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 Post subject: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 885
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
My bad - I got lazy and did not renew my aluminum rudder pins at the beginning of the season.
My castings are drilled out and I use the Bushings.
Back in May when I checked them, I saw some signs of wear at the level of the gudgeons, but figured they should last the season. Bad move.

So yesterday evening, during our weekly club races, with winds SW 9 k gusting 17 k, 26C or 79F, we got the perfect start in the first race.
Double trapped upwind, the only boat ahead of us was Josh's NACRA F18.
We were beating Tornados, and F18 Capricorn and an Inter 20!
Downwind, we picked our angles perfectly, and under spin, we flew, picking up speed in the gusts.
We held our position on the upwind again, and on the final downwind, we flew even faster, gybing for the run to the finish....when I felt the Port rudder go funny on me.
We finished 2nd overall, and probably 1st on handicap.

Afterwards, we saw that the pin sheared at the lower gudgeon, then the pin was 'free' of the lower, so the upper casting bent the top of the pin.
Even though I carry a spare pin on board, this was nothing we could fix on the water.
Safely back on shore, we replaced the pin, however, we could not get back out in time to compete in 2nd and 3rd races.....pity.

I know, I know, the guru's will advise me to go for SS pins.
However, I sail where there are reefs and rocks, and I'd rather shear a rudder pin than break a casting or have the transom of the boat torn out.

QUESTIONS - How often do you replace your pins?
- If you've broken a pin, what was the cause?
- For those who run with a spin, have you observed greater stress on the rudders?

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947 "In Theory..."
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:36 am 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 391
Location: Buffalo, NY
While I've heard about broken rudder pins, I've never done it myself. I've actually never replaced mine. I have a couple, and just go with the least-worn pins. I'm of a similar mindset with you, I think the rudder pin is the intended weak point/failure point in the system, to prevent damaging the transoms in a grounding, so I have kept with the aluminum pins, though I have a SS set.

I also don't lock down my rudders. I haven't been able to find the screws & springs for the old rudder system, it seems some of the dealers have stopped carrying them. Backyard boats doesn't even list them on their site anymore. However, I have the rudder return kit and the elastic keeps the rudders effectively locked down for me. They've never tried to pop up on me, and thus far I haven't hit anything, so my rudder pins haven't faced undue stress. I spent too much time & money on those EPO's to break one!

I suppose it also depends on how much you sail... up until this year, it was once a week for 10-12 weeks for me, plus one full week, so I suppose my rudder pins don't see the same amount of wear that yours likely do.

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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 885
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
I suspect the culprits were A poor maintenance and B overuse.
This last Saturday, we did a long distance race in very gusty and strong SW winds, 24 nautical mile round trip in 2 hrs 54 mins.

Three times, we took water up to the front cross bar while running under spin, and I could feel the port rudder load up.

Twice it 'popped' on me, so I ended up locking it in the 'up' position while running.
That may have been the signal that not all was well.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947 "In Theory..."
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:34 am 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 3084
Location: Jersey Shore
John Lunn wrote:

QUESTIONS - How often do you replace your pins?


Never. I use stainless - the right material for the job.

I don't know why anyone would use aluminum pins on a H18, especially if not sailing in breaking surf. If your rudder system is properly adjusted and functioning, the risk of breaking a casting or transom is extremely low.

sm


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 885
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Thanks Steve, time to switch....

