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 Post subject: Outboard need outting
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:36 am 
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I went sailing the other day. My wind forecast app rightly told me winds from 15 to 20 knots were expected and so I planned accordingly. Winds were light at first as I meandered along at 4-4.5 mph but true to forecast the winds built up till I was beginning to surf in the direction of my exiting the harbor into open LI Sound.

Then I lost all directional control - 2 miles from land I was careening now out into oblivion with no response from my rudder inputs and looking back found it planing on the water. I should mention at this point this rudder is my own fabrication NOT HOBIES. Its also the second time my fabricating has failed me but this was particularly perilous...

The waves were now building and the wind was due NW - EXACTLY the direction I needed to go. I put all my strength into paddling (no mirage ) as hard as I could and found to my dismay speeds ranging from 0 to 1.5 mph with 0.5 being the norm. I paddled into exhaustion then took a break only to find myself being blown back out the harbor. So I stayed at it and stayed at it and stayed at it and finally came to terms with the fact I was not able to make it back to the boat ramp. I would have to go where the wind blew me without venturing into the opens sound. That the sky was now blue-purple looking like lightening (but none forecasted) only added to my anxiety.

I texted my wife telling her I might not be home tonight as the craft was disabled and i was drifting and paddling to a far away beach miles from my car. The cool air temps made the idea dreadful. I didn't know exactly what could be needed to fix the rudder once on land so that was my worst case scenario. I had ideas about lashing it to the craft where the bolts sheared. As the waves built to 3 feet breaking over my port side my ideas of sailing in this water with a Jimmyrigged rudder became foolhardy at best. Disasterous is was more like it .

I scanned my upcoming but still distant landfall as I crept at a seemingly speedy 2.5mph. I took breaks often as I was dispirited and exhausted. I wanted firm land so bad now. I to my wife I was safe but possibly not coming home tonight. I eyed a park but it had a rocky shoreline, then a residential area with beachfront property. I saw sand and that was all it took.

I finally made landfall after getting port slapped continuously with the 3 footers and never felt better for it. I was startled to learn I had virtually no upper body strength to lift myself from the craft. It was a shaky grunting maneuver that caught the homeowners attention who'd seen my drama play out.

"I saw you struggling" was her first words - thankfully - it wasn't going to be a pissing ground contest. I was still below the high tide line ;).

Surveying the damage finally revealed my awful circumstances. My rudder broke free partially but acted as a hydro-brake by laying a flat ninety degrees to my travel. It fluttered and veered but ever remained as a monumental drag that sapped me dry.

I slowly put my salvation to work...

Ok I have money in my car, ill call a taxi - lo and behold the home owner (renter I came to learn) said it was fine for me to beach my craft over night.

Free at last.

Safety review: wisdom learned wasn't new but it was reaffirmed - even a shakedown test cruise can go horribly awry. Always carry exposure wear for that unplanned forced beaching that leaves you cold wet and alone till rescue - self or otherwise. I always have a space blanket, etc, but not this time. I was too too optimistic and careless as a result.

Lesson number 2: I am SO getting an outboard. This could have happened with me ten miles being the closest land - easily. Not only would have the outboard afforded me better speed it would have allowed far better steering and I could have power sailed. Paddling alone with sail up was miserable to liability prone. With sail lowered I moved just as awful. If you have no rudder control and its fluttering sailing his not an option. A motor would have had the needed muscle I so dearly wanted.

You have no idea how warm and inviting even the simple smells of home are when you realize you ain't gonna make it.

Pete


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:46 am 
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Pete, having been swept 7 miles out to sea after a rudder failure (retrieved by a fishing trawler), I can appreciate your predicament... Can you tell us more about the circumstances, were you in an AI or TI, and what mods had you made to the rudder? You might have read about the two independent alternative mods I have made, one to overcome broken rudder lines, and the other to overcome total loss of the rudder.

Swapping information in forums like this is a great way to improve all our knowledge.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:46 am 
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Location: High Point, NC
Having a Mirage Drive would likely be helpful as well.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:48 am 
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Ok, it's not an AI or a TI - its an II. I built it myself out of mahogany and fiberglass cloth saturated in epoxy. Its based loosely on plans that I modified.

I agree a Mirage would work better here as the akas or crossbeams do impede stroke somewhat and being that I have a tiller up one side and a leeboard down the other it'd be less hase indeed. I'm still bent now at this point on power assist for back up and the mother of all indestructible rudders. I will never ever go through this again. Enough is enough.

Seven miles out to sea would have blown my mind and with darkness setting in - yikes. Yeah Im getting a motor.

I'd post a pic if my beach landing from that night but I don't see how its possible.

Pete


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:53 am 
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tonystott wrote:
Pete, having been swept 7 miles out to sea after a rudder failure (retrieved by a fishing trawler), I can appreciate your predicament... Can you tell us more about the circumstances, were you in an AI or TI, and what mods had you made to the rudder? You might have read about the two independent alternative mods I have made, one to overcome broken rudder lines, and the other to overcome total loss of the rudder.

