Losing rudder at sea - Page 6 - SailNet Community
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post #51 of 60 Old 04-17-2007
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After all that, and remembering what happened last time I waited for a rudder, I only hope they properly crated it and sent you the right one!

Good luck.
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post #52 of 60 Old 04-17-2007
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Good luck...hope it came through customs and shipping okay.

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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 #53 of 60 Old 04-18-2007
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Good luck Zan...keep us posted!
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post #54 of 60 Old 04-27-2007 Thread Starter
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The rudder arrived in perfect shape and I had the boat hauled, put up on the hard, rudder installed and put back in the water without a problem. I went sailing today for the first time and am amazed at the difference in boat handling.

I can pretty much categorically state that the previously repaired rudder damage must have been caused by pretty severe contact with ground, severe enough to have caused some sort of twisting or bending of the rudder. It might not have been visible to the eye, but I did notice a 1+ knot speed difference between port and starboard tacks as well as a significant difference in angles to the wind that I could run. I attributed this to other factors, but today proved differently.

I had 2 people on board as guests who had never sailed before, so I didn't run the boat through all her paces. I started off with the 3rd reef of the genoa and the rough equivalent on the main since the weather report stated 18-20 knots of wind and I didn't want to heel too much for my newbie guests. The wind ended up being 25knots constant with gusts over 30 so the reefing choice wasn't a bad one. I've sailed in identical seas and wind with the "old" boat and the newly ruddered one sailed 1knot faster on ALL points of sail, plus the sails were well-balanced most of the time, with the old rudder I would have had to use very significant amounts of weather helm for the same course(s).

All in all I'm very happy with the "new" boat and think that the mystery of the rudder problem is closer to being solved - it would seem to be more of a previous-damage-through-ground-contact issue than a systemic or engineering problem.

Something missing in this picture...


4 layers of primer (Note Morgan Freeman's "Afrodesia" in the background)


Then 4 more layers of antifouling


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post #55 of 60 Old 04-27-2007
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Thanks for the pix and the report Zan...glad to hear of the great improvement. Your probably not in the mood for philosophy right now...but would you buy a boat out of charter again? If so...anything you'd do differently as a result of this experience?
guess you'll be headed south now...enjoy!
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post #56 of 60 Old 04-27-2007
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It sounds like the boat had some slight rudder damage or that it had significant rudder damage that was repaired somewhat successfully. In either case, it sounds like the "repaired" state was close enough to pass visual muster, but obviously, if you've gained an entire knot in boat speed under the same basic conditions, something was wrong.

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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 #57 of 60 Old 04-27-2007 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
...but would you buy a boat out of charter again? If so...anything you'd do differently as a result of this experience? ...
I think that this could have happened on a private sale as well - but I do think that the charter company must have noticed something when they repaired the rudder and replaced the bearings prior to my purchase - and that they probably thought it was "OK" and opted not to fix it or tell me. That, in my opinion, was negligence in order to make a buck (well, a lot of bucks).

I would buy a boat out of charter again. But I would go through the survey report or accompany the surveyor with a very different mindset from that which I had this purchase. I would play avocato del diabolo" and on any damage would think "what is the worst that could have happened that could have been covered up this way" and drill down on it. In this case I assumed that evidence of light damage was restricted to light damage, not heavy damage repaired to look like only light damage.
My perception told me from the outset that there was more to the different behaviour on port and starboard tacks but I was convinced by the salesperson, surveyor and forum denizens (I can't recall if I posted my question here or in another forum) that I was wrong. I should have trusted my gut feeling.

I have learned that the survey is an essential and important part of the purchase process and shouldn't be treated as a "yes/no" type of decision tool - the surveyor noted some signs that I should really have followed up on. Any nicked or dinged rudder on future boats will be pulled and examined minutely. Any signs of contact with more than water on a keel will be examined with even more care.
I'm not particularly gullible, but I actually believed the salesman's explanations. Shame on me. I won't make that error again.


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post #58 of 60 Old 04-28-2007
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Thanks for the honest take on things Zan...What happened to you has happened to many when desire to own "the boat" overwhelms our usually rational behavior! Been there!! (G) I'm sure your tale will help others similarly smitten in the future.
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post #59 of 60 Old 04-29-2007
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When I was cruising in New Zealand, I saw a French production catamaran that required two new rudders. The stainless steel rudder shafts were severely pitted at the bearing where they entered the hull. The shafts looked like the serrated edges of postage stamps, and it was only a matter of time before they both would be lost at sea at an inopportune moment. The french catamaran company shipped new rudders to Whangarei, New Zealand.

The problem with the rudders was electrolysis. Very impressive what stray currents can do to rudder stock.

Cheers,

Dave
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post #60 of 60 Old 04-30-2007
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Sorry Zan but I totally disagree with the view that it is you, i.e. the victim, to blame for not finding out the flaw with the rudder. Shame on the charter company that sold the boat without noting that the rudder had hit ground and pity for the surveyor who should have ordered the whole mechanism disassembled for in-depth investigation. Their negligence not only caused you unforeseen expenses and waiting idle and useless for a month but exposed your life, along with that of your two female passengers, to great danger indeed!
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