Today was the big day to reinstall the rudder with the new bushings while the boat was in the water
Yesterday, I sanded the inside of the lower bushing housing with 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper. I test fit an old bushing and it was still tight, so I practiced dressing it down with fine sandpaper. I got a good fit so then I removed the "test bushing" and fit one of the new ones. It too was tight so I dressed down the outside and installed it in the lower housing. It rotated into position and floated nicely in the housing but there was no play. The inside diameter fit over the rudder post was just perfect from the manufacturer so I didn't touch the inside.
Today, I installed the upper bushing using the same sanding
technique as the lower one. It also fit nicely and I rotated it into the vertical position. Next step was to reinstall the rudder. Since it weighs about 80 lbs, we used 3 different lifting tackles to get it off the dock
and move it about 10ft so it was next to the starboard hull
. The last tackle went from a homemade gallows, through both bushings and was tied to the top of the rudder post. We used the jib winch
to raise the rudder while a friend on SCUBA
guided the post through the lower bushing. He wiggled the rudder while we cranked it up through both bushings until the rudder post was fully installed. I reached down through the inspection
port and pushed the retaining bolt through the retaining ring and through the rudder post. The rudder was installed!
A couple hours later I had the quadrant, autopilot
arm, and tiller bar connected. The steering feels normal, there are no noises and their is no play in the new rudder. YEAH!
I ended up with 2 extra bushings, if anyone needs them. Price worked out to $64 USD each since I got 8 instead of 6.
Here are some pics of the installation