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Rudder problems on Atlantic Crossing - DOVE II

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Janni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Janni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Rudder problems on Atlantic Crossing - DOVE II
    Posted: 30 January 2017 at 06:28
A Hanse 531 DOVE II had to be abandoned due to a loss of rudder (function?) close to Barbados. 
You can read more on Sailing Anarchy or have a look a the youtube film of the rescue operation by the charter vessel TILLY MINT

The Tilly Mint crew did an outstanding job on the rescue of the family on board, incl. 2 children. 
The boat has not been recovered yet, which is a disaster to the family. 

Jan

Hanse 320 #548 "SCHNEGGE"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fendant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2017 at 13:38
Incredible seamanship of the Tilly Mint crew
Frank
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Persse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Persse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 January 2017 at 11:30
Turning back without hesitation to assist despite having clients waiting in the Caribbean was a great example of seamanship.
The boat wasn't taking on water and the only details I could gather were that the rudder had broken up. This is a big boat for a small crew and it looks as though the skipper was trying to manage way past his endurance.
There is a big scale up of forces needed to control such a powerful boat and rigging up some sort of steering would be difficult enough with my 385 let alone this boat.
Let alone that these boats are controlled by two specialised foils with the body of the hull providing little direction stability.
Days of being tossed around without sleep, and terrible anxiety for your family would not help  finding any sort of workable fix, so I felt very relieved when it became clear that all would survive.
Phil O


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samuel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 January 2017 at 13:29
It seems that the boat could have been a 2005 model. But not confirmed.
if it had a pre Jefa rudder of the same source as mine then I am not in the least bit surprised it broke.
I only have a 31 series & gounded very lightly on a shallow sand bank with a scattering of boulders.
the rudder split down the centre vertically & was clearly a botched construction.
The current Jefa rudders are vastly superior.
If one had one of the older Hanse then I would be very careful of undertaking an offshore passage without an internal examination of the rudder construction or some discussion with Hanse re the supplier.
Daydream Believer- Hanse 311- No GBR9917T- Bradwell Essex
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ballistic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2017 at 02:45
Obviously it is too early to say what happened in this incident.   It is unwise to speculate what happened until the owner issues a statement.   It would be helpful to all owners if he was contacted by Hanse and at least asked what he thought went wrong.  Obviously when the yacht is found, and the cause established, it is an obligation Hanse must advise ALL owners ASAP.  Having owned a 531 now for 13 years I would be particularly interested in the outcome.   John    BALLISTIC   Australia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Jim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2017 at 17:16
I found this report from the owner/skipper on the internet. Very sad but at least everyone is safe. I hope they find their boat again.


Report - as told by owner and skipper, James Coombes:

On the 4th of December, 2016, we set off from Tenerife in our 53 foot yacht with a crew of 5. Myself, my wife, our 2 children aged 7 & 9 and my step father in law.

Like most yachts crossing last year, we struggled the first week, with light winds down to 20 30. The second week the trades blew a steady 20-30 knots which meant we made up for the time lost from the first week. Fifteen days into the crossing and all was looking good for an arrival in Barbados on the eve of the 21st - giving us a few days to prepare for Christmas, which the kids were super-excited about. We also had friends staying in Barbados who's children couldn't wait for us to arrive so we could all go surfing on Christmas Day together.

At 1830 on December 19th we were cruising along at 8-12 knots with a poled out Genoa, when we heard a horrible crunching sound. Suddenly the boat slewed around 90 degrees with the auto helm alarm sounding. My initial thoughts were that the auto pilot had disconnected from the rudder post, but when I tried turning the wheel and not getting any response, my heart sank as I thought I'd lost the actual rudder. We quickly furled in the Genoa, then I donned my dive mask and jumped off the stern with a dive torch to take a look. I took one look under the stern and saw that the rudder post and frame work were still intact but the actual grp had completely delaminated and had torn off. Nightmare!!