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947 "In Theory..."
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:04 pm
Posts: 42
I sheered a pin on my old 14 the first weekend I had it. I didn't know much about catamarans at the time. I had taken my new to me 14 out a couple times with no incident in light winds. We had a moderate wind this day and when I got some speed with a heavier gust the next thing I know one of my rudders, casting and all, falls off the boat and is being dragged by the cross bar! Fortunately it was the 4th of July weekend and there were other boaters around, so I got a tow back in. Later I found out it was because one of tiller arms was bent and the rudders were not true at all (wider at the back than the front). So the increased speed was putting a lot of pressure on the rudder system. This was my wife's first ride on the boat. It took a while of incident free sailing before I got her back on. With my new T2 she really trusts it and is happy to trap out though. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:11 pm
Posts: 62
My local Hobie dealer sold me a set of pins made of some sort of fiberglass.... He said these were the new thing... haven't used them yet, as i just don't trust them. the aluminum ones at present have lasted so long, i would feel better replacing them with more aluminum. Maybe those "in the know" could slip a hint as to the type of aluminum, IE hardness, number code, Etc. I can get just about any material from local metal supplier.


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:18 am 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 3084
Location: Jersey Shore
Fiberglass rudder pins have been around for decades.

Any material other than stainless is at risk of shearing off unexpectedly leaving you in a very difficult and potentially dangerous situation. I would never use a fiberglass rudder pin on a H18. I would only very reluctantly use an aluminum pin and it had better be 6061-T6, 2024-T6, or 7075-T7351 alloy.

Stainless steel is what you want to use. They don't bend, they don't break.

sm


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:21 am
Posts: 261
Location: St. Helena, CA
For stainless I recommend solid pins. We had a problem this year at Wet N Wild where the 4 lower gudgeon screws sheared at the transom. This was most like the after result of a hollow stainless pin failing at the H18 North American at the Columbia River Gorge (A high wind event). Fortunately a fellow competitor had an extra one piece gudgeon that we were able to install. But still fixing a boat on the beach while others play is no fun!

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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:15 pm
Posts: 1143
Location: Oakland, CA
I heard the fiberglass rudder pins were intended for launching/landing through surf, so that if something went wrong and the rudders were down then the idea was that the pins would break before a rudder or transom did.

I've had aluminum pins bend and then bind in the gudgeons, but no solid stainless steel pin has given me grief.


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 885
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
I have cut and drilled the last pair of rudder pins from the old stock I had bought at Home Depot.
This morning, I asked the Hardware guy at Home Depot if he knew of the grade of Alum....and I showed him the 2nd rudder pin that sheared last night.

He shared with me that he knew about grading of metals (T6061 T4 etc), and said that the product they sell is 'junk'.
I shared with him that my calls to the supplier (asking about grading) had not been returned.
Like others on this Forum, he suggested a switch to s/steel.

Next stop is BoatWorks in Syracuse.... plus I need some other stuff too.

Nothing like the quality of genuine Hobie parts.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947 "In Theory..."
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:04 am
Posts: 215
Location: Bowie, MD
I can't figure out how to link to my specific post, but check out what can happen to you if you use fiberglass rudder pins (post 5): viewtopic.php?f=14&t=57135#p270875

Only stainless for me.

Unless you have unmaintained old style castings that won't kick up or you are launching through surf where you may end up going backwards down a wave, your rudders will kick up before you break anything.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:27 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Ocala, FL
Yea after my aluminum pins started bending from sailing with partially kicked up rudders in the shallows around Tampa I got a length of SS stock and cut a few sets of pins from it. They weigh more but still look brand new.

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'86 Hobie 18 DIY front tramp camping edition


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 2:21 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Italy
My advice is to keep using aluminum pins if you sail in a place with some surf and/or like (or have) to do hard beachings/landings. With stainless steel pins you wear the gudgeon screws much more.
And when they break they may be a pain to remove. Or even worse you may damage the aluminum plate in the transom.

I change the pins every 2/3 years or when I see that they start to bend


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 Post subject: Re: Broken rudder pin
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2003 7:14 pm
Posts: 455
Location: West MI
I am using a grade 70XX aluminum 3/8" diameter rod. They call it aircraft aluminum alloy. Tough and hard, 6' and I have enough rudder pins for several years. Purchased from On Line Metals.

The only casualty this year was a new main-sheet due to vandalism and a broken dead eye on the rear beam. But that was as old as the boat.

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