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Old 29-09-2016, 18:24   #16
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

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Not sure about your area. But I would suggest pulling the rudder and prop shaft and bringing them to a marine machine shop to have a look. They will be the best to advise on repairs. Most don't do rudders but I know a of a few that do and were fairly reasonable to do rudder shaft repairs if you were willing to do the glass repairs (I.E. cut away the glass to access the bent section and repair afterwards) . Given the damage I would really want to pull the rudder and inspect the bearing areas.
As far as doing the glass (or epoxy, more likely, considering my affinity for epoxy) work, I have no problem performing that myself.

The bearing seems to be fine, there is no wobble to speak of, but still one wonders... I am curious, however, just how much pressure is placed on the rudder when a vessel like this one (or specifically, THIS one) heels severely underway, assumedly the most non-aground force it would encounter? I attempted to move it by hand, just to see how much flex there was in the shaft, and made ZERO movement or even flex on the current post shape. If this thing is made to bend, it would seem a tremendous force would be required to make it do so.

I will recount my shekels and see if there is any budget for it, but I am pretty sure, however, it will have to happen at the next haulout, and not this one. This surgery has just knocked me on my back and I cannot seem to do anything at all until this kidney operation heals. Any luck at all, and they will have gotten all the cancer, and I can start working on this again in another month or maybe a little less, but I won't have cash to do anything like a rudder post replacement any time in the immediate future.

I still have to determine how to drop the mast without assistance of a lift or crane, and then lift it back in place a few days later. The yard master would not allow me to do this when I was in good health (he placed me next to his racing hull, and was afraid I would knock my vessel over into his, causing a domino fall across the property, and there are now half again more boats there). I need to locate a means to handle this, or I have to locate a tree over deep water, and use a chain hoist/comealong! Too bad I don't have a bunch of sailing friends nearby who could assist. I am a bit screwed at the minute, I am afraid...
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Old 29-09-2016, 20:44   #17
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

Sailing Fan, first let me say I am sorry to hear of your illness. When we are weak from surgery and its precursors, everything is harder.

Yes, it takes a lot of force to bend rudder shafts. Also, that smile on the hull to keel joint may not have just opened up, it may be the result of striking more or less immovable object.

Still, imho, health trumps boats, so your first objective is improving your quality of life, which may mean doing only easy things on the boat, so as not to over-fatigue your body. Make your self-talk positive, and perhaps someone in your area will befriend you, and the burdens will be shared.

Good luck man,

Ann
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Old 29-09-2016, 21:07   #18
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

What is your shaft made of? Mine is bronze, and (after the **&*&*!!%! Towboat US operator broke the rudder and bent the shaft) I was able to straiten the shaft quite a bit by hand. I suspect a machine shop could have gotten it nearly exact. The largest forces on the rudder won't be when you are heeled, they will be when you are thrown backwards off a wave and back onto the rudder. Rudders do brake under those conditions, but I'm not sure yours is really significantly compromised, and the shaft might not be the weak link. Maybe a machine shop could tell you if you pull it off and let them look at it.
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Old 07-10-2016, 00:47   #19
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Re: Haulout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

My rudder post seems to be made of stainless steel. There is no corrosion on it, and it is shiny as can be. The same material seems to be used for the prop shaft, though that is a different story (minor pitting in a couple small places and apparently a solid bar rather than what appears to be a thick pipe or tube for the rudder post).

I was on board yesterday (prepping for Hurricane Matthew's arrival) and saw that there is a metal collar on the tiller pedestal, with a single small bolt penetrating the collar, the post, and the collar on the other side, then threaded into a locking nut. It appears that to drop the post requires simply a removal of that nut and bolt (and a lifting of the sailboat to allow the assembly to fall through the hull of course). It is possible that such an operation would be easier with Equinox floating in the river. thus removing the requirement to lift her further once I get her back into the water for mast repair commencement.

