Discussions (1290)

Another rudder lost

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pjbharrison says:

Went to Skerries today for crane out.
Found rudder was missing from shaft. See pics
Tiller was tied in central position so rudder was not free to move and I guess the stresses put on it by the high NE seas this week were just too much.
As you can see in the photo the ss tube seems to have sheared inside the rudder. I'll post better photos tomorrow
7:57AM, 29 September 2012 PDT (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Oh dear! No doubt that will be a bugger to fix? Have to say I am surprised that it failed (it must be a bit worrying!) - good job you were not at sea when it happened.
83 months ago (permalink)

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Laskinner says:

What depth was she in? I would be happy to help out if you're looking for divers...
83 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

I could have used engine for a degree of steerage. John, but yes I'm glad it didn't happen at sea. It'll be a new winter project for me!

It's in about 6m, Leonard. Thanks for the offer but I'll have a look tomorrow myself. I have the gear and hopefully visibility will be OK. I'll tie a line to the mooring and make some sweeps until I find it. I just hope the high seas haven't moved it too far. Anyone know if rudders float or are negatively buoyant?
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
pjbharrison edited this topic 83 months ago.

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pjbharrison says:

I wonder would it be better to tie off tiller with shock cord so that there is a bit of "give" in the rudder and reduce stresses?

Maybe it's just age related as Doctor tells me!
83 months ago (permalink)

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blueachilles says:

Much sympathy PJB.

And a few questions: What do you think happened to the skeg, because it looks as though that gave way quite spectacularly?

How can we check that its not going to happen to us? What should we be looking out for? I have noticed that Blue's rudder has an audible creak.

How do you get a rudder off? Should we disturb it? How many boats has this happened to now?

We now tie off the rudder with shock cord on one side, but rope on the other, but I think it may be shock cord on both sides now.

Rod
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
blueachilles edited this topic 83 months ago.

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pjbharrison says:

Hopefully I will recover the rudder and be able to give an exact answer.
The wood core is solid in the skeg and not soft or spongy. I suspect the shaft broke at the first finger of the F as there seems to be a weld at the break. I suspect that as the rudder was then unsupported at the top stressing the bottom bracket which then broke.
Worryingly, for you, I did notice a slight squeak from the tiller during last Sunday's race when the boat was being sailed hard. It may be the first sign of a problem.
83 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

I dismantled Merlin s as it appeared, worn.
There is a Nylon spigot and a nylon bush.
I turned a new spigot and bush , from brass ,,
refited with epoxy ,
After Chilles stock failed I used cycle inner tube as a buffer , and now on Carrie too;; Shock cord is not strong enough.
83 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Bad luck Paul.
Look at the following link on the main site which gives the links to discussions of the other 3 failiures I know of - very worrying. www.achillesyachts.co.uk/page10.html
All seem to have failed at the top weld between the rudder tube and the first tang. Probably due to fatigue on a weakened weld due to crevice corrosion of the stainless steel. Once the failiure occurs if not spotted quickly then the likely outcome is for the tube to break the top of the rudder which would mean that the rudder would only be held by its attachment to the skeg at the bottom which would likely twist off very quickly and the rudder lost. If it hasn't happened to you yet maybe time to replace/rebuild the rudder. I am not aware of any detection method that could find out whether this is likely to happen - anyone know any different? Xray???
Opportunity for someone to come up with and manufacture replacement rudders!!!!!
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
NormanKlipspringer (a group admin) edited this topic 83 months ago.

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Red Marlin says:

My "Achilles of Abersoch" No 110 was No 4 to lose its rudder. This was in the 80's so the boat was only about 12 years old. From the photographs it looked the same. Never thought about the pintle being the cause but it makes sense. I was lucky as Chris was still in business and had the rudder mould so had the boat transported to him and he fixed it.
Anybody know of the whereabouts of 110 now ? I sold it at Kip marina in 1990 when I bought Red Marlin.
83 months ago (permalink)

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Andrew Curry says:

This is all very,very worrying.
83 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

Blue tie off your tiller about half way down...
Grab your rudder and push hard ,,
If it breaks renew it ,, !
Where is Blue ?,,, I need to see you when your here.. !
83 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

he's probably rushed off to check his rudder...
Seriously though when you consider that the metal fittings on these boats are around 40 years old and failures are to be expected. Another concern will be the alloy deck fittings, these like alloy wheels tend to degrade over time, (think about those rudder stocks that have needed replacing) I Imagine that Chris was not really expecting the boats to be around in such numbers 40 years after leaving his factory, nor am I sure it was a major concern. Maybe now is the time for us to be giving consideration to sourcing items liable to failure getting some drawings together so that perhaps a friendly engineering company can fabricate a standard fitting replacement for members / owners.
83 months ago (permalink)

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blueachilles says:

Hi, just back from a weekend getting Blue out for the winter.