So now we were broad-side on to a 3-5 metre swell and 30 knots of wind - not good. Over the next 6 hours we made many attempts at trying to head back down wind. I made a temporary rudder with the spinnaker pole and timber planks. With the wind and the swell nothing worked. We tried to point into the wind to make it more comfortable, but the boat would only sit 90 degrees to the wind and swell.

So - rolling badly and very close to numerous knock-downs, my wife was feeling the situation wasn't safe enough for the kids and she wanted to get them off the boat. We called Falmouth Coastguard on the sat phone for assistance.

Help arrives

In the early hours we had a 190m cargo vessel on scene to assist. They wanted to give us a Lee and throw lines down then pull us alongside. Even on their Lee side with the swell and them rolling made the situation far too dangerous to attempt. I could see it all going horribly wrong, and every time they came around to fire lines at us, I had to use my engine to get out of their way. The language barrier between the cargo ship captain and myself made it difficult to communicate clearly. He was trying his hardest to get close and help, but all I was thinking was if we're alongside and he rolls on us, or my spreaders collided with his hull, it would all end disastrously.

The coastguard then re-routed another cargo vessel to come and assist. When it was daylight and we were waiting for them to arrive, I pulled down the stainless pole that supports our radar dome on the stern and bolted 2 floor boards - which I had glued and screwed together - to the pole to make another temporary rudder. We couldn't find a way of securely fixing it to the transom though and with the swell bouncing us around it just wouldn't work properly. When the second cargo vessel arrived later in the morning it turned out to be 180m, so we went through exactly the same scenario as we had before. This was meant to be an easier transfer, but the dangers were exactly the same.

So after another stressful day of having a 180m cargo vessel bearing down on us and firing lines at us, all attempts failing, we were no closer to disembarking my now, very fraught, crew. The kids were very seasick after 24 hours of horrific rolling and sliding sideways down waves. None of us had slept or eaten properly.

At the end of day 2 the coastguard informed us that another sailing vessel was within 80nm of our position and they were turning around to come to our assistance.

My plan all along was to safely disembark my wife, kids and father in law. I was going to stay on board and try and drift in on the boat nearer to land then try and sort a tow out.

Whilst we were awaiting the arrival of the rescue yacht, the 2 cargo vessels stayed close by us to keep a safe eye on us. I'm very grateful for their patience.

So on the 3rd night the yacht arrived. We all felt that attempting the transfer in the dark wouldn't be a good idea, so we waited for sunrise.

After another very uncomfortable night the weather was forecast to ease off in the morning. As the sun rose the wind and the swell was still present with winds gusting to 28knts and a 2-4 m swell. Launching the other yacht's dinghy was out of the question, the only safe way we saw was to send my family across in a life raft.

They all took a rucksack each then I loaded them up in the life raft and cast them off for the other yacht to pick them up. A very emotional moment I can tell you.

Alone on the boat

So now alone on the boat I tried everything to get her to point down wind. With going full astern trying for the prop walk to turn me before pulling the sails up and trying to goose wing down wind. I thought if I could just get going down wind then try and steer with the drouges I had out of the stern, all would be ok. My god I tried everything and in the end the main sheet snapped, one of the Genoa sheets snapped and got caught in the prop. Everything I tried, she just kept spinning back and sitting broadside on.

With my family now safely onboard the other yacht, they sat close-by as I kept trying.

I had now spent 60 sleepless hours trying everything I could and I could envisage something really bad happening to me if I was left alone out there. With the boom now swinging around as I rode over the swells and the wind showing no sign of easing off, I made the hardest decision of my life and decided to abandon and join my family.

Yacht abandoned

I left the drouges trailing from the stern, I also left the engine running on tick over to power the batteries to keep the AIS switched on. Navigation lights were not left on. The main was still up.

Leaving my boat was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. All the years of planning for this trip, all the personal belongings we had to leave on board, all the children's Christmas presents. It breaks my heart just writing this. I am just hoping she's still afloat or else it'll all be lost forever.

