UPDATE: READ CAREFULLY IF YOU ARE THINKING OF DOING THIS MOD
I got around to making the mount for the cleat more permanent. I had some 12mm GRP board which I heated, bent and shaped to fit the angled rudder housing. I thought it better to mount the cleat further back as it was easier to drill the holes through the angled rudder housing ribs.
I had been happy with the way this was performing. It was tested in all sorts of conditions up to 20knots and was working well. I was using only the bungee locked through the cam to hold the rudder down. The steering felt more responsive than when locked from the pull down line and I appreciated the simplicity of locking/unlocking whilst remaining seated.
However a problem arose this week when we hit a shallow sandbank. We were negotiating a narrow channel at low tide under sail in 10knots of wind. I had furled the sail so we were moving slowly but failed to see how shallow it was. We came to a stop when the rudder dug in. It kicked up a bit and I released the bungee from the cleat but did not raise it fully. While turning the TI around with the paddle a gust of wind pushed us backwards into the sandbar. There was a cracking noise and the steering went a bit slack as the rudder again hit the sand bar but this time backwards.
I tried raising the rudder fully but couldn’t as the lines were slack.
I pushed off with the paddle and we proceeded under sail in about 4” of water using the paddle as a rudder. In deeper water again I was able to lower and lock the rudder and we returned OK.
Inspecting the rudder later I discovered this three way crack in the housing.
It seems to me that the damage was done when we hit the sandbar going backwards with the rudder down.
QUESTIONS FOR MATT AND HOBIE ENGINEERS (Not a good time I know)
1- Have you seen this type of crack before or could this crack have been caused by the cleat mod?
2- Why didn’t the rudder pin break before the housing was damaged? (Does it not work when going backwards?)
3-How is the updated rudder progressing?