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Old 11-02-2009, 11:55   #31
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Yes, If you 've went this far, dont go back to foam unless you can get some Klegecell (?) or other foam that will not absorb water.
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Old 11-02-2009, 13:47   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeaster View Post
Cheech- my metal framework was fine, but i will weld gussets in between the rudder post and existing framework, now that I have opened it up.

see link for pics:
Possible Rudder Rebuild Questions

Bene - didn't mean to steal the thread, but it is related. My rudder is 30 years old, so I opened it up to check inside. Mine metal framework had been covered with a mixture of epoxy resin / glass fibers, so it ended up being much harder than just cutting the outside skin off, to have a look. After cutting deep enough that the skin "should" have came off, it would not budge, so I had to cut deeper, deeper, etc.

Your's may cut much easier, but I would try to check with a bene owner, or the company, to see how it is made / how easy it would be to open it up.

Now that mine is open, I will beef it up a bit, b4 filling and covering over.

Since yours is only 7 years old, I personally would not open it up, unless you are going far offshore, as I do believe some water intrusion is common.
I will likely add a ring of 5200 at the top, where the rudder post enters the rudder, as this may prevent further water intrusion.

No problem Northeast. I got my original question answered. I'm not going to open it up this winter as we only really coastal cruise, and since the rudder is not that old. I may open it up next winter or the one after. It depends on the amount of water in there next fall.

I've been thinking about how the fiberglass got cracked at the top. Maybe I backed up into some shallows without knowing it? It could have been on the muddy bottom while waiting for the bridge at Mystic. Nothing felt, only speculating. In any case, I'll repair the top with some epoxy and fiberglass -- I'll probably use West Systems, since I've used that before. And I'll seal the drill holes at the bottom.

The rudder is starting to get a little play. Beneteau says not to worry about it yet. So I could be looking at new bushings in the future. I bet it's a lot easier to work on a rudder when it's in your garage laying flat than vertical at a boat yard. I may have them block the boat up higher next winter, dig a little hole and take the rudder off. (That thing has got to weigh a bit, I wonder how much.)

So SE, I'm interested in the path you take to fix your rudder. I think we are all behind you, maybe a year, maybe 10 years, but we are on the same path that you are.
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Old 11-02-2009, 14:24   #33
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Northeaster, it looks like someone did a "not very good" job of repairing your rudder once, using the method of dumping in resin? Looks like the foam was badly deteriorated?

I think rudder repair (build?) is an ideal place to use vacuum infusion. Using foam with small holes evenly spaced throughout would allow the resin to infuse the entire rudder which should stop water ingress. Using this method would allow you to use epoxy or vinyl-ester resin. I have an idea of what I would try but not sure how to explain it here.
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Old 11-02-2009, 15:26   #34
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I bet it's a lot easier to work on a rudder when it's in your garage laying flat than vertical at a boat yard. I may have them block the boat up higher next winter, dig a little hole and take the rudder off. (That thing has got to weigh a bit, I wonder how much.)
If your rudder post is above the water line, it may be easier to drop the rudder while the boat is in the water. You may need to weight it down to get it out, then let the weights go and let her float to the surface. However, if you are going to re-bush it, you will have to haul it anyway.

I had to do that on my Columbia 36 when I was in Palmyra (deserted Island, 900 miles S of Hawaii), one time. It was a lot easier than I anticipated.
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Old 11-02-2009, 15:52   #35
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This will sound stupid (at first)

I would call a mobile Vet (as in veterinarian). They typically have a mobile X-Ray unit and usually you can convince them (after a LOT of explanation) to come by and X-Ray your rudder. It should show what is on the inside so you would have more of an understanding as to what to do.

If the metal bits look good I would probably go with the methods suggested here. If not - new rudder. Just a thought.

This also works for chain plates that are inaccessible. Of course they will want you to sign a release of liability.
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Old 11-02-2009, 16:02   #36
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We dropped a rudder in Key West on a 50 footer and three of us handled it no problem. Course I was a tad younger then. Opened it up, repaired it with cloth and epoxy and put it back on. It had wood on the inside, not foam and we had to fill in the holes made by the Toredo Worms.
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Old 14-02-2009, 19:10   #37
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If your rudder post is above the water line, it may be easier to drop the rudder while the boat is in the water. You may need to weight it down to get it out, then let the weights go and let her float to the surface. However, if you are going to re-bush it, you will have to haul it anyway.

I had to do that on my Columbia 36 when I was in Palmyra (deserted Island, 900 miles S of Hawaii), one time. It was a lot easier than I anticipated.
Are you saying that in order to re-bush it I have to be on the hard? Or can it be done while in the water?

Doing it in the water sounds like a great way to spend a sunny warm day on the boat, with a lot less lifting and less worrying about to handle the heavy rudder. Especially since our mooring will be in 8-10 feet of water. (Of course, if things went wrong it could get bad quick - I'll have to have a plan B ready.)

