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Old 11-07-2018, 14:02   #1
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Water weeping at rudder stock

Hoping to get some advice from forum members please. I noticed today that we have water weeping in at the point where the rudder stock outer pipe enters the hull in the starboard engine bay. Seems like some type of white sealer has been used to create a watertight seal beyween fibreglass/core and aluminium pipe. The rudder has not been bumped at any time. Please see picture. Any ideas on how to reseal this while in the water? Thanks Click image for larger version

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Old 11-07-2018, 17:37   #2
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Re: Water weeping at rudder stock

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Originally Posted by Lady Roslyn View Post
Hoping to get some advice from forum members please. I noticed today that we have water weeping in at the point where the rudder stock outer pipe enters the hull in the starboard engine bay. Seems like some type of white sealer has been used to create a watertight seal beyween fibreglass/core and aluminium pipe. The rudder has not been bumped at any time. Please see picture. Any ideas on how to reseal this while in the water? Thanks Attachment 173408www.ladyroslyn.com
This was posted by another FP Mahe 36 Owner, but may help you with your rudder issue. Please his read his comments below.
--------------------
While hauled late last year, I investigated a tightening of my helm wheel resulting in my removal of both rudders and jp3 bearings. In addition to the helm tightening I needed to investigate a small amount of salt water intrusion in the port engine bay.

Invesitigation revealed:

1. Tightening of the steering isolated to port rudder, specifically the jp3 lower ertalyte bearing. Removal of bearings accomplished with some persuasion. Tighentening the result of calcification growth between the aluminum bearing housing and the bearing itself. This caused the bearing ID to actually compress which contributed to the binding along with the ertalyte bearing no longer floating freely within the bearing housing.

2. Investigation of the rudder tube revealed hair line cracks on the lower section of the tube caused by back n forth stress on the tube resultant of the lower bearing seisure and severe misalignment of the rudder tube to the upper bearing mount. The rudder stresses and shaft flexure was no longer accomodated by the lower bearing and ended up being taken up by the rudder tube top cap. This movement put extreme force on the upper bearing housing; loosening the mounting arrangement within the wood support.

3. Completely disassembled, it was discovered that the rudder tubes were misaligned with the upper bearing housing. THIS WAS NOT CAUSED BY THE BEARING SEIZURE. IT IS A PROCESS ISSUE IN PRODUCTION. NOTE: I had an opportunity to explore the issue with a 2015 Lipari and it has the same misalignment. The degree of misalignment is inconsistent on each tube which indicates its an out of control process in production. Without indepth analysis of a rudder tube failure it would only be a foot note, because repair persons and installers would only point to the bearing corrosion. But I can tell you that hundreds of thousands of rudder adjustments over time will weaken the rudder tube itself where the bearing and tube is attached which cause stress cracks, seepage and eventual failure. In addition, the stress will also transmit to the upper brearing, weakening and loosening the mount within the wood.

In terms of lower bearing corrosion, some repair operations point to rudder stock electrical bonding as a cause. Based on my investigation I disagree with this assessment. FP's rudder bearing housing (aluminum) and the rudder stock (stainless steel) are electrically isolated.

However, one solid culprit of the lower bearing housing corrosion is caused by bottom painters using a brush to stick cuprous ablative paint between the rudder and the hull in an effort to cover that area. In doing so, they have just painted an aluminum bearing with copper. The results are obvious, resulting in the largest contributor to the housing corrosion and tightening of the bearing and steering train.
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Old 11-07-2018, 18:00   #3
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Re: Water weeping at rudder stock

Hey Cotemar, I hadn't seen that post from the "other Mahe owner" before. Thanks for posting it. It is a very intelligent, well thought out and logical hypothesis for the issue.
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Old 13-07-2018, 09:16   #4
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Re: Water weeping at rudder stock

Hi Mark. Thanks for the reply. I was hoping for your input. It seems to have stopped weeping. I haven't heard the bilge pump alarm go off once in the last 36 hours. If it starts again, any ideas on a solution for sealing while in the water? Cheers Nic
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Old 13-07-2018, 16:20   #5
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Re: Water weeping at rudder stock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Roslyn View Post
Hoping to get some advice from forum members please. I noticed today that we have water weeping in at the point where the rudder stock outer pipe enters the hull in the starboard engine bay. Seems like some type of white sealer has been used to create a watertight seal beyween fibreglass/core and aluminium pipe. The rudder has not been bumped at any time. Please see picture. Any ideas on how to reseal this while in the water? Thanks Attachment 173408www.ladyroslyn.com
Hello Lady Roselyn,
Helia 44 here, now Blessed to be on Saba 50 "SERENITY". As you would know the Saba is just a blown up version of the Helia 44, with massive more storage and buoyancy in the hulls for cargo.. I am probably the only person, one of a rare bird, that has personally owned the Helia 44 and graduated to the Saba 50, hull number 11. I had the exact same problem happen, exact same situation, on the Helia 44 and don't panic, I can tell you the fix in the water...

