Sat phone session with Fedor.
“It’s been a fruitful day for me. In the morning we received our regular weather forecast from Lee Bruce which suggested 20+ knots of steady wind all day. The weather looked cooperative for the rudder repair and there was no precipitation which will allow working with epoxy, so I decided it’s now or it’ll be too late.
Problem in brief: The tiller on each rudder has two locking bolts, one at the end tightens the tiller around the rudder stock and one in the middle centers the tiller to the rudder. This central bolt failed around
@@apos@@Open 85’ yacht ‘Trading Network Alye Parusa’ weights 30 tons and her rudder is very solid and heavy. I had to disconnect the rudder which weights 70 kg and has a draught of 1.7 meters and make sure it wouldn’t slip or crash turn at 90 degrees angle to the boat. Firstly I decided to work on starboard tack with the boat heeling over to port with the damaged rudder sitting out of the water. But this proved to be the wrong approach as the disconnected rudder flipped to a dangerous angle and waves were hitting it badly. So, I reassembled it, gibed and put the damaged rudder in the water and under pressure. I then drilled an additional hole through the rudder stock and poked a screw driver through to create a strut which I lashed with spectra ropes to rail stanchions, the mainsheet traveler, and the push pit. Once the rudder was secured I switched off the autopilot as there was no need for it, took the tiller off, and found why the central bolt snapped. The stainless steel sleeve we installed in
Meanwhile the boat was sailing on port tack with the port rudder out of the water and the starboard rudder locked in the central position keeping the boat on course. I managed to balance the boat with the sails and she sailed a perfect straight line. It was like she could feel the importance of the moment for the well being of us both and that I’m treating her like an ill patient and that she must be well-behaved. Unfortunately working on the leeward side freezing cold water constantly splashed over me but thank God it was not raining. The day passed very quickly with running from stern to cabin, charging the hand drill, mixing epoxy, changing broken blades for the metal hand saw. It was plenty of physical exercise and fresh air. It’s 10 meters from the navigation station to the stern of the boat. I think I ran a good 5 kilometers. Unusual for a solo sailor that spends most of the time locked in the 2 x 3 meter cockpit.
Once I tightened the bolts heavy rain arrived but the job was done. I was back inside the boat and the kettle was on.. I will not say that it’s a perfect job and I don’t much care for how it looks but taking into account the conditions I don’t think we did too bad a job. I just hope it will last to
After almost 10 hours on deck, I really needed a good rest but that was not the case. Around