The crew of the yacht that rescued us were amazing, we were really looked after and brought safely to Martinique.

The search for Dove II

So my intention now is to try and recover my yacht, bring it back in for repair and carry on with our dream trip. After all of our hard work the past few years and the preparation, I really don't want us to have to go home.

-end-

James has been in contact with Glenn Tuttle, net manager of the SSCA HF radio service 'KPK', who in partnership with the Caribbean Safety & Security Net is helping alert the cruising community.

The following is action the SSCA’s HF Radio Service “KPK” took on James’ behalf and request:

KPK contacted Orbcomm, Inc. ORBCOMM is a Virginia based global market leader in Satellite AIS (Automatic Identification System)—a vessel tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services for identification and location information. Satellite AIS provides a means to track the location of vessels in the most remote areas of the world, especially over open oceans and beyond the reach of terrestrial-based AIS systems. Orbcomm provided KPK with six position reports before and after he abandoned the vessel.

KPK also contacted well-known weather router Chris Parker of the Marine Weather Center (https://www.mwxc.com/) for his help creating a drift analysis to predict where the vessel is headed. The Marine Weather Center and, chief forecaster Chris Parker provide vessel-specific routing advice for cruisers worldwide. Chris and the SSCA have enjoyed a long relationship, and the SSCA has recognized Chris for the valuable contributions he has made to the cruising community.

Chris worked with the AIS data provided by Orbcomm, Inc., and with historical weather data, was able to make some predictions as to the probable path the Dove II will take.
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Persse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Persse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2017 at 05:38
Sad about the boat. Don't believe I could do any better. I carry always carry scuba gear on my 385 but can not see that helping much in terms of repair underway, has to be dead calm to change an anode. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark_J1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2017 at 11:15
It feels like the Skipper of Dove II tried most of the standard approaches short of having a pre-rigged standby rudder.  I wish him and the family the greatest luck in recovering Dove II and returning to their circumnavigation.  

Can the wider Hanse community learn anything from this near tragedy?  Has anyone got any real world experience to share of successfully sailing a wide-beamed & modern rig Hanse design (or similar) offshore with any kind of emergency rudder?  Sailing in flat water is one thing, but offshore in 20+knots and real waves is another.   

I don't feel dropping my rudder to trial it is practical but know that any test with the rudder still in place isn't valid (or a poor substitute).  As I carry one, I've noted one potential tip if trying to steer by drogue.  The drogue steering lines should be attached towards midships rather than the stern to allow the boat to turn about the keel.  

Dear Inspiration team - just a thought, how about putting on a rudderless Hanse emergency steering demo at the June UK Rally?   

Mark



Hanse 400e "Grey Goose" Hull #31
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Jim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2017 at 20:51
I wonder if Hanse will move to twin rudders in the near future? Beneteau, Bavaria and even Hallberg Rassy seem to be going that way. I like the idea of refundancy and the shallower rudders would be less exposed to grounding (med mooring).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2017 at 08:11


If one looks at the picture of the retained half of my ( 2003 Polish manufactured)rudder after it broke it can be seen that it sheared along the joint. This shearing action could have been what happened to Dove. The rudder would have been subjected to longitudinal bending stresses which puts one half in tension & the other in compression then the reverse. this would happen every time the autopilot makes a small rudder correction & happens to all unsupported rudders.
They would also be subjected to a certain amount of twisting.
Constant stresses applied like this to a badly constructed rudder will eventually pop one side off- as in my case.
What needs to be done is to ensure rigidity over the entire length to reduce the tendency to bending & to ensure that the 2 halves are properly tied together. Perhaps on the earlier rudders a banding on the outside edge  to support the joint would be advisable- provided it was faired in to avoid turbulence




Edited by samuel - 12 February 2017 at 08:16
Daydream Believer- Hanse 311- No GBR9917T- Bradwell Essex
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