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Old 13-10-2010, 21:56   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Boat: Orana 44
Posts: 167
Bent Rudder Post -- Advice?

Hi all:

It happened. We bumped an unmarked reef in muddy waters here in Fiji -- and bent our aluminum port rudder post about 10 degrees. Luckily, we have a cat, so I disengaged the rudder from the steering and managed to get into port. Also, luckily, there's a place where we can haul out this 24 foot beam cat.

It's an aluminum post, and my current plan is to haul the boat, drop the rudder out, and have it straightened by a well-equipped machine shop here in Fiji, and to put a reinforcing post inside the existing hollow post to reinforce the newly-straightened post.


Also, and this might be a dumb question, but my rudder post's seal seems to lie well above the waterline -- how can I tell if it's possible to remove the rudder whilst in the water -- not for this instance, but in case it happens far from a marina (we are circumnavigating). I have a vague recollection from college physics that having the stuffing box located above the waterline might mean I get water inside the shaft up to the waterline but not beyond ... reaction?

Thanks all!


sv ile de Grace
Musket Cove, Fiji
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Old 13-10-2010, 23:02   #2
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Location: Port Charlotte, Florida
Boat: Lagoon 440
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Hi Jon, I did exactly the same thing here in Hong Kong a couple of months ago but bent both stainless steel tube rudder posts. It is entirely feasible to get the rudders out with the boat still in the water provided the top of the bearing tube is above water. I am not sure of the Orana rudder bearing design but we did that with the Schionning and it sure saved a lot of time and expense. You will have to takle care with the straightening to make sure the post is still round enough to go back in the bearing - we had two new rudders made in China and scrapped the old ones even though the blades were not damaged. Good luck with it - try the in-water remove/re-install if you can though with the aluminium post you will probably have to tie a weight on the blade to get the rudder out.
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Old 14-10-2010, 01:36   #3
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many years ago WD Schock made a Santana 35 where the rudders where bending, they put out a kit, a SS rod to slip in the post then fill with epoxy.

That was off the navel architects desk.

I did it never had a problem.
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