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Old 09-02-2014, 08:06   #196
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter rudder!

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I plan to, I think theHunter's at least in Fl seem to sell well. Truth be know if i could have found a good buy on a Catalina, I'd rather have one, but I couldn't. Made an offer on this boat yesterday, It's by far the best kept boat I could find, and I drove 1100 miles just this weekend alone looking
2003 Hunter 356 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Now, don't any of you guys go buy it out from under me
I already own one. Good luck on the purchase. I am sure you will like how she sails. Lots of storage, engine is very accessible, comfortable sailing or at anchor. Glen Henderson was involved with the design of the 356. I think the Hunter dealer in St. Augustine also has a 356 listed. There are a number of owner reviews of the 356 on the Hunterowners.com website. They also provide all the replacement parts for Hunter boats. The Marlow Hunter website has a data base for the 356 where you can download an owners manual, PDFs of all the factory assembly procedures (SOPs), as well as the installation and owners manuals for most of the third party equipment installed on their boats. I have contacted the factory directly with a question on a couple of occasions and got an email or phone call within a couple of days.
I'm sure you already saw this, Best Production Cruiser Under $200,000: Hunter 356 | Cruising World

Good luck with your search for a boat, Bob
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Old 02-01-2015, 14:02   #197
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

First let me start by saying I am not trying to condemn, point fingers or stir the stink pot with this post. I am very happy with my Hunter 426, we spent a good deal of time and effort comparing manufactures and models before purchasing our Hunter, what I do have is a problem that I am looking for advice/feedback/comments.

Some history,
Last spring while putting a fresh coat of VC-17 on the bottom we noticed the rudder was weeping water around the rudder stock to rudder connection, I had dismissed it as it had rained a couple of days earlier so we launched and sailed from Saint Joe to Michigan City never giving it a second thought, then in July while crewing on another sailboat for the
Chicago to Mackinaw race the weeping rudder came up in conversation, the skipper and first mate concluded the rudder maybe full of water and advised I go easy on my hunter for the rest of the season or risk possibly loosing the rudder. The thought of having to steer the boat with buckets or a drogue didnít seem like a fun time (although every crew should practice the technique).

Preparing for the winter haul out I made arrangements with the staff at Anchors Way marina to help with the removal of the rudder. With the boat hanging in the travel lift I gave the rudder some sounding knocks with my knuckles as did Adam the yard foreman, Yep itís full of water. The team at the marina knowing that with this size of rudder full of water it would be heavy so they used a fork lift to lower the rudder out of the boat, it took 2 men to keep it stable until it could be laid on its side, once on its side the water started trickling out, Adam estimated its weight at about 300+ lbs. We loaded it in my truck as this would be my
winter project.

After getting the rudder home, I laid it on its side and proceeded to investigate the rudder stock connection. What I thought was fairing compound between the rudder and rudder stock was more like caulking (soft and pliable), with a screw driver and putty knife I was able to
remove most of it and the water started running out. I left it like that for several days with towels soaking up the water, I bet about 2 to 3 gallons came out. Then I installed an eye bolt in the ceiling so I could stand the rudder up right and get a better look at it and get the rest of the caulking removed, once cleaned up there it was the root of my trouble,
VOIDS in the adhesive between the rudder stock and the rudder housing (See attached Pics), I laid the rudder back on its side and more water came out.
Ok now I know what the trouble is so letís formulate a plan of action, first Iíll drill some ľĒ holes in the top and bottom of the rudder, then stand it back up put some mild heat of about 100 to 150 deg and drive off
the remaining moisture then mix up some west systems epoxy fill in the voids and holes and be ready to go rightÖÖ.WRONG..!!!!!

Here I am 2 months later and I still have water coming out, I took a small air compressor and blew low pressure air (about 10 to 15 psi) in the holes I had drilled and water came streaming out of the rudder stock connection and the other holes that I had drilled (See
Pics).

OK Iíve got to get the water of this thing before I make any repairs, so I turn to the internet of things and start reading the forums for information on drying out a rudder. Then horror set in when I read the posts about ďHunter Rudder FailuresĒ, this made me think back to July of 2012, the wife and I were sailing back to Michigan City when we were caught
in near gail force winds and seaís 10 to 15 ft, I know you blue water guys are saying 10 to 15 foot no big deal, but the difference between blue water and Lake Michigan is that the waves are not big slow rollers but rather steep sides and the interval between them is short,
that night ours were about 10 seconds or so apart. Any how it was 8 hours zig zagging back and forth motor sailing, at times the wave crests would push the bow around and we would roll spreader to spreader, you see where Iím going here, with the rudder full of water 300+lbs
swinging back and forth under the boat I canít help but wonder if the composite rudder stock is stress cracked inside the rudder and no way to determine its condition. Any how we made it into Michigan City our Hunter 426 with-standing her trip nicely, we however were worn out and
beat.

Back to the rudder stock, after reading some of the forum posts about the rudder failures and they seemed to fail a few inches below the top of rudder it got me thinking so I grabbed my tape measure and went to the garage, the rudder and stock combined are about 96Ē (see Pics)
and the failure point as indicated in some of the posts was about 2Ē below the top of the rudder, about 45Ē down from the tip of the stock. Now Iím not a Marine Architect but I have worked in heavy industry engineering for 35 years and have witnessed many fatigue failures
over the years, so based on the size of the rudder and stock Iím guessing a water logged rudder could be a recipe for disaster.

After 3 months of trying to dry out the rudder it seems to me my best bet would be to contact Foss Foam and ship my rudder to them for repair or replacement.
Iím leaning on replacement; your comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 02-01-2015, 14:28   #198
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

Hi skipper THB,

If I were in your shoes, I would take the course of action that would allow me to sleep well at night and still enjoy the boat, not worrying about the rudder. It sounds like that may mean replacement if, after completing repairs, you still wonder if it will fail when out on the Lake. Best of luck with whichever direction you choose!