I was fortunate that my brother in law was also available, and he was able to do most of the clambering about that was required to close and seal the forward hatch and four opening ports, help remove and fold tarps, etc. It would have been pretty tough to do this without his help, and I thanked him for his efforts.

Still, I am unsure what (if anything) to do with the rudder post at this moment. I suppose that if I could locate a machinist that won't capitalize upon my marine application for the material, I may be able to find the resources to have the thing straightened, but from what I have seen to date, putting "marine" in front of any device or service seems to add another zero between the last whole number and the decimal point.

For now, I am just going to wait out the hurricane, keep awake and watch for new warnings or other signs that things are getting better (or not) and hope that no additional problems are introduced by the storm. I will go out and check on Equinox after the weather clears and further assess the situation.

I am currently in the side path of the storm, but a wobble West would be a bad thing for most central to northern coastal and peninsular midline Floridians. A solid continuation of Matthew's current trajectory would bode well for us (relative to my part of the state anyway, not counting the surge, which by all accounts will be tremendous and severely damaging in the current forecast track regardless at this point) but that path would be far worse for Georgia and especially South Carolina. My prayers go out to you all.
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Old 07-10-2016, 00:53   #20
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Sailing Fan, first let me say I am sorry to hear of your illness. When we are weak from surgery and its precursors, everything is harder.

Yes, it takes a lot of force to bend rudder shafts. Also, that smile on the hull to keel joint may not have just opened up, it may be the result of striking more or less immovable object.

Still, imho, health trumps boats, so your first objective is improving your quality of life, which may mean doing only easy things on the boat, so as not to over-fatigue your body. Make your self-talk positive, and perhaps someone in your area will befriend you, and the burdens will be shared.

Good luck man,

Ann
Thanks for your wishes and advice, Ann, I do believe you. I also hope you are correct, as I can use the help and the body is not healing nearly so fast as the mind believes it should. The hurricane moved my followup appointment to next week, so I don't know yet how things have resolved (they are not telling me yet for some reason, hopefully no news is good news as they already have the pathology results).

I may be able to gain some help nearby, as others are in the yard as well, and they will remain long after my work is completed, even at my greatly reduced rate of progress. They have far much more to do, and seem friendly nonetheless. I am finding sailboat cruisers to be a tremendously nice community even if we occasionally have different opinions, and most are pretty accepting so far to novices such as myself.

Thanks again! Fair winds and following seas!
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:51   #21
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

You need to find someone with a decent arbor press to straighten out that rudder shaft. It's not bent enough to be detrimental to the strength of the Stainless. Whether they can straighten it with the fiberglass in the way is another question... as will be if there is any pitting or corrosion on it where it is inside the tube. Ditto for the prop shaft, if it sat a long time I bet there is significant corrosion inside the stuffing gland or cutlass bearing. Water sits in there and becomes oxygen depleted if the shaft doesn't turn often. Then it attacks the SS.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:42   #22
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

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You need to find someone with a decent arbor press to straighten out that rudder shaft. It's not bent enough to be detrimental to the strength of the Stainless. Whether they can straighten it with the fiberglass in the way is another question... as will be if there is any pitting or corrosion on it where it is inside the tube. Ditto for the prop shaft, if it sat a long time I bet there is significant corrosion inside the stuffing gland or cutlass bearing. Water sits in there and becomes oxygen depleted if the shaft doesn't turn often. Then it attacks the SS.
Yeah exactly. Getting them out is the first step. I found a machine shop here about a decade ago that straightened a rudder for a friends Catalina. They asked us to grind away the foam and glass from the top portion so they could bear on the metal with a press.

On the prop shaft I pulled the one on a family members Ericson 30 and the machine shop cleaned up some pitting on the prop taper and straightened it for like $125.00 well worth it in my opinion.
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Old 10-10-2016, 21:25   #23
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

Hmmm.. Wonder what $$$$ to expect to straighten the rudder post...??
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:46   #24
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

Hard to say. Find some mom and pop shop if you can. I would guess $75-100 an hour one hour minimum.
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Old 30-10-2016, 00:21   #25
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

Well....
Doo-doo...

