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  #31  
Old 03-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne25
I've never been blue water sailing, but would like to have that as a goal someday. From the little bit of information in the article, it sounded like he was running with the weather. From what I've read, this can give you a false sence of security vs other points of sail.
At what time should the skipper have said "were pushing the rigging and equipment to much" and heave to and wait out the weather? I know we can't answer that question. But how do you (the experienced blue water captains here) determine the limit of your boats? Did you do it by experiencing equipment failure or sail with a big safety factor that is not dictated by a time schedule to maintain?
Wayne,
Personally I think its largely to do with the schedule. Theoretically the idea when cruising is just to sit pat if the weather looks dodgey. On the other hand of course, getting caught out by an unexpected blow is a fact of sailing life and the boat has to be prepared to take it when it comes. Some designs do seem to have an inherent problem with their rudder stocks. Hunters and Bavarias spring to mind but I do know of one guy who has quite successfully sailed a Hunter he bought in the US back to Australia and there are plenty of plastic fantastics out there cruising quite happily. One thing the prudent cruiser needs to have ingrained in his head is to know when to reduce sail, preferably well before it is absolutely necessary. Racers don't have that latitude but cruisers are not supposed to be in a hurry to get anywhere.
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  #32  
Old 03-16-2007
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Why is it that rudders don't seem to go missing as often when they are skeg mounted?
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  #33  
Old 03-17-2007
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Correct me if I am wrong; but wouldn't it be a bit difficult to come about onto a tack and then heave to in 14' seas and wind from the quarter? Maybe it's not terribly hard; but I still don't think that those conditions would be what should cause the rudder post to break like a matchstick. It sounds like boat was starting to broach; it was not fully broached/rolled when it failed (based on the report). I hope they recover what is left of the rudder stock for some failure analysis and testing; I don't think ABYC "approves" of this sort of thing...
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  #34  
Old 03-17-2007
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Maybe because there's something other than the rudder stock holding the rudder to the boat when the stock fails... However, a properly designed spade rudder is a good thing... granted, it won't survive an impact as well as a skeg or keel mounted rudder, but it should be sturdy enough for most use. These Hunter composite beasties just don't cut it.
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  #35  
Old 03-17-2007
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SD...I know you know this..but a lot of comments about skeg rudders focus on the protection from debris and other objects afforded the rudder by the skeg. Just as important to me is the support for the bottom end of the LEVER that a spade rudder becomes and the spreading of those forces to the entire hull through the skeg rather than focusing them on the rudder stock alone.
As you point out...the rudder also doesn't go to king neptune if one of the two supports should fail. Of course a spade post can be over-built to minimize the risk of failure...but i prefer redundancy especially for offshore cruising...even at the cost of some speed.
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  #36  
Old 03-17-2007
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Anyone want to weigh in on weather the Hunter should have been out in the middle of the Pacific in the first place??
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  #37  
Old 03-17-2007
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I remember reading in one of the sail mags that they had a couple of boats lose rudders (neither of them Hunters) in one of the recent East Coast to Caribbean races.
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  #38  
Old 03-17-2007
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Redundancy is always nice when help is 1000 miles away... I agree that the keel and skeg mounted rudders are better supported both at the top and bottom.

I have a kickup spade rudder on my boat, but it is really a requirement of the desing, being a multihull, with a draft of 14" with the board up.
BTW, the rudder on my boat works, although not as well, in the up position.
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  #39  
Old 03-17-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
but i prefer redundancy especially for offshore cruising...even at the cost of some speed.
I guarantee my skeg and transom-hung ruddered, full-keeled, steel "tub" will go down a wave face quite fast enough in 50 knots. Unlike some current production boats, however, it will come back up the next wave.

It's really a matter of how you want to sail. The list of "fast" fin keeled, spade-ruddered boats that are also good for extreme or even stormy conditions is pretty short, in my view, and as the Americas Cup designs hint at, we may be approaching the limits of our materials science in getting ULDBs that can take the kind of hits the sea can dish out.

Would I like a J/160 or a Saga 48 or a Swan or even a more conservative Moody? Yes, I would...because such boats are on that list. Nothing by Hunter, Catalina, Beneteau, Jeanneau, Dufour or Bavaria is on that list. Tartan is a maybe.

Of course, I'm the annoying bastard who shows up at boat shows with a dental mirror and a flashlight to view the backing plates under the (too short) stanchions, or who counts the hand holds in the (too wide) saloon. The Lloyd's Ocean certification is handed out far too liberally, in my view. But I am very much in the minority these days, and frankly, if one in 100 production boats actually goes offshore, I would be surprised.
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Old 03-17-2007
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I am suprised that the delivery captain did not require the boat to be equipped with an emergency rudder system for the trip to Hawaii. A independent steering system is the only truly redundant setup IMHO. I'm pretty sure this is a requirement to enter either the TransPac or Pacific Cup.

I think it's amusing that the rudder is a weak link in a +200k boat; what's the point of that crappy emergency tiller handle they provide when you have no rudder? (Only supplied to make the buyer much more confident in the seaworthyness at the showroom)
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