She's at Ponsharden again.

Looking back through the stuff that has gone before on the topic of rudders, I am reminded that Blue has already gone through this; the owner before last had the rudder shaft turning within the rudder, but fortunately without actually losing the rudder itself. Nevertheless we will give it a good check over before winter really sets in.


Here is what the owner before last said:-

"The rudder stock is a stainless steel tube with lugs welded on inside the rudder. The welds failed so the rudder could rotate on the stock, not badly but clearly not a good scenario. I took off the rudder, cut it open around the lugs and got them welded up by an engineer. Then I filled and made good with WEST epoxy and microfibre. It was probably as good as new afterwards.

The skeg issue was more difficult to resolve. It is a separate moulding and originally was sealed on the hull with filler, not a structural joint. The strength came from a galvanised steel box section running from just below deck level to the bottom of the skeg. I think the idea is that the skeg, which is quite thin, could be broken off without compromising the watertight integrity of the hull. Well the problem was that it leaked into the skeg around that join and also at the bottom I think, and there were rust stains so it was clearly rusting the box section. After a lot of thought ( and possibly advice from Chris Butler the builder who I used to phone up about technical stuff like that) I did the following: inserted a smaller section box section inside the existing one and poured WEST in so it was strengthened and sealed from water getting inside the box section. Then I did a proper job of glassing the skeg onto the hull. I’m sure its fine but you might want to keep an eye on it."
83 months ago (permalink)

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blueachilles says:

Ron,

Give me a call, we're not sure yet when we'll be down next.
83 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Static testing as suggested by Ron, will not be conclusive if the failiure is due to fatigue, when the continual cycling of the component causes the problem. Remember the Comet - testing statically before its last flight would probably have produced an OK result, but the aircaft would still have crashed. In aircraft when components are subject to cycling stress a fatigue life is calculated and a safety factor applied and the component replaced under maintenance before it gets to fail. Maybe we have reached that point with the rudders. The evidence is stacking up.
I wonder if a preventive repair might be possible along the lines of inserting a stainless steel bar into the hollow rudder post right to the bottom. Possibly encasing the bar in epoxy as it is inserted. then to lock the bar in position, drill holes in the front of the rudder through tube and bar and insert stainless pins also encased in epoxy. Also pins couild be similarly inserted in the top exposed section of the tube to lock all sections together. I believe that this should be possible on the rudder tubes with circular tops since the tube simply has a solid bar inserted into the top few inches, but on the tubes with square ends I am not sure how the square section is fastened to the tube. If welded then this would present a problem. Any thoughts???
83 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Didn't get to Skerries today as weather too bad so no updates yet.
Been pondering rebuild.

Thinking of using solid bar, if available, and using 150mm long, 25mm wide, 4/6mm thick tangs instead of round prongs to form F profile of rudder. This would give a greater welding area and spread the load. I may run the bar the length of the rudder and bore a 10mm hole 50mm deep into the bottom to attach the new pintle. Does this make sense? Any thoughts

For the blade I'm thinking of using 2 12mm thick Marine grade plywood sheets and West system epoxy. Any advice on what type of fibreglass to cover it with? Peel ply? Chopped strand may may be difficult to fair.

Legs on new pintle may be longer so as to spread stresses on skeg.
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
pjbharrison edited this topic 83 months ago.

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rothwell_neil says:

Paul

I would go bar as the weight will not be that bad and will then last a further 60 years. Having said that a thick walled tube should last 30 years like the originals but you will still need bar to make the top fitting.

If you went bar you could always have slots machined to insert tangs in for the rudder, weld these in place and you have a very strong arrangement. Avoid putting top tang too close to joint at hull to avoid stress raiser.

The area you need to cover is not great so use cloth rather than chopped strand and use an old credit card to work the cloth and to get a good surface finish just filling the grain in the cloth. Then knock back with wet wet and dry and apply top coat using credit card (use wife's current card and save money at the same time). Can use same resin for top coat and you can get a high gloss finish ready for painting. At which point then knock it back again to help paint stick, need a tie coat paint like primocon or Hempel underwater primer. I have used west and also reactive resins, both are easy to use, reactive worked nicely, cost less and I think they offer a discount to Achilles owners.
83 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Thanks for that, Neil.
I think original on mine was tube all the way with a hole in the side wall at top for a locating bolt through bracket. I'll collect remains on Wednesday and check.
I can get 316 stainless locally no problem in metric, 25mm, or imperial, 1".

