Good morning from Waxwing, first of all everything is good onboard.
Was beating into 24 to 26 kn south and southwest winds yesterday a d noticed Waxwing kept going off course, I had just oiled the Aires wind vane Selfsteer, so checked that and all was working perfect, so I disengaged to hand steer and found a lot of play on the wheel, I had heard clunking noises earlier but put it down to something rolling around in a locker. Next I turned on my Raymarine electric auto pilot and it read could not detect rudder position or something similar to that. I hove too ( stopped the boat ) to inspect my steering system, to this I have to empty the aft locker, remove a screws in bulk head and go in under the cockpit floor . It wasn’t going to happen, the sea was still rough. I did mess about with the rudder sensor for the auto helm and at least got that working. That made me think I had taken a few big waves, one in Biscay and two in the last two days, the rudder might have taken the force of one of those waves? So my next decision was what to do?
The logical thing to do was run with the wind, still blowing 25 26 kn, so with the rig well balanced I set a course east and she’s holding it more or less, I hand steered and used the auto helm on and off.
I got so upset I cried for ages I was disappointed, ashamed, angry, it was awful, but I’ve been thinking, the rudder and bearings are all redone so it’s definitely not them, if a Linkage broke or came off I can maybe repair iI, so it’s not over, I will anchor in a bay and climb in and see what’s wrong, if I can safely repair it all is still good . I also have a emergency tiller, so can hand steer with that too, so there is no danger. I don’t want anybody getting worried, I have full control of Waxwing. It would have be stupid or irresponsible to try for the canaries.
More updates as I have them.