Steering is one of the three important components of a sailing yacht while cruising, the other two being drinkable water and sails with sound rigging.
Our rudder quadrant shattered when we were pulled off a shoal and the rudder turned towards the direction of turn, causing the weight of the boat to turn it further than it normally does. The rudder quadrant rammed into the bump stop inside the hull and shattered as the weight of the boat forced the rudder and quadrant to turn further.
Making myself familiar with our steering system before we left and before anything broke helped facilitate the repair process. I know how it is supposed to be, so when it shattered, I knew how to remove it and how to reinstall it once it is repaired.
Our rudder quadrant is made out of cast aluminum, so the repair of choice would be to have it welded back together. This would give us steerage again and allow us to continue our cruising.
Loosing our rudder quadrant was quite a mental blow to us, as we had now lost one of the vital points of a sound cruising yacht. We do have a spare tiller and a spare oar that can function as a rudder, but luckily the tow boat was present so we were able to be towed by the hip to a marina while we await repairs.