Bar €150 Tube 1.5mm wall €37.50

I'll need to check wall thickness on original before deciding.
The minimum lengths are 4m so I should have enough to make two.
The first Achilles 24 with twin rudders! Wonder what Chris would think?
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
pjbharrison edited this topic 83 months ago.

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Skykomish E29 says:

you could always sell the second as I am sure that your's won't be the last rudder to drop off, you could then recoup the cost of the whole project.
83 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

Paul

I have used these guys and they will ship to you in Ireland, 1M £42. Plus £18 P&P

www.metals4u.co.uk/Stainless-Steel-Round-Bar/25mm-Diamete...

Guess the point is that tube should last for 20 years and how long will you keep HD?
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
rothwell_neil edited this topic 83 months ago.

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Red Marlin says:

Can I mention again my rudder fell off when the boat was 12 years old so it is not just a problem of age. Fell off in Hoo marina while I was at home.
83 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

Bar then!
83 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

Like your idea of machining out slots for the tangs to weld to makes a lot of sense Neil.
83 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Thanks for the link, Neil.

2m 25mm 316 stainless £84.89
P&P £48.00
Postage & packing : Standard VAT @ 20%: £9.60
Standard VAT @ 20%: £16.98

Total: £159.47 approx €200


Sheet of 12mm Marine ply €48
Local joiners will taper to shape on machine.
Local stainless steel works will weld
83 months ago (permalink)

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Laskinner says:

Sounds like a plan, although for my money I would say that solid stainless bar is a bit on the extreme side, I would go with 19mm x 25mm (25mm outside diameter with a 3mm wall), should be about half the weight and half the price. What thickness was the original tube wall?
Also, make sure that the welder knows it's 316 stainless, it's important they use a matching rod.
83 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

I would be happy with 3mm wall tube, the point is that tubes have been known to fail in 10 years so need to be thicker than the original or just postponing the problem to the next owner or next decade. Obviously where it lives also makes a difference as rarely see much banging of the tiller in a marina.

www.mkmetals.co.uk/product/4865/1 similar price to bar!

This is an option, 304 but should be OK and 6mm thick

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TUBING-25MM-OD-12MM-ID-6mm-thick-304-S...

Also 3mm here but no prices

www.metalsupplies.com/stainless-steel-tube.html
83 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

25mm is not 1 inch be aware.... MM was not invented in 1973
83 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Thanks Ron.
0.4 mm in the difference. Local supplier has 1" tube in stock. May have to order in bar or thicker walled tube but will only take a few days extra. Turns out owner of local stainless supplier has yacht in Malahide marina so is sympathetic!
83 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Conditions too rough in Skerries today to dive and look for rudder. Took remains off boat. Tube all the way, no bar at top. There are more photos in my photostream.

Tube is 1" diameter and slightly less than 1.5mm thick walls. 1/20th inch?
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
pjbharrison edited this topic 83 months ago.

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pjbharrison says:

Called to stainless supplier. Original tube is 1" with 1.2mm approx walls. New tube has 1.5mm walls and looks considerably thicker. 6m tube is €35 (£28.08)
I'll keep looking to see if I can get 3 or 6mm walled tubing locally.
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
pjbharrison edited this topic 83 months ago.

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

From the pictures and the pictures of the others it looks to me like a classic fatigue fracture. Very little distortion and a crack permeating from a stress concentration point ( i.e. the weld.). I think we should all be worried. I intend to do something to mine when she comes out of the water in the spring - if she lasts till then. If I don't I will not have confidence in the boat.
83 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

When boat is out of the water get someone to brace rudder and really swing out of the tiller. See if it breaks?
83 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

i said that !!!
83 months ago (permalink)

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Andrew Curry says:

Just an idea. How about cutting away the fibreglass around the area where the top tang is welded. That way you could inspect the shaft and the weld.
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
Andrew Curry edited this topic 83 months ago.

