Friday, October 30, 2009

Dude, Where's My Rudder?

Per and Christoph's boats were splashed and ready for transport to the regatta site and the German team of Robert, Micheal and Werner volunteered to help move boats. Originally I was going to sail Per's boat, Micheal would meet us, then drive us to SF so we could take my boat over in the same day... yes, a long day of sailing but with friends and I'm sure drinks galore.
Torben, being the resourceful professional that he is, arranged with Tom Reed to borrow his skif and tow Chiquita. Right place, right time = two Germans in Per's boat tag along for the ride while Micheal and I head back to SF and take my boat over, hopefully meeting everyone at the same place same time. As they were getting ready to tow the boats I said to Micheal, "10 bucks Chiquita is second in line in this tow."
All is going well, we arrive at the Corinthian in good time, a reach across the bay is always a quick ride... We pull up, dock the boat and someone says, "Did you see Per's rudder?" I look at the stern and blink twice... Dude, where's Per's rudder? It's on the dock. Why? WTF happened? At first I thought the whole rudder was gone which would have really sucked, because spare rudders that fit Andreasen built boats are hard to come by and making a new one or even fitting one takes serious time and is way easier with the boat out of the water... but, it was laying on the dock. How bad was the damage?
Tow lines carry a tremendous amount of pressure and somehow this one snapped the rudder head clean off, tiller and extension included... and they don't float apparently. This is bad. Per is trusting me to have his boat delivered and I left one thing out of my hands and sure enough.... ok, how can we fix this? I am forever greatful to Fred Andersen and Tom Reed sr. They took the rudder back to Tom's shop and "had fun fixin' stuff". They took two very large pieces of heavy wood and slapped them on. I'm sure it could have been shaved down a bit, but I'm sure the thinking was... no make it strong! So what if there is way too much weight in the back of this boat now! ... yes, it makes a difference.
OK, great. The rudder is on, now what? Well, I'm no dummy and I stock pile parts for just such and emergency. I ordered a new tiller from Erik Andreasen and had it shipped in Per's boat with a few other parts, but I'm not putting that new tiller on Per's boat. My old tiller on Josephine just got donated. But I made the tiller extension from a friend's ski pole. I'm not giving that up. Bill DuMoulin walks by as the discussion happens and offers up an old extension he had replaced and never liked. That was easy. Problem solved, moving on.

Lesson learned... be the last boat in the tow line whenever possible and if you have to me in the middle, manage the boat yourself and take no chances. A $500 repair and no money was exchanged, I love this fleet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to have you back on track, you have a great blog.


8:54 AM  

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