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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #41  
Old 04-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin
After looking in detail at some of the quotes I received I opted to put away a fixed amount each month in lieu of insurance. But if I recall the one contract correctly they would have paid me about $1300 for this incident. Then probably increased my rates or cancelled my policy as a "high risk" one Actually, since I singlehand the insurance companies would have happily accepted my premiums but probably wouldn't have paid out anything.
I guess if you are not US-based that is true. I had good experience with BoatUS - I lost keel wings on one of my previous boats (due to striking underwater object, may be that made a difference, I don't know). They paid the bill, which was very fortunate as it was of that same scale as yours - and this was for a much smaller boat (the amount of repairs was darn near close to it's value). Moreover, they put me in touch with a local surveyor and he figured it all out for me - which at that time was imperative, as I did not know where to go and what to do (it's been 7 or 8 years since, I learnt a thing or two). They didn't raise my rate much (or at all) either.

Of course YMMV and all cases are different, but not all insurance is useless
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  #42  
Old 04-19-2007
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Zanshin-

Nice to know that not everyone is being completely mercenary about your situation.
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  #43  
Old 04-19-2007
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I cant tell much from the picture. Your shaft may have been failing for months/years and propogating a crack that finally grew till it would no longer support the stress of the rudder. Once a flaw exists it will propogate. The combination of rotational and lateral stress on steel breaks it over time. That's why motors attached to fixed rotating equipment (like pumps) have "flexible" couplings in the line.

The combination or rotational and lateral stresses will eventually break a shaft. Yours broke right at the suport point where the lateral stresses peak.

Every time a spade breaks lose someone looks for a corrosion reason. I've seen many equipment shafts that failed due to improper alignment and stress fractured, which is what I think you have there.

Last edited by XTR; 04-19-2007 at 11:09 PM.
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  #44  
Old 04-19-2007
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Zanshin, the pictures mean nothing to my inexperienced eyes but I'd BET that to someone in the business, that is a textbook illustration of some particular failure mode.

Take the weekend off, deal with higher priorities, and maybe Monday see if there are some online resources that look like they might be willing to just eyeball the picture and point you in the right direction.

If there's any type of reference library near you, they may have a reference book on metal fatigue and failures with pics to compare. Or perhaps there's something likle that on the web? Or there's any type of naval yard or elevator shaft repair outfit, where there are welders who have seen this before. Elevator shaft rollers and printing press rollers are both examples of high strength stainless rollers that are welded and refinished in normal use, folks in those trades often know specialty welders.

Heck, maybe someone at the NHTSA or a similar accident investigation agency would be willing to simply respond to an email saying "Please Sir, can you point me in the right direction?" And if nothing else, maybe you can turn up an email contact to a metallurgy department at some university. Or--there are forums for welders and machinists! Someone at one of those is bound to see meaning in that photo.

It most certainly does not look like the typical "this is a metal bar, it got bent and broke" that I've seen.
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Old 04-19-2007
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Zan...the true reason why it broke??

Go outside your boat..what's written on the side, near the transom??

J-E-A-N-N-E-A-U......

that with:

Made in France....


those are the reasons it broke...

I've had stuff from there break too!!
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  #46  
Old 04-19-2007
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Zan

The real scary part of all this is the cost of repair, $15K that is 25% of the cost of my intended boat. Surely a rudder could have been sourced locally; I doubt an insurance provider would have looked for a cheaper option, not.
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  #47  
Old 04-20-2007
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[QUOTE=cockeyedbob in the old days they used to peen shafts straight ... not difficult ... I've peened cold rolled shafts but not stainless although I see no reason why in theory it wouldn't work for stainless ... press? sure, if you have a good[/QUOTE]

In the old days shafts were made of bronze, nice malleble stuff. Not a good Idea on stainless, it fatiges in about one and a half cycles. Makes an extraordinarily straight and flat break too!

Iv'e seen literaly dozens of S/S prop shafts snap (my office, when I used to work, was in a high volume boatyard, and I hung around all the boatyards here) and less numerically, rudder shaft logs. If it is pitted (shallow or deep) if it is bent.... replace it... it aint worth the effort to mess with it, it's gonna break. Bronze or Monel doesnt share those caracteristics, bends like a pretzel.

Dewey
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Let me put in my two sents worth. Having some experience wth stainless in ocean invironment the crevice corrosion combined with torsional fatigue is my bet.
However, I thind I would very concerned about the subsequent deposition of copper on the shaft. I believe you've got some rather strong stray electrical currents eminating either from your boat, the dock, or one of your neighbors. Whatever you do stay out of the water and figure out where the electrical to water connection is. Also check the rest of the metal on you boat for corrosion.
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  #49  
Old 04-20-2007
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HelloSailor - that is some excellent advice; I had though about sending it to a technical university with a plea for some advice, but you've opened up a lot of other alternatives.
Giuletta - I normally would have to agree with you, but perhaps the SS bar stock came from somewhere else.
SimonV - a lot of the charges were due to the fact that I wanted the rudder both quickly and shipped to a remote destination. The rudder itself was $2600, everything else was air freight, expedited handling, customs and vat (for 2 countries!!!!) and so on. I think if I had not been in a hurry and close to a major port the shipping & handling would only have been about $500 in total. If you are really interested, I can get the invoices and do a line-by-line explanation.
Waltpratt - I was put back into the water a 7am this morning. But I will start another thread on trying to diagnose electrical problems.
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  #50  
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If it is pitted (shallow or deep) if it is bent.... replace it... it aint worth the effort to mess with it, it's gonna break. Bronze or Monel doesnt share those caracteristics, bends like a pretzel.

Aye Dewey, Bob agrees with you completely!

I assure you, if a man walks into my shop with a bent shaft, please no innuendo, regardless of material or purpose he's going to get an honest assessment without any song and dance. If I can fix it, I will, and If I can't or if I don't think it's worthwhile or safe, well, I won't shine him on just to make a buck.
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