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Slycat777 says:

Anyone got a good backup rudder system for an Achilles? Was curious how easily an emergency system could be carried as a 'get home' option.
83 months ago (permalink)

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Andrew Curry says:

Your get home system would be to motor and steer with the outboard or else lash an oar to the pushpit and steer with that.
83 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

have you tried weight shift it is easy and the Achilles responds well we used to use this to make course variations. Discovered how responsive the achilles was to weight shift when Linda used to pound up and down the deck getting the fenders in I was amazed at how much I would have to correct course as she moved from one side of the boat to another. Obviously no good for tight emergency turns but those who have an o/b in the well can use that instead. HAHA Andrew two minds with the same thought
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
Skykomish E29 edited this topic 83 months ago.

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Weight shift, sail balance, sea anchor, outboard, oar etc
83 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Just because it doen't break under static load is no real test for future fatigue failure. Xrays or ultrasound is what industry use to detect the presence of small cracks which might permeate to failure. Planned replacement is what the aircraft industry uses and is what I am going to do.
83 months ago (permalink)

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Andrew Curry says:

As Malcolm suggested maybe now is the time that as a group drawings should be put together for rudders, tiller heads etc. It would be great if someone was willing to make these items to order as for most owners making them will be almost impossible.
83 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

It could be that somebody could fabricate the metal components for assembly that way they could be posted out as a kit for the member to get welded keeping carriage costs down. Something like a complete rudder would be prohibitively expensive to post (let alone get through the letterbox). Any engineers willing to volunteer to make up some detailed drawings?
83 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

It is easy to test without having Xrays or ultrasound. Industry would use dye penetrant to look for any cracks or defects rather than Xray or Ultrasound. This is relatively cheap as one can of dye and developer would do about 100 A24 shafts. Clean with acetone/Trike, spray on dye, it has low surface tension and goes into all cracks, wipe off, spray on talc type developer, dye pulled back out of crack. If you did this and nothing showed there is nothing on the shaft to worry about. Unlikely to start on inside of tube.

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Can-Weldspares-NDT-Dye-Penetrant-Crack...

Developer is a white chalk spray, think that white base coat aerosol would work. Will look in my garage, should be a few cans in there if anyone wants to have a go.
83 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

That would require removing the shaft from the rudder...........
83 months ago (permalink)

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sailing bye1 says:

I would be prepared to produce a drawing with pen and paper but would need someone to produce the measurements as i have a 9m.
My background is electrical building services design, still work from home on a part time basis so have access to a drawing board etc.
83 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

Haven't a few failed at the exit from the hull and not always in the body of the rudder at the tang?
83 months ago (permalink)

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jendave1 says:

I can offer CAD drawings, sort of what I do! Again would need dimensions, sketches etc to work from...
83 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Are all A24 rudders identical? Were there changes over the years?

Norman, would it be an idea to start a new topic where owners can post their rudder dimensions and sail numbers for comparison?
83 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Paul,
Probably best to do it on this discussion so we don't get lost. I can then extract any information and produce a comparison chart. Songeur looks different to later boats. The shaft appears not to go right down to the base. Look at www.flickr.com/photos/52651202@N03/5155238303/in/photostr....
I think that a redesign is needed. I would suggest that a solid bar is used and that instead of burying the tangs inside the rudder that straps (3) are welded around the bar and bolted through the complete rudder - rather like a more traditional gudgeon. This has the advantage that all the metal structure is outside the rudder making for easier maintenance and/or replacement. The rudder blade itself could be a piece of marine ply or hardwood encased in epoxy.
Yes Neil, I agree that industry would use dye to test for cracks, but only if the access to the part is easy. If you have to dismantle the rudder to crack test you might as well build a new one.
Just noticed that malcolm has started a new topic for dimensions so go with that. www.flickr.com/groups/achilles24/discuss/72157631696260493/
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
NormanKlipspringer (a group admin) edited this topic 83 months ago.

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pjbharrison says:

Good idea with the straps, Norman.
The gap between my old rudder and the skeg were quite narrow so I'm not sure how thick a strap could be used. It would probably need to be quite thin to allow for bending around shaft and also so as not to cause drag. Would 1.5 or 2mm be sufficient?

I'll need to rebuild my skeg and bottom bracket before measuring for new rudder. I hope to start that over the weekend if the weather conditions are suitable and the skeg remains have dried out..
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
pjbharrison edited this topic 83 months ago.

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pjbharrison says:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOAX4hHxUR4

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk5koQmEIrY&feature=related
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
pjbharrison edited this topic 83 months ago.

