Toodle-oo! was hauled yesterday and her rudder removed. The rudder post is bent right where it exits the boat, allowing the back of the rudder to foul the hull and jam (solidly).
Temporary fixes are possible, but confidence would be lacking and besides, the boat yard has plenty on it’s plate, so we’d be here a while anyway. So, we’ve bitten the bullet and ordered a new rudder – to be shipped from the factory in China… It’ll take 3 weeks to get here.
The damage to Toodle-oo! was minimal. The bottom of the keel was ground up in a couple of places and the bottom of the rudder too. Overall not near as much damage as we both thought would be there judging by the bumping and grinding she did while on the rocks.
This leads me to the unfortunate conclusion that if we’d simply have hung tight on the rocks and tried to stabilize her there with anchors, we’d have been in a much better position to float her off when the tide rose. Alternatively we could have continued our efforts to lean the boat over by attaching an anchor to a halyard (reducing her depth) and pull her off sideways…
Instead we were panicked, and had the rib pull us off the rocks. When we were on the rocks, the rudder was free to move (when it wasn’t stuck in a crevice) – but it appears now that it was the act of towing off the rocks that actually bent the rudder stock. This is not to blame Bertie and his crew in any way – we were certainly the ones calling the shots and wanted off the rocks come what may.
Now what? We’re going to enjoy Scotland for a few weeks by car, B&B, tent, etc – interspersed with various boat projects that we’ve been slow to get at. Laurie seems hell bent on refinishing the floors for example!
Everyone here has been exceedingly helpful during this ordeal – First Bertie and then Gus and the rest of his crew in Port Ellen for the towing, several dives to evaluate and then the Herculean efforts to straighten the the rudder to facilitate the tow up to Ardfern. The couple who’s name we didn’t even get that were in a boat at Port Ellen, who gave us an old CCC cruising directions (in case we decide to go visit Skye!). Phil Lambert of Outbound Yachts has been tremendous, answering all sort of idiot questions from me from his digs in China – I no doubt got him out of bed a couple of times! Then when we arrived in Ardfern, OCC members Simon and Sally Currin welcomed us, Ju and Liz have lent tremendous support – we were even offered Ju and Liz’s house as a place to stay while they are away in Norway. David Wilkie provided serious technical assistance when the rudder was pulled – offering several short term options to get us back on the road quickly. We were offered the use of cars from people we’d never met – the list goes on. What a great community the cruising/sailing community is! Thanks to All.