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Thread: Tale of lost rudder in Trans Pac - in case you missed it

  1. #1
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    Default Tale of lost rudder in Trans Pac - in case you missed it


  2. #2
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    I gather that the Transpac doesn't require carrying a spare/emergency rudder? Seems odd.....

  3. #3
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    I may have this confused with the Pac Cup but the thinking within these groups has changed some. There is the notion that even with emergency rudders, inspected etc. they have so many E rudder failures that they have gone back to inspecting for some working system, not necessarily an E rudder. Notice in the article the boat had a system they had tested. It did nt work however in the real ocean, as opposed to Long Beach Harbor.

    Brian

  4. #4
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    LA TransPac still used the OSR this year:

    ISAF OSR 4.15 – Emergency Steering
    4.15.1 Emergency steering shall be provided as follows:
    a) except when the principal method of steering is by means of an unbreakable metal tiller, an emergency tiller capable of being fitted to the rudder stock;
    b) crews must be aware of alternative methods of steering the yacht in any sea condition in the event of rudder loss. At least one method must have been proven to work on board the yacht. An inspector may require that this method be demonstrated.

    Pacific Cup has you sign a statement that you tested it upwind and down, including two tacks and two jibes. Some of the inspectors required demonstrations.

  5. #5
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    The PacCup does have that form to sign, but as I've suggested previously, testing an ER in the Bay, with the boat's rudder centered isn't a very real test. When we did it in 2010, we could sail in a straight line and did manage more than two tacks and jibes, but the jibes were difficult. I've only sailed to Hawaii that once in the 2010 PacCup, so I'm certainly not as expert as those who have done numerous Hawaii races. It was a windy race with a confused Pacific High to the north and a Mexican hurricane to the south - some say the windiest PacCup. I did a lot of positive thinking about the regular rudder because I was pretty sure our cassette ER would have been a monster to struggle with - if it held together 24-hour day after day after day - depending on where the regular rudder might have failed. There were 3 of us, so we could have relieved each other fairly often. Potentially finding myself alone with the same scenario is truly frightening. The conditions we sailed in for 10 days were far more than our 3-hour ER cruise around SF Bay!

    The Hobie 33's rudder stock failure is an example of prepping the right way, but finding even that isn't enough. As I've written before, Gordie and I cut "NANCY's" aluminum rudder tube and inserted a solid round bolt of aluminum, which we welded and bolted, creating essentially a solid tube from above the waterline to the bottom of the rudder. It cost several hundred dollars, so wasn't cheap. In doing that, we also opened holes in the rudder's skin and examined the webbing, which we found okay.

    I think paying close attention to those who have experienced rudder failure, how they'd prepared their ER, and how it worked is something to be carefully considered, especially by singlehanders who do not have someone to trade off with. I wonder if the Hobie would have made it back with only one person on board.

  6. #6
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    The article says they "attempted to fabricate" something from a spinnaker pole and a "too large" piece of firberglas bunk. Pole collapsed so they tried to fabricate something from a reacher strut. It failed... The article mentioned they had a drogue, so maybe that piece of equipment got them past the inspector. But when the "real thing" occurred, they didn't go right to the drogue. The thing that really interested me is the major effort they went to in totally dismantling their original rudder to inspect possible failure points and rebuild it to someone's satisfaction. And then it failed. Same thing happened to a fellow competitor in one of the "early" SHTPs I participated

  7. #7
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    Somehow what I had just written was replaced by something (above) which I had previously started , but never sent....???
    Anyway, what Pat just posted got me thinking. The SHTP requires us to have some sort of solution to rudder loss, but leaves it to demonstration of equipment carried to cope. But the solution is a bit different when comparing singlehanded and crewed boats. Years ago, I came up with an emergency rudder for Harrier and found it to work OK in harbor. It uses the "spare tiller" also required by SSS rules. But additionally, I rigged a stern pulpit gadget to allow me to connect a tiller-type autopilot (eg, Raytheon 2000, Navico 1600,etc) so the helm would not have to be hand tended 24/7. But self steering has never been made a requirement. SHOULD IT BE? Sure, after rudder loss, one probably doesn't keep racing, but the need to hand steer to some destination is still daunting...at least to me.

  8. #8
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    By the way, in no way should my above comments regarding self steering under jury rudder be construed as a recommendation that should be added to the "hoops" that an SHTP competitor must jump thru to qualify for the race. There are more than enuf already. Just something for an entrant to consider...the possibility of hand steering for 1000 miles or so. Some people might want to be prepared beyond the minimum race requirements. There have only been 2 rudder failures out of sight of land on the SHTP that I know of...they both made it into Hanalei Bay.

  9. #9
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    This article (http://www.yachtingmonthly.com/saili...steering-30065) from this past April is about cruising boats that lost their rudders so maybe others have already seen it, but the last part includes examples of when things went well or did not including one boat that sailed 325 miles on a rudder-rigged spinnaker pole. Of the three things tested in the article, the drogue made the passage easiest to manage though it was the slowest.

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