Just watched the whole episode, very sobering as said above. Boat wasn't so old, 2006 model but no knowing what has happened to the rudder at this stage. 3 days and nights before eventually getting to a safe anchorage, great determination shown - and patience. Interesting in some of the regattas we participate in we have to declare that we have a known method of steering the boat if the rudder drops off - just goes to show how difficult it really is. We tried steering the boat once, just for fun, without using the rudder just by trimming the sails, we could steer the boat to an extent, but the rudder was still hanging there so this may have helped in some way - how easy it would be without the rudder and in less favourable seas is a bit unknown - you never really get a chance to practice this.
The crew did an amazing job and kept extraordinarily calm for a frightening 4 nights, great support from the coastguard too.
I have no knowledge of drogue steering personally and admit the following video does look like it is in very benign conditions, but a drogue of some sort does seem to have potential at least if there is little swell and light winds....and should help yawing if being towed.
Amazing attitude shown to overcome a serious issue !
I am curious about the rudder shaft construction and sizing as near the end of the video there is an underwater view of the snapped shaft - does this model have a s/s and carbon composite rudder shaft as the s/s shaft looks very small diameter ?. Our 43DS 2001 by comparison has a solid s/s shaft of what appears to be approx 75 or 100mm.
Does anyone know the dimensions and construction of the rudder shaft ?
There's a forum post from the old site at jeanneau.proboards.com/thread/2634/rudder-problems that talks about rudder problems with multiple Jeanneau models. There were some pictures posted, but they are no longer visible. Does anyone have a local copy of the pictures? I'd like to see what the issue is/was.
On a later video after a full investigation it was found that a electrical fault was the cause of the breakage and not any fault in construction. The rudder had been removed and inspected before they set off a year or so ago.
Check Hilmasailing facebook page for some photos of the damage to their rudder shaft. Very sobering and highlights the dangers of stray electrical currents.
Don't do FB so can't view it.
Are you saying this was electrolysis? If so, from what source?
Here is their recent update
A few days ago we mounted our new rudder 😃👊. At the same time, we removed what remained of the old shaft.
We have received many comments on youtube and instagram regarding rudder damage. The rudder it self is well constructed. As the pictures show, the shaft was severely damaged by corrosion. A year and a half ago we inspected the rudder and back then there was no damage on the shaft.
The corrosion was caused by a damaged cable from one of the compasses. Leakage current passed through the wire to the quadrant and finally through the rudder shaft. The damage has been caused by leaking DC current, not AC current via e.g shore power (we never use shore power). Even leaking DC power can cause great damage ⚡️.
Now the new rudder is in place and everything else is repaired on board. A big thank you to Jeanneau for good service and quick production of a new rudder 😃😃😃👍⛵️. Also a big thank you to all of you guys who have supporters us lately. We are overwhelmed and so greatfull! 😃😃😃
Soon we will sail north towards the outer islands here in Marshall 🇲🇭 before turning west towards the Micronesian Federation 🇫🇲.
We are really looking forward to seeing more of Marshall. Stay tuned for more pictures and videos from Marshall Islands 😃⛵️☀️.
I had a rudder incident on my SO 45.2 a few years ago. I hit a small branch while sailing at low speed in light wind. Didn't even feel it, just slowed down. I started the engine and back up, and the branch came off. I dove on it the next week, and there was a very small gouge in the leading edge of the rudder. I figured I would repair it over the winter, but then the boat came out of the water in the fall, there was hardly any rudder left. This is what it looked like:
First of all, thank you Malcolm for sharing photos and information about the incident. We are Oskar and Lisa, ie we who have made the film on Youtube. We have received many comments regarding the rudder loss. First of all, we want to say that the rudder was not damaged due to construction failure. As Malcolm wrote in this thread, the rudder was damaged by electrolytic corrosion. On our Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45, the steering house is made of aluminum. In the steering house there is a Plastimo compass with lighting. The cables to the lighting had been damaged and DC current leaked through the house to the wire, quadrant and finally to the rudder shaft. Since the propeller shaft is negative, a leakage current was created between the rudder shaft and the propeller shaft, which caused corrosion. The propeller shaft has zinc and therefore it was no damage there.
