Losing rudder at sea - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 60 Old 03-22-2007
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Maybe if we are buying a boat with a spade rudder. The rudder should be dropped out of the boat and have the Rudder post magnafluxed looking for any stress cracks. Means having the boat on the hard and disassemblely of the steering system.
But this is the one reason I don't like spade rudders. An emergency rudder should be carried on that type of vessel.
But then again you should have some way of rigging emergency steering no matter what type of boat you have.
And how many people out there even think about such things?? Or any other kind of emergency?

Fire, Flooding, Man O'board, Lost of mast/steering, and MEDICAL. Do you have a working plan for any of those? Do you drill on them? Can you write a senario for any of those drills?

Last edited by Boasun; 03-22-2007 at 10:33 AM.
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post #12 of 60 Old 03-22-2007
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Some years ago, Morgan Freeman had Shannon Yachts custom build a Shannon 43, with some unique features. Here's a sistership sailing on Narragansett Bay:




And a view of Freeman's custom interior from Shannon Yacht's website: Shannon 43



I toured Shannon's factory while researching a prospective boat, prior to buying our current one. Shannon Yachts is in Bristol, RI - just a few miles north of our homeport. Bill Ramos, part company owner, talks very proudly of the boat they built for him . . . and rightfully so.

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post #13 of 60 Old 03-22-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente
Sure, but my recollection is that it's not a Swan or a Moody or some luxe yacht, but is a fairly standard production boat with some years on it. Like I said, I got the impression he's a real sailor who happens to act, not just a guy with a crew on call to take him out in 10 knots when he feels like getting served a beverage.

But I can't find the article.
A Shannon 43 with a custom interior is not a standard production boat IMHO... From their website:

Quote:
SHANNON SAILAWAY PRICE
Custom interior layout, with the standard sailaway features and equipment inventory as described herein.
$876,000

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #14 of 60 Old 03-22-2007 Thread Starter
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I sail a 2003 Jeanneau 43DS and had it thoroughly surveyed prior to purchase by a very good and reputable surveyor who knows the Jeanneau and Beneteau lines very well. He did say that the rudder bearings were loose and they were replaced prior to my purchasing the boat; he also did a post-fix survey of the rudder and all other (minor) repairs.
I was motorsailing at the time this happened. I had the sails well-balanced but with two inexperienced ladies aboard who were somewhat frightened of heeling I put on the engine at 1800rpm and was comfortably running at about 6 knots in 40 feet of water. The first thing I noticed when things went wrong was that we'd gone 90 degrees off course and my genoa was suddenly sheeted on the wrong side. I turned ofif the autopilot and immediately noticed that there were no forces on the wheel; then I saw a black shark fin and realized what had happened. Engine in neutral, told the girls it was OK and then winched like crazy to get both sails in. Seas were about 6 feet and 15-18 knots of wind. After getting the sails down and checking the bilge plus rudder post from the emergency tiller hole I wanted to retrieve my rudder with the dinghy but the girl's panicked reaction to my wanting to leave the boat convinced to me forego that.
I managed to get another boater to relay a message to the charter company from which I'd purchased the boat and gave my position and request for a tow. They did their utmost, but another ship had gone aground (with a fatality) so priorities were elsewhere. This was 9:30am and we finally got a tow to Virgin Gorga at 5:30pm. I tried to balance the sails to at least do something but I think my only successful direction would have been downwind - the wrong way. A quick look at the chart showed me that I was about to drift from 60ft to 80ft so I dropped the anchor in sand (200ft of chain was sufficient to hold us, even with some heavy squalls passing through).
I haven't hauled the boat yet, since staying in the Marina is better than finding a hotel. Once my new rudder arrives we'll pull the boat and I will have it re-surveyed while the rudder is replaced.
There is no visible damage inside the boat, and the whole rudder is moving smoothly and freely. I did a quick look while at sea and didn't see anything remaining below the waterline and I'm not about to dive on it in the harbor as the BVI has no holding tank rules...
I put out 3 drogues with about 300 feet of old running rigging and some buckets and we still yawed back and forth at least 90 degrees at 3 knots. Since I still had engine and prop, if I had been further out or not within range of help I would have used an inside door, some old running lines as lashings and the emergency steering mechanism to rig a provisional rudder to hang from the pulpit over the transom/sugarscoop. But as there was no danger to anything except my pride and I would have had to pass around the dog islands (bad lee shores and no holding if the temporary steering failed). In this case I feel that doing a McGyver would have entailed higher risk to both my passengers and boat and the only things I would do differently if I were in the same situation would be to (a) retrieve the rudder and (b) drop the anchor while the bottom was still 40 feet.


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post #15 of 60 Old 03-22-2007
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Dropping the anchor when something goes wrong and your in shallow enough water for it to do some good is generally a good idea... It can prevent a situation from going from bad to dire...

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post #16 of 60 Old 03-22-2007
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Zan...sounds like you handled everything in a seaman-like manner with good sense. Nothing for your pride to be hurt about (your wallet is a different matter!). A 4 year old boat shouldn't be having the rudder fall off in benign conditions. It will be interesting to see what the analysis shows. Good luck on the fix!
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post #17 of 60 Old 03-22-2007
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I wouldn't want to try to do the approach into the Bitter End with a door for a rudder. As close are you were, the tow seems the reasonable answer.
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post #18 of 60 Old 03-22-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
A Shannon 43 with a custom interior is not a standard production boat IMHO... From their website:

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I stand corrected. Holy jumping, that's a hell of an expensive boat when you could get two Saga 43s or Shearwater 45s for the same price.
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You're right Valiente....but they are things of beauty, hand crafted to exacting standards and completely personalized. If you HAVE the bucks I'd be hard pressed to think of a nicer thing to spend $$ on. I really think they are nicer than the Morris's and Hinckleys which they compete with.
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post #20 of 60 Old 03-22-2007
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Think you have a nice boat? Well then, try walking down the 300 dock of my marina for a generous dose of boat envy. Comparable to millionare's row, it's a draw for the filthy rich.

There are several Shannons, Hinckleys, Little Harbors, Camper & Nicholsons, Nautor Swans, Pacific Seacrafts, Halberg Rassys - to name a few. I feel humbled by these great boats and in constant awe over their beauty. It doesn't help having Ted Hood's boatyard and Hinckley's sales office next door either.

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