Author Topic: Shortest sail ever!  (Read 260 times)

Offline Aldebaran_III

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Shortest sail ever!
« on: March 24, 2017, 11:55:53 AM »
Haven't been able to get to the boat for the last 3 weeks, so we were looking forward to an afternoon sail yesterday.
Motored off the boat lift, picked up a vacant mooring to hoist the sail. Dropped the mooring and started to sail, a gust came along so I pulled on the tiller to straighten up.
Then all hell broke loose! Total distance sailed less than 50 yards!
The tiller was light in my hand, the boat was rounding up uncontrollably. I had to rush to the bow to fend off a moored boat, and looking back I saw the problem. The whole rudder was trailing behind us, attached only by the pull up rod and the line that normally secures the pull up rod. I dropped the sail which luckily came down without jamming. I then tried to get the rudder back on board, it's pretty heavy and I had to undo the line on the end of the pull up bar. That's when I found out how slippery the wet rudder is, it slid through my fingers and disappeared underwater. I was relieved to find that the HC rudder actually floats, although only about an inch of it was above the surface.

I got the Tohatsu 6hp started and was able to reverse up to the floating rudder and get a line onto it. I then motored back onto the boat lift, towing the rudder behind. Once on the lift I was able to recover the rudder and tidy up.
Both cheeks of the rudder stock were completely sheared off as in the picture.

I'm pretty sure that the rudder was hit hard by a passing boat and it wasn't any weakness in the casting.

I've been in touch with Gerry and Matt at Hutchins who were very helpful. Luckily they will be able to ship a replacement next week, so allowing for delivery  down to the Caribbean we should be sailing again in a couple of weeks.

Oh well! , now I have no excuse for not going down to the boat to do some cleaning and polishing!

Cheers, Derek

Offline Bilge Rat

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Re: Shortest sail ever!
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 01:15:45 PM »
I guess it's fortunate that it appears you have the fiberglass rudder and not the stock aluminum plate - which would likely be in Davey Jones locker!
'09 Sun Cat, '06 Catalina 16.5, '00 Lido 14, '84 Holder 14

Offline Aldebaran_III

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Re: Shortest sail ever!
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 03:58:27 PM »
I'm guessing that for it to float at all, it must be laid up over a foam core.
Very glad it did!

Offline ChuckD

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Re: Shortest sail ever!
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 10:56:06 PM »
Captain Derek,
I'd say you handled the emergencies with great aplomb!
You prevented a catastrophe, retrieved the stray component, and returned to safety - kudos!

Chuck

s/v Walt Grace (CP16)
Sequim, WA

Offline Aldebaran_III

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Re: Shortest sail ever!
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2017, 06:02:12 PM »
Well thanks,
but judging by the unintelligible, and rather loud, noises coming from the admiral (at least until the sail was down), she didn't see it quite the same way!!!
At least she's still keen to get back out there, and approved the requisition for a replacement part without a board of inquiry. Just joking, she's a lifelong sailor and really loves our HC.

Cheers,
Derek

Offline Jeff

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Re: Shortest sail ever!
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 07:16:18 PM »
Yikes. I sometimes wonder if the bottom bolt on the bracket might break free under strong pressure but I never considered the casing. With marina slips getting tighter, I'm not surprised 'hit and runs' are happening.

Offline Aldebaran_III

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Re: Shortest sail ever! New rudder assembly
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 11:42:04 AM »
I just received the replacement rudder stock casting and have been assembling it.
It needed a bit of filing here and there to remove casting flashes. I had trouble getting the blade to rotate far enough forward in the housing, but with a little more filing I think I have it now.
The only thing is, I can't remember how far forward the aluminum top part of the foiled rudder went in the rudder cheeks assembly. I have it so that the forward edge of the aluminum tongue above the rudder is just flush with the forward edge of the rudder cheeks assembly.

Anyone know if this is right? I guess it would be the same on foiled rudders on some of the other boats like the Suncat. Attached close-up shows how it lines up with the rudder fully down.