Another Hunter loses it's rudder - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-07-2010
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Another Hunter loses it's rudder

St. Pete sailing yacht loses rudder, adrift in gulf

The latest word, which I can't confirm, is that the boat has been abandoned and that the crew is aboard the CG cutter.

Hunter should have retrofitted every boat they made with a proper rudder post.
Having lost a rudder on a 42', I can tell you that there is no controlling it. It can't even be towed without yawing all over the place.
Hunter makes a emergency rudder that you can bolt on the stern. Perhaps they should simply give one of those to every owner with a fiberglass rudder post.

The owner of this boat is also the owner of Sailor's Wharf. The yard that used to be the Hunter dealer here in St. Pete. I'm kind of surprised that he didn't have one of the emergency rudder kits on board. He certainly knew of the potential for problems.
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Old 05-07-2010
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I lost my Hunter rudder on my 25 foot in the ICW just north of Fort Pierce.
She was about 20 years old at the time. The post broke right at the entry point to the rudder. My friend in another boat picked it up. I repaired it by having a stainless steel post inserted, welded and thru bolted to the existing post. And we continued on our trip the next day.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
Excerpt from your link:
"Helsen owns the Sailor's Wharf Boat Yard on Salt Creek near the Port of St. Petersburg and is designer and builder of the 47-foot yacht."

Is this wrong or did he build a Hunter 47 (a length Hunter has never made)?

It was a Hunter 46' that he modified and then put his name on. Don't ask me how that works.
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Old 05-07-2010
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Just found it while you were responding. It is a modified H460 to which he has added 1 ft somehow as well as other mods,; a rudder post would have been a nice addition!
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From another story.



"But the trip back proved more eventful for at least one of the contestants. St. Petersburg's Jopie Helsen and his crew aboard the Jade CruChu had finished fifth in the race with a corrected time of 55:15:59. Helsen's 47-foot boat left after the award ceremony April 30 and soon ran into rough seas.By the following day, Helsen's boat had lost its rudder in 10-foot seas and 30-knot winds. The crew activated its EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon) at 3:40 a.m. Sunday. The Coast Guard received the distress signal and dispatched a HC-130 Hercules aircraft from the Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater.
While the plane was searching, a notice was issued to mariners to be on the lookout for the crippled vessel, which was eventually spotted by a commercial ship called the Bahama Spirit.
A second airplane, this one from Mobile, Ala., made contact with the sailboat at 10 a.m. Monday. Three hours later, the Harriet Lane, a 270-foot cutter on routine patrol in the central Gulf of Mexico, changed course and intercepted the Jade CruChu about 400 miles south of Panama City.
At first, Helsen and four members of his crew stayed with the racing yacht while it was being towed to St. Petersburg. But as of Wednesday, the captain and crew had jumped aboard the cutter, and as of press time no decision had been made about what to do with the boat.
"It is a delicate operation," said Petty Officer 3rd class Nick Ameen, a USCG spokesman in Miami. "Without a rudder, the boat is all over the place."


Sailing: Returning sailboat in Isla Mujeres race becomes disabled - St. Petersburg Times

I just spoke to someone who has been in contact with the owner. He said that the crew was worn out and had to "get off the boat"
The tracker is turned off (at least for the general public) and evidently there is a salvage vessel in route.
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Old 05-07-2010
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I was wondering about the tracker. What a bummer to give salvagers your disabled boat's exact position.
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Old 05-07-2010
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Knotty,
Aren't you glad you have a Nor'sea 27'?
I am not into bashing other boat brands and I know there are many happy Hunter owners out there. I'd even bet that Hunter's older, smaller boats were made with solid metal rudder posts like the H 25 I sailed on in the Chessy.
I knew there was a reason I like some of the older, proven, over built designs but with my Tartan 27' I have enough exterior teak to keep me busy enough not to worry about my rudder post (which is made of some kind of metal). Heck, the gas tank (yes, A4) is made of monel which is good for both gas and diesel. The cutaway forefoot full keel hull shape can even be steered by the center board.
I wonder if the 47' Hunter might have behaved a bit better in those rough conditions with one of sailingdogs precious Jordan Series Drogues? I am only guessing but does the H 46' have a fin keel and spade rudder designed hull? These designs seem to be notoriously hard to sail without a rudder and when you add 10' waves and 30 - 40 knot winds it would have been a miserable time for the crew.
I hope this thread does not go the way of some of the other Tartan threads.
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Old 05-08-2010
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Knotty,
Aren't you glad you have a Nor'sea 27'?
I am not into bashing other boat brands and I know there are many happy Hunter owners out there. I'd even bet that Hunter's older, smaller boats were made with solid metal rudder posts like the H 25 I sailed on in the Chessy.
I knew there was a reason I like some of the older, proven, over built designs but with my Tartan 27' I have enough exterior teak to keep me busy enough not to worry about my rudder post (which is made of some kind of metal). Heck, the gas tank (yes, A4) is made of monel which is good for both gas and diesel. The cutaway forefoot full keel hull shape can even be steered by the center board.
I wonder if the 47' Hunter might have behaved a bit better in those rough conditions with one of sailingdogs precious Jordan Series Drogues? I am only guessing but does the H 46' have a fin keel and spade rudder designed hull? These designs seem to be notoriously hard to sail without a rudder and when you add 10' waves and 30 - 40 knot winds it would have been a miserable time for the crew.
I hope this thread does not go the way of some of the other Tartan threads.

Caleb, I am very glad I own a Nor'Sea 27'. I would never own a fin keel. I sailed a Bavaria 34' to Europe once and swore that I would never go to sea in a flat forefooted fin keeled boat again. I broke that promise, but the fact remains that they have a horrible motion in my opinion.

I also wonder why the boat didn't use some sort of drogue. Even if they didn't have one, they certainly could have come up with something.
I have to believe that they must have been exhausted and beat up to have abandoned the boat the way they did.
It is true that those boats are completely unmanageable without a rudder. Whether under tow or just trying to sail.

It seems to me though that if they had just been able to stay aboard until the weather calmed down they could have jury rigged some way to steer the boat. The must have carried a whisker pole and there are certainly floorboards galore. And the owner of the boat owns a boat yard, so you would think that he must be somewhat handy.
At the very worst, I would think that the boat would have just drifted until it arrived in shallow enough water to anchor. Unless it was off Cuba. That might have been a problem.
I don't understand it, but I guess that's why people buy insurance.

I"m not worried about this thread going the way of the Tartan threads. My threads don't seem to get that much attention.
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I"m not worried about this thread going the way of the Tartan threads. My threads don't seem to get that much attention.
You kidding me? 360 views in a day.

Smokin'!

Who builds a fiberglass rudder post? Seriously.
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Who builds a fiberglass rudder post? Seriously.
If anyone other than Hunter does, I don't know of them.
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