About 1.5 years ago we dismounted the rudder and then there was no damage at all. The corrosion has therefore started after that and probably in the recent months. We would say that the construction of the rudder is good and there is no need to worry about it for other Jeanneau owners. On the other hand, we can suggest an inspection of the electrical cables in case you have a metal steering housing since that can lead to leakage current. We also have fitted zinc to our rudder by connecting a cable inside the hull to our bonding system. We have a large zinc on the hull that we have connected to the gearbox so propeller shaft, propeller and now rudder are now protected for corrosion.
Right now we are in the Marshall Islands in the Western Pacific. We are in a remote place in the world. When we lost our rudder, Jeanneau handled the situation quickly and made a new rudder for our boat in France. Despite being so far away, Jeanneau managed to arrange shipping and within a month we had a new rudder in place here in Marshall. Jeanneau has been very professional and had good service and we are happy that it was possible to manufacture a rudder so quickly. We are really happy to be Jeanneau owner since Jeanneau acted so professionally and quickly.
We could not haul out here in Marshall. Therefore, it was only possible to mount the rudder in the water. Since the shaft tube is above the waterline, we could mount the rudder in the water without leaking in water. To begin with, we moved our boat “Hilma” to a calmer anchorage, we needed to have calm water to mount the rudder. To move Hilma, we put in revers while we towed our dinghy with a long rope from the bow. The one who operated the dinghy controlled the steering of Hilma by reversing the outboard in the opposite direction to the direction of the boat. We towed the rudder with the dinghy afterwards and let rudder hang in a rope under the boat. The rudder has negative buoyancy, but the lower part of the rudder has positive buoyancy and the rudder therefore wants to turn in the water with the shaft downwards. To get the rudder in the right position, we hung about 15 kilos of weight in the bottom and then the rudder turned in the right direction. During the assembly, we put a hoist between our arch, main halyard and the rudder. Lisa pulled up the rudder through the cockpit while I steered in the rudder through the hull beneath in the water. The assembly itself took no more than two hours in total.
As the film shows, it took us four days to get to a sheltered bay. We have had a number of issues regarding emergency steering and our experience is that it is more difficult than it seems to control a boat without a rudder. We tried to steer with a drogue, but it was very difficult to get control of the boat with that method. It certainly is easier in calmer conditions, but with waves it was almost impossible for us. We had the wind towards us large parts of the days at sea and then it was difficult to balance the boat with the sails. A long keel boat would surely have done better. We soon realized that the only way for us to get control of the steering was to make a rudder, and it finally worked. A wind vane with "its own" rudder had surely solved the whole problem, but sadly we do not have one. Unfortunately, it is difficult to practice steering without a rudder since it assumes that one have to remove the rudder before leaving shore. There are a lot of films on YouTube where different methods is shown, but if the boat has a rudder, it will help the steering a lot when use of a drogue for example. Though the rudder helps the boat to stay on course.
We have learned a lot from this incident and hopefully others can benefit from our case. Above all, it is important to ensure that the rudder is in good condition and that there is no corrosion on the shaft. It is also a good idea to inspect electrical cables where there is a risk of leakage current. It is not just risk with AC power, but also DC power can create great damage. It is a good idea to ensure that there is zinc connected to the rudder shaft, preferably via the bonding system. We can also suggest using wind vane for ocean sailing, we wish we had one.
Now we have repaired everything on board that was damaged during the incident and soon we can sail towards Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Philippines and beyond.
I'm very happy that this episode worked out for the best in the end.
I, too, lost my rudder at sea. It was on my Jeanneau 43DS and the cause of the rudder loss was most likely also crevice corrosion in an area where the surveyor could not look while the boat was in charter prior to my purchasing it.
While learning to sail and steer a boat with a locked rudder is something everyone should learn because it lets you feel the balance of the sails, it is actually impossible to steer a fin-keeled boat without a rudder. The dynamic centre of lift and centre of gravity are different so the boat just spins around. I spent a day trying to do just that, then using the dinghy for steering and dragging lines behind the boat (buckets were attached, but they ripped off within minutes). At the time I didn't have my Jordan series drogue but I am not sure that this would have worked.
Once again congratulations to Hilma on a challenge mastered and a disaster averted.