Checked the keel bolts, and though there is no rusting apparent, someone WELDED THE NUTS TO THEM!!:ban ghead:

No tightening of those things now!! They don't seem to be loose, but I have no way to know! Further, if one does get loose somehow, I cannot fix it!

Why is it that people don't use nylon locknuts? Why weld these suckers together? Now if I have to remove one, I have to.. well, not sure what to do if that becomes necessary. I cannot even check them without destroying them.

The fool was so assertive in it that the nuts and bolts are not just welded, but blended together, flowed into a single weld lump in one case. People amaze me sometimes...
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:50   #26
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

There is a lot to learn from old boats and each one is unique. I have an '88 Beneteau and still find surprises from previous owners after owning this for 5 yrs! It sounds like you have keel nuts vs bolts threaded on stainless studs with inserts in the lead keel and the nuts are welded to the studs? After reading through this thread, the cost of "proper" repairs would be astronomical. Now add cutting off these keel nuts or bolts and dropping the keel so it can be rebedded and installed! Forget it! If your intention is to day sail or spend weekends in the St John River, just do what is necessary and move on. Your not planning taking her to Bermuda or anything! Maybe you can get to the expensive projects down the road or sell her? I would bead blast the keel and barrier coat it as well as the gelcoat defects below the water line. Use the appropriate paint for fresh or salt water and get the proper shaft anode (zinc vs magnesium). I wouldn't pull the prop shaft unless you are prepared for the other issues you may find... there is always a list with these boats of projects but you don't want to have a boat laid up in perpetuity. Good luck with your recovery!
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Old 06-11-2016, 18:27   #27
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

Well rusted nuts often look as if they've been "blended" by welding. Got to ask yourself who would pay for pointless welding when a big socket wrench would work and actually tighten the keel bolts. Get a Dremel and a stack of the tiny cutoff wheels and set about getting a nut removed by slicing it and then using a hammer and cold chisel to "unscrew" it.
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Old 06-11-2016, 23:17   #28
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Re: Hualout and maintenance on 78 Hunter 27

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Well rusted nuts often look as if they've been "blended" by welding. Got to ask yourself who would pay for pointless welding when a big socket wrench would work and actually tighten the keel bolts. Get a Dremel and a stack of the tiny cutoff wheels and set about getting a nut removed by slicing it and then using a hammer and cold chisel to "unscrew" it.
These are welded, there is a blob on the side of each of these studs, and the blob has the obvious bubble shape on each of them, no doubt of them being welds. Someone was just really stupid, and figured that it was somehow wiser to blob a welding stick on them than it was to use that actually wiser wrench and locknut solution, that's all. They "solved" a problem permanently (that itself generated another potential problem).

In any case, I think that as they cannot come unscrewed, and as there is nothing I can do short of ripping them out when no other significantly damaging problem would result from leaving things alone, I am going to leave them alone. If I start getting water intrusion from them, I will address it at that time. So far, they don't seem to be having any other issues.

I gotta get back on board and resume working, as I have some cabinetry to do as well as installation of the head and other related facilities. Ann, I agree about keeping the work within reason for now, and I am getting better (thank you!!). I did find that the yard manager was willing to assist in my rigging questions, as I have this large bag of running rigging hardware and no lines aloft at the moment. Once I get the mast dropped, the step area reinforced, and the mast erected again with new lines, he will assist in ensuring I get everything mounted in the right place. He races Cal 27's in the area, and is quite interested in helping folks, or at least he was in helping me.

I can pretty highly recommend this yard, I think, for that reason alone, but can also do so for other reasons as well. The place is reasonably clean for instance, and does not look like some of the other candidates I searched in my effort to plan my haulout, some of whom were rather...concerning...in the safety and security arenas.
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