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Old 05-01-2010, 18:41   #1
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How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

Just recently soft grounded my coronado 27 in some sand and got tossed around a bit before I got free. Now the rudder post is bent and the rudder scrapes the hull whenever it's brought close to 0 deg or 180 degrees (yes it used to go all the way around, no I can't get it all the way to 0 nor 180 degrees now due to the contact with the hull). The turning action is also not as free as it used to be. All this leads me to think that the rudder post is bent. Any suggestions on how to remedy this ? The rudder itself is fiber glass construction and is somehow mounted on the rudder post. Is it possible to bend the rudder post back into a straight line or will I have to get a new post and get it on the old rudder somehow.

Thanks for any tips.

-tavis
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Old 05-01-2010, 18:55   #2
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Bummer, I have never worked on a rudder post but have worked with steel all my life. I am sure it is made of either 304 or 316 stainless therefore any heat at all will make it walk all over.

This is just a guess on my part but I believe your only option is to pull the rudder and have it cut below the bend and have a new post welded on, not even sure that is the best way either, you may have to get a new post and just rebuild the rudder.

I have seen a number of them being rebuilt and looked very easy to me.


Dutch
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Old 05-01-2010, 18:56   #3
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here's a writeup from the gougeon brothers

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/...Ew22Rudder.pdf
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Old 05-01-2010, 19:06   #4
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Sailmonkey, that is what I was trying to say about the welding, Stainless is very hard to weld and keep straight, Back when I still worked we would machine a key slot for attaching anything to a stainless shaft unless we could turn it after the welding.

There is only one other metal I hate to work with more and that is Aluminum, man it really hate heat.

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Old 05-01-2010, 19:15   #5
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I had the same experience when I had my C&C Redwing. I was quite surprised at how easily a machinist friend of mine straightened it in his press.
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Old 05-01-2010, 19:21   #6
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Rudder tube

Call around your local motorcycle shops the cater to the offroad crowd. Ask them if they straighten fork tubes. If they can straighten a fork tube, can certainly straighten a rudder tube. Then cart it in there, and watch the magic. Cost should be no more than an hour labor.
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Old 24-08-2016, 19:34   #7
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Re: How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

I know this thread is old, but take a look at this rudder on a 1978 Hunter 27, currently being painted as I attempt to raise her from the "severely neglected."





What concerns me is that if I attempt to bend it, the tube may snap. Is this a valid concern? I have no idea how this happened, I bought the boat without knowing, and the PO said nothing about this at all.
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Old 24-08-2016, 20:19   #8
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Re: How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

I replaced my rudder with a new one from Foss Foam - NewRudders.com ยป Standard Rudders

Just like you, I found our rudder shaft was bent after buying our boat. Mine was bent to one side a bit. Probably due to being grounded during hurricane Ike in Texas several months before we bought it.

The rudder is pretty important. In your case like mine, the rudder is over 30 years old. Since we were going to the Bahamas and other offshore adventures, I felt it best to replace it. Foss has the mold for your rudder. They built all the rudders for the early Hunters as far as I know. It will cost you about 2K, but worth it on an old boat like ours.




Ralph
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Old 25-08-2016, 04:11   #9
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Re: How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

I spoke to my shipwright a few months ago about fixing a bent rudder. He said it was easy and it took a specific, but common tool, to do it. Something like a "creepy crawler" or something crawler, to do the job.
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Old 25-08-2016, 05:00   #10
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Re: How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

You'd be surprised how easy it is to bend a 2" solid stainless steel shaft - I did it by mistake with my steering cylinders once. Pull it out, and find the shop that can straighten it for you. Failing in that, build a wooden jig that will hold the rudder, with the shaft secured and taking the load (none on the rudder itself - it's comparatively fragile) and then use an ordinary hydraulic jack to bend the shaft back. Assemble the jig out of 2x6s bolted together - no screws. It's likely to be a simple bend - just in one dimension, not twisted. Building the jig will take more time that straightening the shaft.
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Old 25-08-2016, 05:06   #11
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Re: How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

The Fix = Shotgun + Shovel & Bag of Lye (optional)
AKA she's likely dead, & in need of replacing, with a kink that extreme. Especially as with a kink like that, you're almost guaranteed to have severe water intrusion inside of the rudder. Which means corrosion of the various internal bits. Ditto on probable accelerated rust where the post is bent, along with weakening, as you noted.

If the post is hollow, it's a long shot, but you might be able to add another post or section of bar stock inside of the current one, after straightening. Though strength wise, it'd still be questionable, given that the loading wouldn't be equally split between the old post & such a fix.

So then the options are fix it yourself, or have one made. Building one needn't be difficult, just a bit time intensive. And it's tough to say if you'd save much coin over having one built. Though it couldn't hurt to look into both options.
The tough part of a DIY one being any machining which would need doing to the shaft. But if it doesn't need much of that, then Kurt Hughes's method for his multihull designs is simple, & effective.
And there are other companies which make them besides what's been mentioned. http://www.fastcomposites.ca/site/ is one, & there are others here on CF as well as online.
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Old 25-08-2016, 05:09   #12
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Re: How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

Looking at yours, it's a simple bend right at the corner in the leading edge of the rudder where it enters the boat. So one fulcrum goes across the staff deep in the corner where the shaft disappears into the rudder, and the other goes near the end of the shaft currently inside the boat, and you push with the jack right at the bend, approximately where the staff entered the boat, and half way between those two fulcrims, until it springs back straight. Any damage to the shaft seal?
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Old 25-08-2016, 06:29   #13
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Re: How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

Technically yes it can be straitened, but stainless work hardens worse than almost any metal out there. Which is why it shouldn't be. Something stressed that post past the failure point, and even if you can get it strait again it will be brittle and failure prone.

It isn't the cheap option, but stainless rudders, once bent, should not be restraitened they should be replaced.
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Old 25-08-2016, 06:42   #14
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Re: How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

You're gonna get opinions all over the place on this, for what it's worth this is mine.

While the rudder will always be suspect, it doesn't seem like too awful a bend to me. If you're only knocking around the bay, I'd pull it out, have a look and if not kinked, and if the blade isn't full of water, secure the blade somehow, and straighten the shaft as much as possible with a jack or a long pipe or a jack and a long pipe. If it straightens without too much problem it'll probably be OK. Who knows how long it's already been used like that?

Better not to try and straighten it in place, no use aggravating the hull any more than it has been by the impact...

Make sure there's no hidden damage on the inside of the hull, too.

If you sell the boat with the straightened rudder, make sure you tell the new owner about it.
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Old 25-08-2016, 09:03   #15
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Re: How Do I Fix a Bent Rudder Post?

What happens if you heat, straighten, and anneal stainless steel? Does it lose the work hardening the same way ordinary 1020 steel does?
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