another job) I might not be able to catch substandard work or improper techniques. many of us are at the mercy of these marine maintainence yards and technitions. Sailnet helps as we frequently get recommendations from you as well as others on reputable people.
My point was not at all to single you out or take your post out of context. I am sorry if it appeared that way. I just wanted to "nip the bud" before people were thinking I am criticizing Jim for being hands off...
My info comes from Jim himself and what he types...
"The first incident happened between Portugal and Madeira. We hit a submerged object that took out a fist sized chunk of the keel, hit the rudder, and tore of the towline and prop of my towed electrical generator. The cracking noise that I heard, I put off to the shear pin on the towed generator as I had not lost any steering control at this time. It is designed to break at 300lbs of pressure, and the manual does say that it has been know for sharks to take these. This happened mid afternoon.
Later that evening there was a strong gust of wind, heeling the boat over, which put pressure on the rudder , loosening it from the post. The rudder did not fall off till 02:00, these things always happen in the dark. I can assure you that the whole rudder was gone, there was no "emergency stub".
We had a new rudder built in Madeira and yes that one failed as well, I was told that the welds on the new stainless steel frame that was built were faulty, and when pressure was put on the rudder, after being back winded, it failed leaving the rudder hanging horizontally , causing the boat to go into 3 uncontrolled gybes, breaking the boom in half. However when this one broke, I did have an "emergency stub" left to steer with. I am presently in Mindelo in the Cape Verde islands off the coast of Africa, where my new rudder was installed yesterday, and I go back in the water today.
It is my feeling that Jim was really screwed over by these yards who "fixed" his rudder and I find it a sad state of our world that folks who tend to be "hands off" can get so royally screwed that it causes them to lose their boat....
These TWO rudders NEVER should have failed as they did... We have 36 years of evidence that shows the original design was extremely well executed so for TWO failures in a few weeks time that only points to shoddy workman ship or work done by people entirely unqualified to do so...
My immediate questions about these repairs are most basic. How do you even begin to repair a rudder stock when you have no clue what SS it was made from? What welding rod do you use on an unknown grade of SS? What grade webbing stock do you use? Do you just guess? Apparently they did and they guessed wrong......
-Maine Sail / CS-36T
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