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pjbharrison says:

Found pintle but couldn't find rudder.
Pintle is fine so it seems loss was caused by shaft breaking at weld point with tang inside rudder. As the top of the rudder was then unsupported the pintle was levered off the skeg
83 months ago (permalink)

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Andrew Curry says:

My thinking on this and i may be totally wrong is that the pintle failed first leading to the shaft breaking. If the shaft broke at the weld which from the pictures is about 20 cms inside the rudder and the pintle was still in place would the rudder have not just moved from side to side spinning on the shaft?
83 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

This is exactly what happened on Archimedes where the rudder was not lost, but the shaft failure looks identical to that on Paul's boat. I still think that the first failure is at the first weld.
83 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

I agree andrew...
83 months ago (permalink)

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blueachilles says:

I guess that if the tiller is tied in place, as many of us do when we leave the boat, you've then got waves, tide etc pushing against the rudder, and creating a twisting, jarring force on the shaft.

This will make it give either where the tangs are welded to the shaft inside the rudder, or on the shaft itself at a weak spot.

From now on Blue's tiller will be held by shock cord only.....
83 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

Andrew's explanation makes sense as if the pintle broke off there will be nothing supporting the rudder and the sideways forces of the rudder swinging would have put a lot of pressure on the weakest point, in this case the welded joint.
Either way it still does not resolve the problem that several have now failed and this is something that needs to be addressed, at least in the form of construction of a suitable replacement so that if / when it happens to a member's boat it is something that can be replaced. I think that we can safely say that loss of the rudder on an Achilles is not going to be cause for a call to "International Rescue" if out sailing as long as suitable alternative "get you home" measures are in place, which have already been discussed.
It seems to me that we need to look at two areas here
1) Reinforcement of the skeg/ rudder attachment point
2 ) The construction of a more rugged rudder design that will negate the failure at weld points ( bear in mind it has taken 30-40 years for most of these to fail and where will we be let alone our boats in 40 years time)
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
Skykomish E29 edited this topic 83 months ago.

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Skykomish E29 says:

Blue, this issue of tying off the tiller is one I am constantly pondering. Skykomish is in a mud berth and at low water sinks down to nearly her water line into the mud. I worry that if the rudder is not perfectly in line with the keel, when she sinks into the mud a lot of weight is placed on the rudder blade.
However I have noticed thatif there is even the slightest play in the line I have used to tie off the tiller tremendous sideways forces are applied forcing the rudder to one side and straining the fittings... It is a difficult quandary..
I can see your point though if on a floating mooring the constant motion of the water against the rudder could weaken it, but surely the rudder is designed to put up with a ot more force than this when sailing.
My theory is that the fittings are more likely to be weakened from impact damage to the skeg /rudder from grounding or hitting underwater objects.
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
Skykomish E29 edited this topic 83 months ago.

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Andrew Curry says:

It an ideal world it would be great if someone could produce rudders to order. As for most building one properly would be very hard. For any members that have their boats out of the water i would suggest you cut away the area of fibreglass around were the top tang is welded and inspect the weld this would be simple to do and should not take too long to do.
83 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Fatigue failure is caused not by impact but by repeated relatively small forces over a long period. This is exactly what we have here. before the 1960s and the Comet airline crashes deisgners did not know much if anything about fatigue. They designed for static loads and applied safety factors. Fatigue introduced a whole new aspect to designing components and vibration analysis became a huge subject. I was in at the early days with my time at Rolls Royce Aero Engines in the late 19602 early 70s.
Fatigue failure starts at weak points i.e. holes, welds, flaws etc. A crack will start slowly and over time will propagate until failure. If spotted early (dye, xray, ultrasound) the crack can often be stopped by welding, drilling a hole, strengthening. This is why you see parts of the failure that look as if they have been there for some time - because they have.
It may well be that we are getting two points of failure, the first weld and the pintle. The pintle failure is probably the GRP failing (poosibly from impact) and if happens first is likely to result in rudder loss. It would suggest that there are many boats out there with fatigue cracks in the first weld joint waiting for either the pintle to fail in which case the rudder will be lost or for the tube to fail first in which case the rudder is likely to be retained. Very worrying!!!
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
NormanKlipspringer (a group admin) edited this topic 83 months ago.

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

If you are going to cut the rudder then for peace of mind you might as well replace the tube and tangs.
Replacement rudders to order are unlikely to be cheap.
Originally posted 83 months ago. (permalink)
NormanKlipspringer (a group admin) edited this topic 38 months ago.

