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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Out today in our rudder upgraded early TI with friends in their new 2012 TI we both experienced a problem that had never arisen with the old twist-n-stow rudder.
We spent the afternoon showing our friends some of our favourite beaches.
This beach, typical of most on this waterway presented no problems
Image

...but stopping at this beach, the last we visited, resulted in us both losing rudder control:
Image
After pushing off from this beach we both had trouble lowering the rudder and were unable to lock it vertically in place. Turning became impossible. Our friends rudder eventually loosened up after cycling the up/down but ours remained tight. I couldn't raise or lower it, both the up/down lines wouldn't move and the tiller was very tight. I thought the rudder lines had snagged an object inside the hull.
Back at the ramp we found the problem -sand in the rudder housing.
Cycling the rudder up/down by hand a few times cleared it and all was well.
It seems the steep beach angle and wave action was the culprit.
Lesson learned- cycle rudder up down by hand to check rudder operating smoothly before pushing off from a steep beach. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:55 am 
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Wow, great info. That would probably be a problem on our upcoming week-long trip. We'll watch for it.

If any others have had this problem, I would like to hear about it and any solutions or resolutions.

Keith

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Location: Delaware Coast
Sorry if this sounds silly, but pulling the boat up backwards in these conditions immediately popped into my mind.

I've been comtemplating using a stake out pole through a scupper hole to hold my TI just off the beach to spare my back the strain of dragging to boat up onto the beach. However, I just don't think I can push a pole in deep enough to hold against the often rough water around here. Maybe the perfect solution for me would be a stake out pole with a built in slide hammer for insertion/removal :D


Edit: After thinking about my comments, and the fact that I always have to turn the boat back towards the water when unbeaching anyway, I think I will just start beaching in reverse so I never have to deal with this problem. (That is until someone starts selling my slide hammer stake out pole hehe).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Reversing the landing so that the stern is higher is one solution, but not for me in general. On our camping trips--which is mostly what I do--I deliberately put water-impervious items in the stern. That way, when you land bow first, the water you inevitably take on, will drain to the stern and not damage anything. Larger items and things I want to keep dry, go in the bow--high on the beach.

This complication for the new rudder is something I will have to consider.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:50 pm 
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I take it that you pushed the boats backwards and sand was forced up into the housing or wave action caused sand to collect in the housing while you were beached?

Same happens in centerboard wells (catamarans, monohulls... all boats). Certain sized pebbles will wedge up in a well and jam a centerboard. There is really no way to prevent it as beaches and sizes of sand grains, shells or pebbles vary greatly. You just have to be aware and clear the rudder and or centerboard as you get back into the water.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:05 pm 
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On our upcoming 7-day camping trip--http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=165--we have 2 boats with the new rudder, and we will have ample opportunity to test them on a variety of beaches. It is nice to be aware of the potential complication.

I have plenty of experience with a variety of sea kayak rudders and skegs. Some of the rudders were similar in structure to the new AI rudder. Only the skegs ever had problems with sand jamming.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:58 am 
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Location: Virginia Beach, VA
I have used the new rudder a since last March on various occasions and never had it completely lock. I do agree that sometimes it acts stubborn. The particular type and size of sand might be the difference. Chesapeake has very fine sand.

I have had the rudder get stuck in the up position. This was because I had gear stuffed under the deck and the rudder lines got caught in the area of the steering arm. Now I try to keep the gear down on the port side...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:06 am 
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DogsLife wrote:
I have had the rudder get stuck in the up position. This was because I had gear stuffed under the deck and the rudder lines got caught in the area of the steering arm. Now I try to keep the gear down on the port side...


when i installed the new sailing rudder i ran the lines though a 2.5~3 foot piece of pvc pipe, glad to know that the extra effort might have been worthwhile

j

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also a more manageable 100 square foot spinny...
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
mmiller wrote:
I take it that you pushed the boats backwards and sand was forced up into the housing or wave action caused sand to collect in the housing while you were beached?

It was the wave action that deposited the sand as this beach is steep and gets deep quickly. The TI's were only beached for about for about 1/2 an hour but the rudders were copping all the wave action. To make matters worse the tide was coming in as well and we had to keep dragging them up the beach a bit. We have stopped many times before here and not had a problem with the earlier rudder, which is why I suspected a fouled rudder line. It was only when we got back to the ramp and our friends who had left a bit earlier than us reported the same issues that I realised it wasn't the rudder lines.

mmiller wrote:
There is really no way to prevent it as beaches and sizes of sand grains, shells or pebbles vary greatly. You just have to be aware and clear the rudder and or centerboard as you get back into the water.


Agreed.
Now that I know what caused it, it's no big deal to cycle the rudder up down by hand just before leaving. The design of the new rudder with tight tolerances and drum cheeks lower and on both sides of the blade means sand can easily get in, but it is also easy to clear.
It's a small price to pay for the huge improvement in rudder control with the upgraded rudder. 8)

Herbaldew wrote:
Sorry if this sounds silly, but pulling the boat up backwards in these conditions immediately popped into my mind.

Not silly at all.
Its something to consider if there's a chance of waves hitting the rudder. It is much harder dragging the TI backwards though, due to the position of the rear handle. Might be better to drag forwards and then turn it around so the bow cops the waves. With the fix being as simple as splashing the rudder while cycling it up/down I think I’d rather save my back. :wink:

PS:
Hope you have another great trip Keith. Looking forward to the trip report! :)


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