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Old 30-05-2013, 11:06   #1
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Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

I'm having some issues with my rudder;
1) The rudder bearing has worn away and I cant seem to get the old one off. I think the previous owner might have done a repair job here... Does anyone have a photo of what it should look like and how easy it should be to remove?
2) Rudder is bent to the starboard side. (again from previous owner I presume) Has anyone built a rudder for this type of boat? Just wondering what the inside of the rudder looks like in terms of the rudder post etc. Thinking of building a new rudder myself but would like to ideally do this without removing old rudder so I can keep racing in the meantime. My idea is to build the two halves of the rudder, and then hollow out what needs to be removed for the old rudder post to be installed, then glass the two parts together.
Any advice or either part of the above would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 30-05-2013, 11:19   #2
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Re: Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

Dont know about Bene, but typically the rudder post would have 2 or 3 SS plates (1/4" or so) welded to it extending into the rudder cavity. You might be able to build the post/plates assembly, Then remove your rudder and cut and peel off the fiberglass shell and reuse it. Or you could use the old shell to layup a new (albeit slightly larger) shell onto that old rudder. Or you could use that shell as a mold to layup a new rudder. At any rate, you have to decide what to fill the rudder with. Usually filled with lightweight foam which eventually fills with water. You could use casting resin and micro ballons ( i did this once) to fill it and avoid water saturation. It's a little heavier though if you race. (although not too heavy in water!) If the old rudder post is bent, how do you intend to reuse it?
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Old 30-05-2013, 11:23   #3
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Re: Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

Thanks for the advice. I was just going to use foam but my current rudder has filled with water and I don't want the same problem again!
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Old 30-05-2013, 11:27   #4
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Re: Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

I completed the rebuild of mine and left a 3/4" hole in the top (actually 2) and poured the resin mix in until full. I would imagine you could put some wood pieces in centrally located so they get surrounded by resin to save on the cost of resin and weight. Cedar comes to mind!
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Old 30-05-2013, 11:31   #5
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Re: Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

Ha; sadly Bermuda Cedar is hard to come by these days! Good idea though none the less. Thanks again. I will have to look into getting materials together and then finding the time to do it all. How long did the rebuild of yours take? I'm thinking a week or so should be enough... If I don't procrastinate too much!
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Old 30-05-2013, 11:34   #6
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Re: Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

OH! Bermuda!
Mine was done during a major boat job. My shaft was fine. I just cut a window out of the side of the rudder and cleaned out all the soft wet foam. Then let it dry out for a couple of weeks. Glassed the window back on and filled 'er up! Your job is more extensive....
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Old 16-07-2013, 12:24   #7
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pirate Re: Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

Hi, I have a problem with my First 456 (1984) regarding rudder. It has developed a delamination at the back side (thin side). The boat is in water so inspection is not very exhaustive. I tried to take out rudder in water but the rudder won't drop my be it need some convincing but I would like to know if someone can tell me why is not dropping. Of course I took all the steering stuff out etc. so it seems to be free and it turns easy but it shifts down some 2"and then stops. I plan to put the boat on dry in September and tackle the job again.
Thanks for any suggestion
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Old 16-07-2013, 12:46   #8
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Re: Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

In some beneteaus the lower bearing is a metal sleeve glued to the lower part of the FG post, used 5200 in many cases, the sleeve have a cut in the midle to fit close in the rudder shaft, some people glue the sleeve with the sleeve in the rudder and others fit the sleeve without the rudder, in any case if the 2 option is choosed , beaware to take with calipers the exact measure , if you glue the sleeve to close, later the rudder shaft have a hard time to fit in the sleeve.Cheers.
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Old 17-07-2013, 07:43   #9
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Re: Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

Hi Neilpride, thanks for your sugestions but my rudder bearing seem to be OK ( no slack). My problem is delamination of rudder spade. I need to get rudder downand it seems there is something in the tube (FG post?) that stops it. It moves down a couple of inches and then it gets stuck. I did't try to force it since boat is in wather but when it will be on the dry I shall have to get it down.
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Old 17-07-2013, 08:09   #10
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Re: Help needed with Beneteau First 375 Rudder

Ha! I was just about to say 'a friend of mine in Bermuda has exactly the same problem with his rudder - what are the chances?' :-)

Cut her open buh!

Yours will be a LOT easier than mine was as you don't need to fit it into a skeg at the bottom. What about cutting it open, splitting it in two, removing any wet nastiness, filling with airex foam and resin, laminating it back together (with a thin tape of glass around the outside edge) and then fairing the outside on one side so that both sides are the same? It'll end up a little heavier than the old one and a little more chunky. Could maybe make it a bit longer while we're at it..........

What does the CF community think of the cunning plan?
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