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Super Snoopy 050 says:

Crikey! with all this gloom and doom, I think I'll trade in my Achilles and buy a nice safe modern boat - McGreggor perhaps?
83 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

HaHa McGreggor???? Well there are a couple of owners regretting their purchase of these at our Marina. Whereas they appear to represent good value for money when you consider what you get, from the guys I have spoken too, they have had no end of expense with equipment failure, one guy has a crack in one of his front windows and is having problems with a replacement.. plus of course there is the issue of fuel costs.. a 50h.p. O/B/ literally guzzles the gogo juice!

I agree that this is a worrying topic but most boats the age of the Achilles are going to have problems. But not many modern boats will last 40 years from the reduction in build quality brought about by cost cutting measures builders are having to introduce.

How many modern boats have lost their keels?
83 months ago (permalink)

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matthewA750 says:

Gremlin (ex Ymdrech) comes out of the water tomorrow. First job (of many) is the remove the rudder and replace the shaft. Currently the rudder is misaligned to the tiller. If anyone has or is considering fabricating of parts, let me know as I'll be in the market for tube, tangs etc. As soon as I'm able (hospital treatment at present) I'll post what I find as I dismantle the rudder - pics if I can work out how! The idea of a solid shaft with straps welded round seems best.
Matthew
83 months ago (permalink)

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Super Snoopy 050 says:

Seriously though, I guess the same issues will show on the larger Achilles. Norman spotted a hairline crack on Super Snoopy's rudder stock when he visited in the summer. At 30+ years, there will be increasing issues of this sort. It's a good thing that we have knowledgable chums on the group, so that we can take wise counsel as to their rectification.
83 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

Paul

If you get this fabricated in a local shop you may ask them what the price would be if he made 10 at the same time, got a feeling he may sell at least 10!

I have always tied off my rudder and on the Hustler have to otherwise the tiller will get a bashing . Think I will be going with an old bike inner tube like Ron uses from now on, even though no shaft on the Hustler it has to be kinder to the pintles.
83 months ago (permalink)

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matthewA750 says:

Have now removed Gremlin's rudder. The stock is a (very) thin walled tube - sound as if it's the same as the others. No damage so far - but I don't want to risk a breakage at sea.... The plate that supports the pintle is also very worn. I'm thinking of fitting a 316 stainless 1"od x 3/16 wall thickness tube - which I think I can get - to give a better thickness in case of iffy welds etc. Weld on new tangs. The pintle will then need to be smaller (about 1/2") to go up into the new tube. Or ? don't fit a pintle, fit a flat plate with a 1 1/2" hole and a nylon bush so that a longer tube would go through the bottom plate and bush, rather than having a pintle at all.
What does the team think? Would a 1/2 ' pintle be adequate, or would the modification be better? Any alternative stainless suppliers? Why is nothing ever simple!?
Matthew
81 months ago (permalink)

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matthewA750 says:

Having thought further - maybe shorten the shaft a bit and weld on a few inches of the existing tube to form the recess for the pintle.
Matthew
81 months ago (permalink)

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Andrew Curry says:

Would you have any picture's of the stripped down rudder?
81 months ago (permalink)

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matthewA750 says:

Cutting it open in the next 2 days
Will post photos (if I can work out how.......)
Matthew
81 months ago (permalink)

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Andrew Curry says:

Thanks
81 months ago (permalink)

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matthewA750 says:

Photos in my photostream (assuming I've got it right....). About 3 hours to remove the rudder including digging a hole for it to drop into and freeing various jammed parts.
About 1 1/2 hrs to cut off and peel back the skin, remove the steel and clean up.
I'm getting the steelwork made, then I'll remove the rest of the balsa core and grind back the glassfibre hard to feather in and get a good key. I'm then intending to fill with resin and microbaloons (for lightness) not worrying too much about voids, providing they're well away from the s/steel and reglass the skin. No gel coat, just epoxy. More info once I've got the steelwork.
Let me know if you cant find the photos or I've got it wrong!!!!
Matthew
Took the liberty of providing the links below to your photos so we do not loose them. - Norman

www.flickr.com/photos/79964082@N03/8185217034/in/photostream
www.flickr.com/photos/79964082@N03/8185216514/in/photostr...
www.flickr.com/photos/79964082@N03/8185215516/in/photostr...
www.flickr.com/photos/79964082@N03/8185215976/in/photostr...
Are you intending to replace the lower pintle? Given Paul's experience with failiure I will be looking to do this when I do this job in the spring.
Originally posted 81 months ago. (permalink)
NormanKlipspringer (a group admin) edited this topic 81 months ago.