Frank
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Old 02-01-2015, 14:39   #199
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

Weight both options in cost terms, new rudder V rebuild it.
300 pounds of wŠter call for Split open the whole thing and rebuild it v order anew rudder, i will run away from Foss Foam rudders, but dont ask me why pls... Good luck.
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Old 02-01-2015, 15:02   #200
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

Open a big window in the side of the rudder...(skill saw) that's the only way you will dry it and inspect it. Dry it well, and replace the rectangular cut out by glassing it back in properly. You might even put a layer or two of glass over the whole rudder if you are concerned. Then inject epoxy light weight slurry into the rudder cavity... holes at top.
The weight of lightweight epoxy filler in water is not much added weight.
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Old 02-01-2015, 15:09   #201
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

Foss made rudders for a myriad of boat manufacturers and might be the largest supplier so some failures are inevitable.

As to repair, the webbing which holds the rudder to the post has numerous welds, all of which rust when exposed to moisture.

Regardless of how or how well you dry it, you still have the potential for weld failures. Consequently, it makes trying to dry it out an exercise in futility.
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Old 02-01-2015, 15:16   #202
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

Could be our experience with Foss was a fluke, or that their split operations (FL and CA) and other factors were the problem, but I'd burn the boat before I let anything from Foss near it again. It isn't easy to find anyone who will work on a rudder but there are some other outfits, apparently most in Canada.


But the tech side let us down, the customer service side let us down, everyone there at Foss (FL) was about as unprofessional as could be and didn't seem to care about that, either.


Just one man's opinion, make of it what you will. Lots of people are happy with them, but lots of people also think McDonalds makes the worlds best hamburgers.
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Old 02-01-2015, 15:18   #203
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

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Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
i will run away from Foss Foam rudders, but dont ask me why pls....
Ok, I won't ask you why since I have one on my boat (installed 2 1/2 years ago). So...where does one buy a rudder that is better? Who else has molds (Foss built my original 1982 rudder)? Replacing the original was quite painless (other than the cost $2K). Delivered within 2 weeks after placing my order.




Ralph
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Old 02-01-2015, 15:30   #204
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

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Originally Posted by RTB View Post
Ok, I won't ask you why since I have one on my boat (installed 2 1/2 years ago). So...where does one buy a rudder that is better? Who else has molds (Foss built my original 1982 rudder)? Replacing the original was quite painless (other than the cost $2K). Delivered within 2 weeks after placing my order.

Ralph

To be honest i have no idea in terms of a duplicate for a hunter rudder, i give this link time ago to a customer looking for a well made it rudder and so far i never get a call back saying nothing wrong or bad, http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...MrIopqJCM6N9Dg

Also keep in mind that some reputable FG workshops can do marvelous things with a old rudder, i mean if the rudder stock is in good shape a rebuild can do the trick...
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Old 02-01-2015, 15:34   #205
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

So... if you put a new rudder , like the original on your boat... how long before it waterlogs also?
That's the advantage of inspecting and repairing your own....
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Old 02-01-2015, 15:36   #206
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

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So... if you put a new rudder , like the original on your boat... how long before it waterlogs also?
That's the advantage of inspecting and repairing your own....
Thabadaba you hit the nail... I
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Old 02-01-2015, 15:58   #207
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

" how long before it "
Yathink, if the original one failed because of voids, that might indicate a problem with workmanship and quality control?
But as Foss makes clear, if the owner is foolish enough to paint the rudder in a dark color and expose it to sunlight....Ahuh, yeah, suppliers to the Vampire Racing Team.
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Old 02-01-2015, 16:06   #208
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

Maybe this already been mentioned...

Could it be that a lot of the Hunters around there have shoal draft or wing keels?

The rudder depth on those Hunters goes all the way down to the keel depth - guaranteeing the rudder will get wrecked when the keel hits bottom in anything other than the softest mud.

I think even the deeper keel Hunters have pretty deep rudders compared to, say, my Catalina.
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Old 02-01-2015, 16:10   #209
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

I just met a fellow cruiser here in the Caribbean who "saved" a crew on a Hunter 450 when the rudder failed at sea. I think it was similar in design to yours. It was in the 2002 ARC and even though another very large vessel made a new rudder for them it failed as well and no one was able to get the boat to steer without a rudder and it was abandoned at sea so keep this in mind when making your repairs.
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Old 02-01-2015, 16:20   #210
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Re: ANOTHER Hunter Rudder!

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Could be our experience with Foss was a fluke, or that their split operations (FL and CA) and other factors were the problem, but I'd burn the boat before I let anything from Foss near it again. It isn't easy to find anyone who will work on a rudder but there are some other outfits, apparently most in Canada.


But the tech side let us down, the customer service side let us down, everyone there at Foss (FL) was about as unprofessional as could be and didn't seem to care about that, either.


Just one man's opinion, make of it what you will. Lots of people are happy with them, but lots of people also think McDonalds makes the worlds best hamburgers.

In Canada I have heard good things about Phils Foils, Competition Composites Inc. | Canada's Premium Composites Fabricator

If the rudder is in Michigan you could open it, easily drive it up to them for an opinion about, repair, or replacement.

I've seen lots of boats that had a hole drilled in the bottom of the rudder each fall when they were hauled. This allowed the water to drain out so it didn't freeze and split. The boats were all different makes! It seemed to be a common process. All were fresh water boats so maybe not as bad as saltwater. In spring they seal the hole up.
Good luck, Bob
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