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Old 01-03-2010, 10:03   #1
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Delamination on Rudder

I visited my boat yesterday for the first since Nov. I need to do a glass repair to the bottom on the rudder from being on a sandbar last year. At the same time there is a 1.5" diameter spot right in the middle of the side of the rudder that has a void. I noticed this last year and drew a circle around it and know that it hasn't gotten any bigger. So the question is whether I should do anything to the void while glassing up the bottom edge. while it seems to be a "sure since I'm already working on the rudder" I wonder if this is a misplaced act of "doing something". I would bet that void has been there since the boat was bulit in 1988. It isn't even visable by eye as a bump or anything and I found it mostly by accident while druming my finger on the rudder while talking to someone.

So what do other think? Is it better or worst to leave it or drill a hole into the fiberglass to shoot some expoy into it with the chance of just starting some other issue?
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:10   #2
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Don I had the same issue. For me it came down to the delam being mentioned in the survey and the insurance company. Otherwise, the glass guy who opened it suggested the epoxy route. His theory was it was far less expensive and if it did not work, you always have the option of major surgery. He also commented it could have been there since the boat was made, unless it was seen to grow.

I would stay with the simple epoxy approach and move up from there.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:57   #3
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Yeah my survey last year listed them as a low priority and the insurance company said nothing about it. If it was near an edge of the rudder that saw some stress it would be one thing. But in right in the middle of the side and not growing I'm a little leary of drilling a hole in what otherwise is solid. It is interesting that before I brought the boat I tracked down an owner of the model and the only issue he had had was delamination in the rudder. Maybe the rudder builders were just daily hit/miss guys.
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Old 01-03-2010, 13:01   #4
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Drill, fill, observe.

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Old 01-03-2010, 13:21   #5
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"Maybe the rudder builders were just daily hit/miss guys." I wondered the same as it seems to be its own mini-industry. newrudders.com . Maybe just planned obsolescence?
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Old 01-03-2010, 14:52   #6
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Newrudders...Foss Foam. Good friend of mine lost several months of sailing season when they messed up on making a new rudder for him, and the new one never handled as well as the one it was to replace. We were totally unimpressed with those folks and to quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail..."Run Away!" is all that comes to mind.

They say " Solvent washing is not enough. The rudder must be sanded to remove a heavy coating of mold release wax." But companies like 3M, who make fiberglass care and repair products, always say that sanded simply gouges fiberglass and EMBEDS waxes and polishes, to solvent prep them instead, or sand and then solvent wash AGAIN. Then there's Foss's allergy to heat and sunlight...I don't know, rudders have to live outdoors with that, Foss seems to be the only folks on the planet who think rudders need to be coddled, shaded, air conditioned.
They may be the only source on the market, but it will be a cold day in hell before I'll do business with them. I'd go Norse with a steering board first instead!

Just one man's opinion. Or rather, two men's opinions. Those folks just dropped the ball too many times, too consistently.
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Old 01-03-2010, 15:18   #7
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To clarify - Foss was an example, not an endorsement.
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