That is your outer rudder housing. It is fit and glassed a bit into the hull, but sealed with Sika-Flex like polyurethane caulk. What has happened is slight increase in top rudder bearing pressure, or just flexing wear, has broken that seal at the bottom and the outer rudder housing is turning a bit with your rudder top bearing.. I will try and find you the picture of mine when finished, I am likely to have it on the computer, but I am underway en route to Lady Musgrave atoll in the Capricorn group at the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR)...

Now, the fix is better to be done a drift or at anchor or dockside, so the outer rudder shaft is not moving. It is a slight flaw in the F.P. Engineering, in that it should have had that outer rudder shaft housing glassed into the hull and several inches up the aluminium housing. Here is the basic system of the fix:

1) You abrade the housing up several inches with like 80 grit or wire wheel, so the resin can grip. The same for the hull out sort of 200 mm / 8" in all directions you can go.

2) You can use regular resin, or epoxy resin, and cut yourself some strips of fiberglass, I mean like about 50 to 80 or so, of 2" wide strips about 6" long.

3) Basically you hot batch the resin, and start apply the strips like paper mache, dry if off as best as you can, clean it off with acetone or miner turps, and you start laying the glass strips all around it in small batches of resin. At first with any weeping, the resin will go white if there is any leaking, but you slowly battle it out to dry parts of the hull with subsequent batches. It is a few hours job, with someone mixing small batches, but you eventually contain the small leak with clean adhesion of fresh batches out on the dry hull.

4) I ended up with what, maybe 15 batches over a few hours, but had a smooth fiberglass flat funnel shape about maybe 6-8 inches all around on the hull and up to the top of that first flange of larger tubing on the bottom of the outer rudder shaft. It eventually seals, and you have an inner hull extension up about 3 inches up the outer rudder shaft.

Look, it is tedious, messy, and impossible to do without gloves and a helper mixing hot batches for you and sending you batches of fiberlass cloth.. But it does work. It would be half as hard on the Saba, as on my Helia, because on the Helia the rudder was forward of the saildrive and you had to lay on your side along the engine.. HELL on comfort, cramping, sore, hard work, but really easy to do..

I am in route, and I need to try and find the picture, but the result is permanent and strong, and passed Survey on the Sale of the Helia 44. I might do it on both of the rudder shaft outer housing on the Saba in haulout next May, as it would be SO MUCH EASIER in the dry..

I hope I have been clear, I will try and find the picture in my many files..
But you start with clean abraded surfaces so the resin can stick, and what you end up with is a flat upside down funnel shape hull reinforcement that goes several inches up the outer shaft and is VASTLY stronger than new.. As well as permanently sealed and structurally frozen... I will try and find you the picture, but I think I have described it well enough..

Kind regards, and I would not attempt it under way... Steven Gibbs on "Serenity" In the Grace of our Lord..
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Old 13-07-2018, 18:07   #6
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Re: Water weeping at rudder stock

Before you go permanently glassing things together you should make VERY sure that the alignment is absolutely perfect!
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Old 14-07-2018, 14:27   #7
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Re: Water weeping at rudder stock

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
Before you go permanently glassing things together you should make VERY sure that the alignment is absolutely perfect!
Billknny,
Per my instructions above, just note that the bottom of the outer rudder shaft housing is cast into the hull.. There is no adjustment or alignment there. That would be at the top of the rudder shaft housing. But thank you for adding that concern...

Lady Roslyn,
Sorry, but I could not find the pictures... Continue this thread if you need any clarification on my detailed fix above, or futher help..

Kind regards, Saba 50 "Serenity"
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Old 15-07-2018, 01:07   #8
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Re: Water weeping at rudder stock

Hi Steven,
Thanks for your very detailed reply to my query. That's great to know that you have been there and done it before.
We are Saba hull #1 and I remember looking in detail at Serenity's website a couple of years ago. There were so few Saba's out there sharing photos and details and I was hungry to get to know everything I could. Very glad she had gone to such a passionate new owner. Please keep sharing your ideas and improvements. Cheers Nic www.ladyroslyn.com
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Old 15-07-2018, 15:48   #9
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Re: Water weeping at rudder stock

Hello Nic,

Happy to share notes on our SisterShips.. I am doing slow but stead renovations, as I could not get a Maestro version. I am in the process of opening things up to get a "Double Maestro"... And loaded with luxury.

Thank you for kind words of appreciation, and I am glad to be of a help. I may do BOTH of mine in the next haul out about May 2019. It would be soooo much easier in the dry.. !!

Kind regards, and because of your kind words of appreciation, I will update the Improvements Thread this morning..

Just leaving Lady Musgrave Island and Atoll, huge km wide anchorage in the center of the Atoll, quite scenic ! Headed north to the GBR, next stop today will be at the resort area of Heron Island, where we can go through the reef in a narrow passage that is quite scenic as well..!!

Kind regards, and you have exquisite tastes to have lashed out and bought the first Saba 50 !! I took the ONLY one in Australia rather than order and battle for the year wait..

Steven, Saba 50 "SERENITY"
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Old 15-07-2018, 23:02   #10
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Re: Water weeping at rudder stock

Thanks Steven. I will kerp following your thread with interest. Feel free to check out our website www.ladyroslyn.com or join us on Facebook Catamaran LadyRoslyn. Cheers Nic
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