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matthewA750 says:

Thanks for providing the links, Norman. I'll find out how to do this.....
The pin of the pintle is fine as are the side cheeks.
The plan is to beef up the lower plate where it's worn - probably by adding an extra plate below it and fitting a washer above as a wear plate.
I probably should have said that I cut the glass with a mini grinder fitted with a thin metal cutting disc. I used a wrecking bar(!) to lift the glass away from the balsa - it was firmly stuck and most of the balsa was dry.
Matthew
81 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

This is all good stuff. please keep it coming. A picture of the rudder from above with a ruler to scale would be useful.
Do note that the failures are fatigue and not outright stress related and as such will not exhibit much in the way of warning before failing. The only way to check is with xrays or dyes for crack testing. For peace of mind I intend to replace my lower pintle, but I guess if you are beefing it up it should be ok.
81 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

See my comments on Klipspringer's rudder in the discussion
www.flickr.com/groups/achilles24/discuss/7215763169626049...
77 months ago (permalink)

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Mick G Nolan says:

With all the talk of rudders Im not sure if I / we should be concerned with the setup on Picaroona. I have just posted a photo of the bottom of the skeg. There is a threaded bar coming from the skeg through a bracket that holds the rudder in place and this threaded bar is turning freely. Is this one of the problem areas? Should we sleep on it for a season or get the grinder at it?
77 months ago (permalink)

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BERT A24 says:

I have enlarged the photo for a closer look and I would be concerned about the amount of rust on the bracket at the bottom of the skeg (about 1" from the back of the skeg)
77 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Looking at your photo I would also be concerned at the damage to the skeg. It looks as though it is cracking where you have rubbed away the paint. It looks as though it has had a bang or repeated banging. The steel reinforcement was originally welded to the pintle support and your looks original.
Rudder
If the skeg breaks the rudder tube is likely to go and you will lose your rudder.
Thye damage to the rudder also looks a problem since the pintle is almost breaking through the tube (if I am seeing the photo correctly). Time for some thinking!!
Originally posted 77 months ago. (permalink)
NormanKlipspringer (a group admin) edited this topic 77 months ago.

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Mick G Nolan says:

Thanks for the quick replies, I have asked Bryan my co-owner of Picaroona and who is more savvy with the structural side of things. I will take another look at the skeg and try to get a better image but either way we have work on our hands!
77 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Hi Mick
I'd be concerned by the amount of rust. It looks like a mild steel pintle. I believe it should be 316 stainless steel.
The main problem with the A24 rudder was the shaft breaking inside the rudder where the tangs were welded on due to crevice corrosion.. Have a look at my photostream, pages 2 and 3 in particular.
I have just repaired the skeg on my boat and am about to build a new rudder. I'll upload photos of the process.
On my boat the interior of the skeg is teak and is coated with fibreglass and resin.

www.flickr.com/photos/35044698@N05/8035800123/in/photostream

www.flickr.com/photos/35044698@N05/5793210685/in/photostream

www.flickr.com/photos/35044698@N05/8035798991/in/photostream

www.flickr.com/photos/35044698@N05/8063673537/in/photostream
77 months ago (permalink)

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Mick G Nolan says:

Thanks PJ, it's a right hornets nest, I have a friend coming to have a look who understnads this kind of thing way better than I do and will let you know how I get on.
77 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Originally the skeg was galvanised steel structure and the pintle which was also galvanised steel is welded to it.
77 months ago (permalink)

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Mick G Nolan says:

Ah, that answers a thought I had earlier, thanks
Originally posted 77 months ago. (permalink)
Mick G Nolan edited this topic 77 months ago.

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matthewA750 says:

Hi Norman
Mine was (and I'm fairly sure it's original) a galvanised steel square tube for the skeg, with a stainless pintle fastened to the skeg going into the stainless rudder tube. This on an A24.
The old tube was worn very thin where it left the hull, and the pintle was worn extremely thin where the rudder tube rested and pivoted on it. Rebuilding the rudder was a very GOOD THING!, but quite a big job.
I've also cut back and glassed over the outside of the hull/deck joint - mainly in sub zero......- to cure leaks and strengthen it.
Matthew
76 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Mathew,
Thanks for this information. How was the stainless pintle fastened to the skeg? When I spoke to Chris Butler about this, he told me that the pintle was galvanised and welded to the galvanised structure inside the skeg. His memory could be at fault so I would like to clarify exactly what the original was like. The information about thickness of tube etc is invaluable since only by taking the rudder off is it possible to really see what is going on.
Norman
76 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Update on Helm's Deep's rudder.