Swapping information in forums like this is a great way to improve all our knowledge.


Can you explain how to overcome total loss of a rudder? I've found the paddle doesn't cut it but others have had success. Your account is a little hair raising.

Pete


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:21 am 
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Here is the emergency rudder control line set up, 2 to 1 on port side, adjustable bungee cord tension on starboard, both go to cleat near the seat.
Image
Here is the emergency rudder, which fits in a rear scupper tube
Image
The glassfibre (ex painter pole) tube is split to act as a bearing in the scupper, to avoid wear. The collar above prevents the rudder from dropping down the scupper.
Image

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:27 am 
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Location: High Point, NC
When I saw your post inserted here in the Hobie Island thread I thought this all had something to do with an AI or TI. I suspect most others would as well, as this forum deals with those boats.

Glad you cleared it up (wish you had stated so clearly at the outset) and specified that your problems did not arise from nor were caused by any defect or problem with an actual Hobie product.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:16 am 
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Interesting story, Pete. Do you have a picture of your landing that night? A picture of your boat and gear? It could certainly happen to a Hobie product, although most Hobie AI/TI boats would have a mirage drive to handle propulsion with the paddle serving as the make-shift rudder.

Tony, did you report your experience--seems I vaguely remember something.

Keith

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"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: Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:32 am 
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I agree with Tom, posting this thread in the Hobie Islands - Adventures and Sailing is inappropriate since you are not sharing an experience from a Hobie Island which is what this category is for. Let alone you don't make it clear that your experience was from a craft other than a Hobie Island in the first place. The title of the thread should, in the least, be appropriately reworded to reflect this. :roll:

Sorry to hear of your rough experience. Guess there are many solutions to your preparation of rudder failure on a non Hobie craft. First being, to have a rudder system that has solutions to being fixed on the water, second, to get a Hobie Mirage Drive (In otherwords, get a Hobie), third, learn to use a paddle for a temporary rudder. Lastly as a LUXURY, I would consider the outboard power solution as another means of propulsion but definitely not necessary for most Hobie Island owners. 8)

As to the point of whether another means of propulsion or extra modification for loss of rudder are needed for a Hobie Island is a personal question of each owner in my opinion. All depends on that owners athletic conditions, knowledge of the waters they traverse and knowing their limitations. Each will have a different answer. :D

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Adventure Island- 2014
Revolution 13- 2013


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 Post subject: Outboard need outting
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:04 am 
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Oh it's entirely appropriate as it deals with rudder failure which both the AI and TI are from time to time subject to via blown rudder pins - usually from high speed. The craft are different but the predicament is the same . Had Hobie craft not ever had blown pin issues nor rudder failure problems than this would be a moot post. As it stands its solutions can be viewed as similar - a pin or a bolt I matters not - the simple fact is its a distressing potentially life threatening possibility. More over I wrote in upper case that it was not a HOBIE problem.

I'd like to think that this isn't going to devolve into my brand versus your brand when the situation can be equally terrible for both and with good things coming out of a discussion. At no time was this a slam against Hobie - a designer i admire - nor did I provide a link or brand name as I didn't want to distract.

Pete


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:18 am 
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Firstly Pete, nobody was making any brand comparisons, but let's face it, your rudder failure has nothing to do with Hobies any more than it does to 25 foot keelboats.... However, we here also have the advantage of Miragedrives, which could also change the circumstances quite considerably compared to your experience, further reducing the relevance of your post here.

BTW, Hobie rudder pins do NOT break due to high speed, and, as far as I am aware, I am the ONLY person who has reported failure of rudder lines here, so I further doubt the relevance of your post. Sorry if that offends you.

CR Yaker wrote:
SNIP
As to the point of whether another means of propulsion or extra modification for loss of rudder are needed for a Hobie Island is a personal question of each owner in my opinion. All depends on that owners athletic conditions, knowledge of the waters they traverse and knowing their limitations. Each will have a different answer. :D


I hear what you are saying. However, having actually experienced failure of internal rudder lines on my near-new (at the time) TI (which I suspect was an assembly fault, with a line passing the wrong side of a scupper perhaps), I guess I am a bit gun-shy... While I was able to sail about 4 miles on starboard tack using my paddle (from the front seat), steering was ineffective on port.

With more than 200 outings now under my belt in the last year, I now think that I probably could have got my act together on port tack by adjusting the sail area (as furling moves the centere of effort forward, which could change steering effectiveness), but I personally think that I would take my emergency rudder apparatus if venturing truly offshore, and I confess to be concerned when I read of people sailing their Islands 20 miles or more offshore relying totally on their standard rudder systems. I may be just a worry wart though...

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www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:23 am 
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Petewp61 wrote:
I should mention at this point this rudder is my own fabrication NOT HOBIES. Its also the second time my fabricating has failed me but this was particularly perilous...

