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Old 01-06-2010, 08:02   #1
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'Clunky' Sound in Rudder

Was at the helm of a friend's Ericson 38 yesterday and kept hearing a clunking sound under my feet especially if I turned the wheel quickly. I crawled down and looked at the quadrant, which by way of a cursory inspection, looked good and did not appear to be slipping. On the Ericson, there's a fiberglass (?) tube that channels the rudder post and the clunking sound appeared to be coming from that.

We're planning a trip in about three weeks aboard said boat, including a 30-hour offshore passage.

Is this something to be concerned about?
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:03   #2
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Yes...
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:10   #3
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On my old C&C that indicated wear on the rudder stalk bronze bushings at the top and bottom of the f/glass tube
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:11   #4
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could you be more specific? thanks blue - that's what I was thinking.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:20   #5
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No! I could be more effusive, but not more specific.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
could you be more specific? thanks blue - that's what I was thinking.
The fiberglass tube usually extends above the waterline with a seal of some sort at the top. That tube may be fitted with bronze, or some synthetic bushings or sleeves at the top and bottom of such a thickness as to provide clearance along most of the rudder stalk height. Eventually those bushings wear, generally athwartships due to sailing side loads on the rudder. Go over the side and shake the rudder, it should be noticable, At least, mine was. Good luck
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:59   #7
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presumably this needs to be fixed out of the water ...?
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:20   #8
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Mine has done the same thing for 5 yrs now. There's a total of about 1/8" wear that still leaves an inch of metal on the lower bushing. Depending on the construction it may or may not be an issue of immediate concern. My next haulout I'm going to tackle it.
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Old 01-06-2010, 16:55   #9
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My boat has a top bearing in the cockpit, and a lower (skeg hung) pintle/gudgeon that supports it. I do not have any bushings in the rudder tube, and other's may not as well. If it is a spade rudder (not skeg-hung) it likely does.

I would agree with the poster who said to go over the side and check for play in the rudder. Have someone hold the wheel tight while you try to tug the rudder back and forth, forward and aft. Would be much easier to check on land, but if you can feel alot of play in the rudder / bushings, I would be concerned.
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