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 Post subject: Anudder Rudder
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:15 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Beaumont, Texas
I had my first rudder pin failure while sailing on the river this past weekend. Winds were supposed to be about 16 with gusts over 20 and that felt about right. This was only my third sail in my AI but the boat was an '08 demo and I know it had been out on all day demos at least 4 times this year.

I thought a control line had broken at first but I was only maybe 200 yards away from the landing and the wind was with me so I knew I was in good shape and was just going to get some paddling exercise to get back.

I was surprised that I couldn't run downwind some and use the paddle for a rudder but the broken rudder was dangling in the river and turning the boat and it would point into the wind and I couldn't paddle it away from the wind. I furled the sail and actually found that I could control the boat best by paddling in reverse with the oar. I got to the landing area and quickly saw that I had experienced the failure of the rudder pin and I knew that I had a spare in the boat but I was heading home anyway so I just loaded up and fixed it easily when I got home. Had I known what had happened at the time, I could've jumped out of the AI and fixed it while on the other side of the river.

While working on the rudder at home, I noticed that I had quite a bit of slack in the portside control line. I could move the handle to port about 3/8" before the rudder started to move. I'm thinking that's too much slack and maybe the rudder got moved around more than it should have and that contributed to the failure of the pin. I had noticed that I had a slight weather helm problem but since the wind wasn't very strong consistently, I didn't think it necessary to reef the sail. Do you think the slack was a probable contributing factor and wasn't there a thread on how to adjust the control lines on the forum somewhere?

Also I noticed that the rudder had a bit of a bend in it about a third up from the bottom. I realized it was caused by the bungee tiedown that holds the rudder against the top of the kayak. I think I need to loosen my bungee when the AI's just sitting around.

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 5:17 pm
Posts: 203
Location: Ettalong Beach, Central Coast, Australia
Quote:
I think I need to loosen my bungee when the AI's just sitting around.


Yeah I only use it for traveling.

I developed a different technique for adjusting the rudder controls, and so far its worked very well for me. I adjusted each side according to how much turn I wanted out of the rudder, and did not worry about adjusting for straight ahead. I found it certainly results in tight lines. I am not clear about why rudder pins break, some folks seem to have had quite a few.

Geoff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:10 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Quote:
While working on the rudder at home, I noticed that I had quite a bit of slack in the portside control line. I could move the handle to port about 3/8" before the rudder started to move. I'm thinking that's too much slack and maybe the rudder got moved around more than it should have and that contributed to the failure of the pin. I had noticed that I had a slight weather helm problem but since the wind wasn't very strong consistently, I didn't think it necessary to reef the sail. Do you think the slack was a probable contributing factor and wasn't there a thread on how to adjust the control lines on the forum somewhere?


Hi Beel
i agree with your thoughts, i was out recently in my AI with strong winds and some short chop and i felt that my rudder pin was about to snap when under load, i felt the rudder control sort of slip which relates to the slack in the port/starboard control lines. My AI is about 6 months old and had about 20 outings so i guess the rudder control lines do need tightening occasionally.

I just tightened up the port line, untie the knot of that contol line then loosen the screw at the centre of the rudder wheel so that you can now pull on that line to tighten, carefull not to tighten too much, there needs to be a little slack in these lines at full turn, otherwise you wont be able to move the joystick back the other way.

Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Anudder Rudder
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2403
Location: Escondido
Beel wrote:
While working on the rudder at home, I noticed that I had quite a bit of slack in the portside control line. I could move the handle to port about 3/8" before the rudder started to move. I'm thinking that's too much slack and maybe the rudder got moved around more than it should have and that contributed to the failure of the pin. I had noticed that I had a slight weather helm problem but since the wind wasn't very strong consistently, I didn't think it necessary to reef the sail. Do you think the slack was a probable contributing factor
No, but the slack does limit your rudder throw and controlability. There should be no slack with the rudder down and centered. Using the "tiller", you should adjust both sides to have equal deflection in either direction.

Quote:
Also I noticed that the rudder had a bit of a bend in it about a third up from the bottom. I realized it was caused by the bungee tiedown that holds the rudder against the top of the kayak. I think I need to loosen my bungee when the AI's just sitting around. Bill

That's very common and caused by warping as it comes out from the mold, not the bungee. But you can ease the tension considerably by slipping only one side of the bungee loop over the rudder (the other slips underneath) like this:
Image
8)


Last edited by Roadrunner on Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:39 am
Posts: 863
Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Also I noticed that the rudder had a bit of a bend in it about a third up from the bottom. I realized it was caused by the bungee tiedown that holds the rudder against the top of the kayak. I think I need to loosen my bungee when the AI's just sitting around.

Thanks for that information Beel and Roadrunner....I am going out to the garage right now and relax the rudder strap...Pirate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2229
Location: Maui, Hawaii
When we assemble a new AI (have done about a doz. with friends), we check everything including the alignment of the rudder lines and adjust as needed. Then after the first good sail we need to tighten as the lines stretch and knots tighten. Then we're good for months.

2-4x a year we recheck everything including looking for leaks and tightening all hardware but we do get to sail year round. This way, the number of problems we find on the water is minimal.

Kayaking Bob


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2403
Location: Escondido
That's an excellent point. Regular inspections and a little preventive maintenance can yield huge dividends in performance and reliability. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:55 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:15 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Thanks for your reples and tips. I'm sure I'll get into a more routine pattern of inspecting and tweaking as I get to use my AI more. In the meantime, I better replace my spare rudder pin.

Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:18 am 
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Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:39 am
Posts: 863
Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Looking at my 'new' boat today, and inspecting the rudder pin for wear, I became acutely aware of the amount of lateral play that the rudder blade has which is caused by the loose fitting rudder pin in the brass insert where the rudder attaches to the hull. Can anyone tell me if that is normal and could it be a cause of the semi-regular pin failures with all that vibration that is possible whilst sailing?...Pirate :?:


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