So can you do bushings while in the water?

Here's a picture from today. The top of the fiberglass tube is roughly 15 inches above the water line.

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Old 18-02-2009, 18:00   #38
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The upper bearing should be easy to do while in the water. The lower bearing may be a bit harder.

You won't know until you get the top one out. If the tube is real clean on the inside, you may be able to knock out the old bushing from the top then drive the new one from the top down to the bottom, then put the upper one in. As long as that tube is, you may be able to put a 3rd bushing in the center/ That may extend the life of the bushings and keep the rudder shaft from flexing.
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Old 18-02-2009, 21:02   #39
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Some of the advice you have gotten seems extreme. No matter what you do you will never stop water getting into your rudder - period - no discussion - the fat lady has sung. Wet foam in a rudder is part of owning a boat. with a 2000 model I would not worry about it unless the water coming out is rust coloured (No it's not misspelled, I'm Scottish).

Drilling a hole in the lowest edge at fall haulout will help prevent freeze damage and you can plug the hole in the spring if it makes you feel better but water is going in around the stock anyway so whats the point.

90% of foam filled rudders will require rebuilding at some point but it's unlikely that yours does at the moment. Determining time for a rebuild is a matter of judgement best left to a competent surveyor who has sounded a couple of thousand rudders. What the heck is "epoxy foam" ?
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Old 26-02-2009, 00:22   #40
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Cheechako has excellent advise. But here's my two cents worth from someone who had his rudder rebuilt.
Drop the rudder and inspect for corrosion and pitting where the packing gland sits. If severe, the rudder stock will need resurfacing, or a new one built.
If repairing in place, (but easier to take out and do on a table top) consider that injectable foam creates enormous pressures, and you will need wooden forms cut to the shape of the rudder (sitting external and against the rudder) and huge clamps to hold it together so that the GRP skin is not pushed out.
Suggestion! take both sides of glass off and that will facilitate getting to the stainless tabs. Do all inspections etc as mentioned by others. You will need to support the bottom of the remaining rudder GRP if in the boat. Then take two sheets of the closed cell foam used in the boating industry. Cut and postion one each side of the tabs and you will need to router groves to have the tab structure recessed. Fair each peice of foam to the shape of the rudder, but allow for thickness of new GRP. Glue the two foam pieces together. Fill in any gaps with spray on closed cell foam and trim.
Then router grooves in the foam both sides of rudder so that the grooves go all the way down to the tabs.
Get a very hard and rot resistant wood and shape to fit grooves snugly and to follow the curve of the newly shaped foam. The wood should be level with the foam.
Glass over (new glass) both sides taking care to feather the new glass into the old.
The wood ensures that when the rudder is moved, the forces are transmitted from the tabs to the GRP. Otherwise the tabs would be pushing against foam and eventually that causes movement between the rudder stock and GRP at the top of the rudder.
5200 at the top of the rudderstock/GRP interface as mentioned in another post is also essential. Epoxy paint the new glass before applying antifoul.
This is not a quick method of repair and not to be considered by the average handyman. A better job would be to do the same as mentioned above with a whole new GRP skin.
Best of luck. I have pictures of my rudder rebuild if you need further clarification.
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Old 27-02-2009, 17:31   #41
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Prae - would like to see pics, if you have them!!!


DeepFrz - would like to hear more of what you would do, in my case, if you would liek to describe it further!!
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Old 27-02-2009, 17:41   #42
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Northeaster, have you looked at the rudder rebuild on the West Systems site?

WEST SYSTEM | Projects - Boat Repair
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Old 27-02-2009, 20:45   #43
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Hope these help!
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery...imageuser=5095
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Old 28-02-2009, 08:22   #44
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To close out my part of this thread, I talked with Beneteau yesterday. They said a cup of water is common with rudders and that they have never heard of a rudder failure caused by it.
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Old 28-02-2009, 10:01   #45
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Prae - Great pics! Thanks very much!! Excellent job on the rudder!

DeepFrz - yes , I have read the West Systems article.

My main issue, is that my rudder is not so bad that I want to completely build a new one.
But, since I have it now opened up, I would like to make it stronger, as I am rebilding it.
I am planning to weld a couple of gussets, and extra "tangs" in the framework (attached) to rudder post. However, ads mine was at one time (possibly originally, as I found no patching, on outside skins) encapuslated with resin around the rudder post - now if I weld gussets / braces to the post, I will likely cause the adjacent resin to melt, if not temporarily catch fire. Even if I weld an inch at a time, or less, there will likely be enough heat generated to cause some damage.

So, am I better not to weld any bracing?

2. Still deciding on whether to use foam, like Prae, or some type of pourable epoxy (with foam, or some kind of non absorbing filler).

See, becasue my rudder still has the outside shape in tact, other than the panel missing, I am considering saving the shape, and filling the void with above materials, rather than creating a completely new rudder, as Prae did so well!

Thoughts?
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