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Old 27-06-2013, 16:23   #1
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Bent Rudder Post

While sailing downwind in johnstone strait yesterday I was blindsided by a large log which slid down the boat and hit the rudder bending the post. The boat is still steerable but the tiller is very stiff. The boat is a catalina27 im wondering if the rudder can be remived for repair while the boat is still in the water. Thanks all
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Old 27-06-2013, 16:35   #2
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Re: bent rudder post

Probably you bend the rudder shaft, and the rudder is rubbing or chafing with the hull, do you dive to see any other damage?? if not , and the bend is just few mm, could be a good try to pull the rudder back or straighten enough to clear the hull, but i guess a proper solution will be haul out the boat and repair the rudder properly,maybe also posible with the boat in the water...
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Old 27-06-2013, 16:39   #3
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Would love to be able to do this in the water could the rubber be pulled out and rudder tube plugged while still in the water?
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Old 27-06-2013, 16:51   #4
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Re: bent rudder post

Yes , you can do that, with the help of a diver and another one pluging the hole , no idea with the rudder setup in a catalina , but i fix a couple of rudders in biger boats when in the water , lot of work to dismantle wires quadrant , and screws plus the pins in the bearings , but when is free , is ready to float out of the boat,,, last time i use a long rope atached to both winches in the cockpit and to the bottom of the rudder to pull up a bit the rudder and relief the presure in the pins at the shaft... im talking about a bene , no idea your rudder...
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Old 27-06-2013, 16:51   #5
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Re: bent rudder post

If the boat is tiller steered and the rudder shaft in an FRP Stand Tube, shouldn't be a problem. If there is no stand tube and the rudder shaft is sealed with a packing gland at the hull, it will be a little more exciting as you'll have to plug the puka where the rudder shaft comes through the hull real quick. Still doable, just a bit more of a problem.
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Old 27-06-2013, 16:57   #6
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Thanks thats good to hear my rudder is in an frp tube so should be good to remove and repair
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Old 27-06-2013, 17:01   #7
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Re: bent rudder post

If in doubt, take some pictures inside and post it, rudder post, quadrant , top bearing... cheers.
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Old 27-06-2013, 17:40   #8
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Re: bent rudder post

Here's a shot of what you are likely looking at:



I stole it from here:

Catalina 27 Rudder Replacement

Which doesn't go into great detail, but might give you a little bit more to go on. If the tube runs up to the tiller head then no worries, if not you might be able to trim the bow down enough that no water would get into the boat, then plug the hole. Looks like all it would take is about a foot of tube above the bilge to any packing gland to pretty much keep it dry under normal trim.
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Old 27-06-2013, 18:55   #9
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Re: bent rudder post

How about this idea? Determine which way the shaft is bent. Let's for the sake of argument say the bend is straight aft such that the top of the rudder is binding on the hull. Take a cargo strap around the front of the keel and another around the back of the rudder with the helm centered and tied off or locked. Then a small come-along to tension the cargo straps and hopefully put enough forward force on the rudder shaft to re-bend it enough that it no longer binds on the hull?

Could be done under water.

An alternative but similar idea would put a strap around the lower end of the rudder and connect the ends to two lines led forward to turning blocks near the bow ... maybe the anchor roller would suffice. Then using the primary winches, pull the rudder forward ... just monitor the space between the top of the rudder and boat bottom to judge how much pull you need.

Hey, it might work ... no haul-out ... no unshipping the rudder ...

If the rudder is bent sideways it would be a bit trickier to get all the forces aligned.
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Old 27-06-2013, 19:31   #10
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Re: bent rudder post

just haul the boat out and do the bottom while your at it.
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Old 28-06-2013, 06:12   #11
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Re: bent rudder post

You can remove the rudder head, (the fitting on the top of the shaft to which the tiller connects), and then the rudder should just slide out of the tube from below.
With the boat in the water, you will want to swim under and tie a line to the rudder before you remove the rudder head, to keep the rudder from going to the bottom in case it is no longer buoyant (waterlogged).
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Old 28-06-2013, 06:25   #12
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GordMay is right. I have removed the rudder from a Catalina 27 before. Removal without going into the water is possible but putting it back in required dive gear (which I have). With a diver the removal will take about 5 minutes. Reinstalling takes about 10 minutes. It was very painless.

One trick I wish we had done would be to attach a messenger line to the top of the rudder and let it follow the rudder down through the tube and all the way back to the surface. Tie it off to the stern rail until time to put the rudder back on. Then when reinstalling the line can help guide the rudder back into the rudder log tube from below and it can assist the diver in lifting the rudder.
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Old 29-06-2013, 09:14   #13
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Re: bent rudder post

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
One trick I wish we had done would be to attach a messenger line to the top of the rudder and let it follow the rudder down through the tube and all the way back to the surface. Tie it off to the stern rail until time to put the rudder back on. Then when reinstalling the line can help guide the rudder back into the rudder log tube from below and it can assist the diver in lifting the rudder.
I have done rudder R&Rs on numerous boats, some as big as 60' (Bruce Schwab's Open 60 "Oceanplanet.") I am not sure how you could attach a messenger line to the rudder post without part of that line being tied or attached to the exterior of the rudder post. And assuming this is the case, how will the rudder post fit through the bearings with a length of line effectively increasing the diameter of the post?
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Old 29-06-2013, 10:09   #14
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Re: bent rudder post

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
I have done rudder R&Rs on numerous boats, some as big as 60' (Bruce Schwab's Open 60 "Oceanplanet.") I am not sure how you could attach a messenger line to the rudder post without part of that line being tied or attached to the exterior of the rudder post. And assuming this is the case, how will the rudder post fit through the bearings with a length of line effectively increasing the diameter of the post?
One could drill and tap say a 1/4-20 hole in the top of the shaft and attach the messenger there. Having the messenger would surely make the re installation easier.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 29-06-2013, 10:26   #15
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Re: bent rudder post

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
One could drill and tap say a 1/4-20 hole in the top of the shaft and attach the messenger there. Having the messenger would surely make the re installation easier.

Cheers,

Jim

I've replaced two and have trouble imaging in my head how that would work. There would have been no tolerance in my stand pipe for a messenger on the outside of the rudder post, and no way to attach it to the inside of the rudder post.

But we did do the job twice without hauling her out (first time the original rudder was severely compromised by rust. The second time rough seas and shallow water banged her butt on the bottom of a hard river bed).

I also know someone who straightened his with a come-along without taking it out of the boat. However, he did take the boat out of the water for it. My bend was 30, and since it was still very new and that could have significantly weakened the rudder post, I decided against doing that.
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