Purchased 1 sheet of 12mm thick Marine grade plywood. Had a 320mm wide strip cut from it and planed by machine tapering it from 12mm to 3mm. Cost € 74, about £64.
Machining of ply went well and has left a fairly smooth surface. Photos to follow

1.27kg Marine epoxy resin and hardener & 5sqm Fibreglass Woven Roven 300gsm €72.97, about £63. 403 filler powder €9.

Have left pintle with engineering firm to have it straightened and skeg mountings extended so as to provide stronger support.
Same firm will supply 1" 316 stainless tube and will weld on two tangs.
I decided to go with tube instead of bar due to cost. I figure original tube lasted 40 years so new one will outlast me! A solid bar would have needed a piece of tube welded onto it anyway to accommodate the pintle. This would have introduced another potential weak point into the rudder and would cost extra. Stainless parts should be ready later this week. I'll post photos in due course and let you know how much parts and work cost.

Helm's Deep is now for sale as I've bought Boomerang, an Achilles 9m.
See achillesyachts.co.uk site for advertisement.
Originally posted 76 months ago. (permalink)
pjbharrison edited this topic 76 months ago.

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matthewA750 says:

Hi Norman
The stainless pintle is attached to the skeg by 2 vertical metal plates that are bolted through the galvanised steel box section with 2 bolts. I'm fairly sure this was the original fitting on this boat.
The photo shows the new fitting, with the side plates, the old base of the fitting (a much fatter pintle to go into the rudder tube) and an offcut of the new rudder tube. The tube is now glassed into the old (grp) rudder blade, with 4 stainless webs to transfer the rotation to the blade. The new tube is 1"od, x 1/2" id, bored out to take the 1/2" pin. Don't think I'll break it!
The old tube was 1"od and very thin wall - perhaps 1mm or so. Very worn as was the old plate holding the pintle.
www.flickr.com/photos/79964082@N03/8659389597/in/photostream
www.flickr.com/photos/79964082@N03/8660490698/in/photostream
If anyone would like more info - don't hesitate to ask.
Matthew
76 months ago (permalink)

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matthewA750 says:

PS As you may notice, I've changed my plan from using the original pintle.
Much simpler to make the pintle smaller to suit the new tube......
Fitting it this weekend.....Hope it goes smoothly!
Matthew
76 months ago (permalink)

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NormanKlipspringer is a group administrator NormanKlipspringer says:

Thankyou Matthew that is very clear. I like your use of thicker tube . Makes a lot of sense. Is the top of your rudder tube where it goes into the headstock square or round? Have you had to do anything special for your version in order to fit to the headstock?
76 months ago (permalink)

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SHAMAL411 says:

Hello everybody,
Here is a contribution to the Rudder/Skeg discussion.
See my photos of the skeg and stainless shoe that carries the pintle.
I have not seen one of these on other A24s and suspect it may be a one-off.
The winter before last we undertook major repairs to the skeg which had developed a vertical split where it fares round the rudder and in addition found the pintle heavily corroded down to a hollow shell. Only removal of the shoe and inspection would reveal this as the rudder was still bearing snugly .A local engineer welded in a new pintle . There seem to be definite benefits
to having an external shoe with transverse bolts through the skeg box.
Louis Stephens (jgw329)
SHAMAL A24 Triple Co-owned with Ed Moseley
Based in Portishead and Pill Bristol
www.flickr.com/photos/20408739@N02/8660658516/in/photostr...
76 months ago (permalink)

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matthewA750 says:

Hi Norman
I think the thicker tube has an added benefit. If the skeg fails, there is every chance that the rudder will still work. However, I may have sunk by then!
The head of the tube is round. Headstock clamped on and also has an A10 bolt into a hole drilled into the tube. I've drilled right through one side of the tube so it clamps against the far side. The hole is a tight fit on the bolt. Difficult to align the drill. I was very aware that if aligned wrongly, the rudder would be permanently at an angle to the tiller. Done by eye in the end. Remains to see how accurate....
Louis - My heel fitting carrying the lower pintle will need to be glassed-in. I can see a benefit in the Shamal system.
Regards
Matthew, Emsworth
www.flickr.com/photos/79964082@N03/8663937642/in/photostream
76 months ago (permalink)

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