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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Vessels Lost, Missing, or in Danger
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  #1  
Old 06-30-2014
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Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

Sail-World.com : Sailing crew's battle to save yacht lost in the Indian Ocean
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2014
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Re: Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

I think the captain of this yacht did an exceptional job of describing what happened. I guess we will never know what happened to break the rudder away from the skeg and Malos are well-built boats. I think that sometimes discussions on sailing forums about shtf can be a bit on the simplistic side as are the comments about you can be prepared for anything and everything.

My sympathies to the couple who lost their boat. Sounds like they were insured which is good.
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Old 06-30-2014
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Re: Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

Well, I guess the skeg didn't afford much in the way of structural integrity this time... What a shame, as KS said, Malos are beautiful boats built to a very high standard, must have been something a bit 'exceptional' to have occurred with this one...





that part of the Indian Ocean around the top of Madagascar sounds like one nasty bit of real estate... Another very high quality Swedish yacht, a Sweden 45, was lost to the identical cause in those waters a year or two ago...

Sounds like the skipper and crew gave it a good fight, all around the situation seems to have been handled admirably. Probably the only thing that could have saved that boat, would have been to have the rudder post isolated from the rest of the boat by a watertight/collision bulkhead...

On a boat of that size, certainly not impossible to achieve... One of the features that distinguishes a true 'Bluewater Boat', in my opinion, are true collision compartments fore and aft. But those are surprisingly uncommon even today, as it often compromises the amount of interior volume dedicated to that all-important Accomodation Plan... One of the downsides of aft staterooms in general, and in particular those taken right out to the transom, is the difficulty of isolating the rudder post in such a manner, short of some sort of transom-hung rudder solution...

Some stern garages can serve the purpose well, but I've run boats with garages that didn't even take the trouble to make the bulkhead watertight, leaving open conduits for wiring and plumbing runs, and so forth.. What the hell are they thinking?

Not all that many designers/builders think like Steve Dashew, obviously... :-)
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 06-30-2014 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 06-30-2014
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Re: Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

Sorry they lost the boat, but it sure sounds like they were a competent crew who did pretty much everything that could be done to save it. Sure reads better than a lot of attempts you read about where they abandoned the boat way early.

One common denominator I am starting to notice, or think I am noticing, is the use of the autopilot in heavy seas, before rudder loss. Perhaps a human, taking hold every once in a while, would be more apt to notice the strains on the steering gear before failure. One of the nice things about the old fashioned belt and pulley autopilots was that they usually give way before the rudder did when strains get too much. That happened with mine one time in some seas that were hitting the boat from a bad angle. If I had had a stronger autopilot, I wonder if my rudder would have broken first instead.
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Last edited by Group9; 06-30-2014 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 06-30-2014
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Re: Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

Good read, thanks for the link. Interesting that there was no great big "bump in the night." I wonder if they snagged a fishing net or something like that and the conditions with the extra drag caused the failure.

The only thing I could think of to do differently would be to cut away the rudder. With there being no lower pintle it "could" drop free, leaving a more static hole to try and fill. Still, that'd take some stones to cut your own rudder off....

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Old 06-30-2014
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Re: Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
The only thing I could think of to do differently would be to cut away the rudder. With there being no lower pintle it "could" drop free, leaving a more static hole to try and fill. Still, that'd take some stones to cut your own rudder off....
My thought too...

I am not sure how many of you have seen this video (from the guy that runs the yard where I keep my boat), but this is what I would have attempted;
www.youtube.com/embed/ABSCT7y9vnI

[EDIT] it seems that video embedding does not work anymore... Follow the link on HOW TO STEER WITH A DROGUE.
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Last edited by eherlihy; 06-30-2014 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 06-30-2014
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Re: Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

Thanks for the video. I think the main issue was the in-flooding of water from the rudder working from side to side, enlarging the hole. At one point in the article he was talking about how everybody was too busy bailing to work on alternative steering setups.

Makes me think something like THIS is a really good idea.

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Old 06-30-2014
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Re: Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

Jon, the really nasty bit at the northern tip of Madagascar is actually quite close to the tip. They were still (was it) 500 miles from there. I thing they just got some ordinary crappy weather. Our experience in the Indian Ocean is that it just windy all the time 25-30 knots and then you get depressions spinning off the South African that head NE.
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Old 06-30-2014
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Re: Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

I know it's hard to be there and easy to play armchair skipper.

I had the same thought as MedSailor: Why not try to jetison the rudder? Then there is either no hole or a small hole to worry about and you at least have a floating island while you figure out the next part of the plan. The rudder wasn't helping them at all.

If I ever have a skeg boat I hope that the rudder stock and bearings are beefy enough to handle failure of the skeg. That doesn't seem to be an uncommon failure point.
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Old 07-01-2014
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Re: Malo 45' loses rudder, pulls an All is Lost

How easy do you think it is to just drop the rudder in conditions like that.

I have dropped the rudder on my boat two times, the first time I had to apply heat to the bolts on the quadrant to move them.
Second time was easier since i used Duralac on all the SS parts when I assembled it.

Both times the boat was on dry land....

On a boat like this (Malö 45') after loosing the lower ruder attachment it would probably be hanging by the rudder quadrant and maybe some other hardware (autopilot tiller arm)
This is how it looks like on my boat with spade rudder, so in my case it the rudder is hanging by the top bearing.


Going into a space like that to screw out these bolts while the boat is moving around and the rudder shaft is doing it's best to crush you.

Maybe they could have used ropes to stabilize the rudder, but just dropping it..

Last edited by knuterikt; 07-01-2014 at 11:58 AM.
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