Monday, June 17, 2013

Steering problems overnight repaired by morning light

Hi all,

Just touching base. Remembered that the Captain of the container ship called us up on the radio as we had our closest approach and told us what a nice boat we had, and enquired if we want to trade boats. I said some days I surely would.

Had some serious steering problems overnight when the quadrant became detached from the rudder post. All better now. Looks like the problem came from the folks at Edison Steering and the manner they made the the quadrant bolt onto the rudder shaft. They used bolts that had no nut - just a threaded hole on the mate half of the bronze quadrant. Also - they engineered it so the bolt heads were unable to be inspected without a mirror on an extension arm. So no way to lock the bolt and no way to inspect without a great deal of work and help from circus acrobats. Well thought out clearly.

So after determining that one bolt backed out unseen (remember - no way to lock it) it's mate sheered off, and another bent, so the quadrant slipped on the rudder shaft, then jammed. Now all the bolts have big old nylock nuts on the other side and we should be good. Not a fun 10 hours of repair in big seas with 20 - 25 knots of wind. Needless to say we only sailed 30 miles last night - steering only by trimming minimal sails.

Carrie "drove" the boat, I did repairs while upside down laying on welded steel angle iron, and Tamsyn (what a trooper) was the tool gopher. We all were toast by the time the sun came up. Griffyn slept like a baby and was terribly frustrated no one would play with him all day. Ha.

So it was a day of recovery, minimal sails out and sleep being the priority. I shudder to think what would have happened had that bolt broke in the Torres. It's interesting to think what a difference a few years make. Had this happened in Mexico I would have been much more panicked Now it was just like, I'll go below and fix it - feeling fairly confidant it would all work out. Maybe it's just proximity to the "She'll be right, Mate" mentality of northern Australia.

Potato pancakes for diner and maybe a Star Trek.

12 08.731 S
150 40.318 E
273 degrees true
40 knots


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Clan Duncan said...

It is GREAT to see regular postings from you folks again! Thanks! Rob

Anonymous said...

Hey Owen & Carrie,

I had a computer mishap two weeks ago & lost all email addresses. send me a message at your convenience. Glad to see things going well enough for you all.