Pete


Your first thread is not clear that your NOT on a Hobie Island. I would take it from what you wrote that you we're on a Hobie Island but had made your own rudder system. That is all. But really, you should change the title to reflect that you we're not on a Hobie Island to begin with. If you want to discuss the merits of the need for an Outboard on a Hobie Island, then start a different thread. :roll:

But glad to hear your safe to discuss this and share your experience. Is a lesson for all in preparing for the worse. :)


Tony, I hear you and have concerns about my plans for 20 mile Pacific Ocean excursions from shore on the AI in the near future. I have considered the possibility of an outboard as a luxury backup due to the strong ocean currents when exceeding 3 miles from shore in my location. But, having the experience of doing 50+ mile trips/thunderstorm in a single day on my Revolution 13, mirage pedals only. I feel quite confident in my ability to physically manage any emergency with the proper precautions.
Like, having an extra set of Mirage pedals stored on board. Along with all other normal safety gear and backup spare parts.
But the outboard would be a nice luxury that if I was to hook onto a dandy of a fish late into the evening and the ensuing battle would guarantee my exhaustion, also little wind for sailing which is quite normal late evenings/mornings in my parts. Would be nice to have an outboard backup for a comfortable physical free return trip to shore. I will post to this upon my future experiences. 8)

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Adventure Island- 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:24 pm 
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tonystott wrote:
Firstly Pete, nobody was making any brand comparisons, but let's face it, your rudder failure has nothing to do with Hobies any more than it does to 25 foot keelboats.... However, we here also have the advantage of Miragedrives, which could also change the circumstances quite considerably compared to your experience, further reducing the relevance of your post here.

BTW, Hobie rudder pins do NOT break due to high speed, and, as far as I am aware, I am the ONLY person who has reported failure of rudder lines here, so I further doubt the relevance of your post. Sorry if that offends you.

CR Yaker wrote:
SNIP
As to the point of whether another means of propulsion or extra modification for loss of rudder are needed for a Hobie Island is a personal question of each owner in my opinion. All depends on that owners athletic conditions, knowledge of the waters they traverse and knowing their limitations. Each will have a different answer. :D


I hear what you are saying. However, having actually experienced failure of internal rudder lines on my near-new (at the time) TI (which I suspect was an assembly fault, with a line passing the wrong side of a scupper perhaps), I guess I am a bit gun-shy... While I was able to sail about 4 miles on starboard tack using my paddle (from the front seat), steering was ineffective on port.

With more than 200 outings now under my belt in the last year, I now think that I probably could have got my act together on port tack by adjusting the sail area (as furling moves the centere of effort forward, which could change steering effectiveness), but I personally think that I would take my emergency rudder apparatus if venturing truly offshore, and I confess to be concerned when I read of people sailing their Islands 20 miles or more offshore relying totally on their standard rudder systems. I may be just a worry wart though...


Actually yes they do break from prolonged high speeds and the often rough wave action that goes with those conditions. A number of people have dealt with the failed rudder pin in their own way. Some have chosen stainless steel rudder pins over the stock part. Trouble here though is the stock part was designed to fail for a reason - a structural fuse - in the event of severe overload. Sacrifice the pin and save the assembly. So alas quite a few hard sailors forgo the stainless steel as it starts a stress spiral that could land one in a more structurally serious set if circumstances than the cheap pin replacement .

Its a little alarming you aren't aware of the pin failure but more over why it was designed to fail to begin with. You ve taken to waging relevance arguments slighted in posturing but what Id highly recommend you do is familiarize yourself with the reasons Hobie designed it as he has. My own rudder has a light dowell as a structural fuse so in the event of a grounding unforeseen the fuse snaps rather than the entire assembly ripping off from my stern. You seek to defend a deficiency engineered into the design of the assembly for preservation sake - that is a little humorous.

At anyrate Im tossed between building Woods Quattro 16 over the winter or saving my time and buying a Tandem - either way both will have structural fuses.

Pete


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:05 pm 
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I carry spare pins. While the great majority of pins break on groundings, they can also break with rough waves, which may or may not be "due to prolonged high speed". As you state, Hobie fits plastic rudder pins as failsafe options in preference to hull damage , so replacing this sacrificial plastic pin with an unbreakable alternative is potentially dangerous to the hull.

I am sure we have all appreciated your expert opinions, however, I question your comprehension of the language with your comment
Quote:
You seek to defend a deficiency engineered into the design of the assembly for preservation sake - that is a little humorous.
and
Its a little alarming you aren't aware of the pin failure but more over why it was designed to fail to begin with

Your last comment is based entirely on a figment of your imagination, as neither I nor anyone else in this thread mentioned anything about replacing the rudder pin with something stronger. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:13 pm 
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Tony, the people who use stainless steel pins are not part of this thread they were however mentioned to address a problem you claimed was non existent. As far as saying wave action not speed that sheers the pins well that's you being silly of course. Where there is high wind there is significant wave action unless you really want to go into the narrow exceptions where flat water isn't yet steepened by a fresh breeze.

At anyrate your posts have become curiously negative with a little too much semantic posturing that separates cause from effect in the thin hope it can provide a perch for your nonsensical claims.

You could grow up you know.

Pete


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