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Old 13-01-2015, 04:14   #1
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In water spade rudder removal

does anyone have experience removing and replacing (when straight) a beneteau spade rudder while in the water ?. Idylle 1984. we have a bent shaft (pintle) and are in a location where hauling out options are limited. thanks.

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Old 13-01-2015, 15:32   #2
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Re: in water spade rudder removal

Hello, John,

This will bump your post back nearer the head of the line....

Do think this through, very carefully. Your boat does not have a water tight bulkhead forward of the rudder shaft, and you'd be amazed how fast the water can come in through a rudder shaft sized hole. Dropping the rudder is a job we have always done on the hard.

What will you use on the inside of the boat to stop water ingress? and what will you do on the outside to help keep it from getting to your "plug"? How happy are you with your plan? it's a big risk


1) are you replacing the bent rudder with a new one? trying to straighten the old one?

2) did the event that caused the shaft to be bent cause collateral damage? if so, please describe, and show pix if possible


Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 16-01-2015, 05:05   #3
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Re: in water spade rudder removal

I've never done it, but when I made the rudder for my boat I planned on the eventuality by drilling and tapping a 3/8" hole in the end of the shaft to attach an eyebolt.

Is this the configuration of your boat?

If so, it looks like the shaft tube has plenty of length above the waterline, so that shouldn't be an issue.

The question is if you have access to the top of the shaft, in the drawing above it appears that you do. If so, it should be fairly easy to drill and tap a hole in the shaft (if there's not one already), attach an eyebolt and lower the rudder out with a line run through a pulley temporarily attached to the boom, with a sheet winch.

You can probably pull the rudder out and aboard without a diver (with creative use of lines), but to reinstall it, you're gonna need a diver to line the shaft up with the bearings.

If you have a stainless rather than a composite shaft, in the water the rudder may be close to neutral buoyancy (which would be nice), but out of the water I'd guess maybe a 100 lbs., so be prepared to handle that.

Also, if you have a hollow stainless shaft, water must not be allowed to get inside it. I hope you plan on getting a new shaft, if so, accept nothing other than solid shaft, polished and preferably passivated 316L SS or better.
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Old 16-01-2015, 05:48   #4
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Re: in water spade rudder removal

I did one last year in the water,was pretty easy.
we had to make up a pin to fit inside the hollow shaft were it s through bolted at the top,smaller than the diameter of the tube,this was held in place with 2 cable ties,and a line attached to it.

this line was led through the bearings/rudder appature and attached to the top of he shaft to pull the shaft into place,and hold it there till the lower flange and securing bolt were inserted.

we also had to weight the lower end of the rudder using a couple of anchors and a block to get it to sink enough and float upright into place.

best done alongside a dock,but not impossible in a calm anchorage.
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Old 16-01-2015, 06:18   #5
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Re: in water spade rudder removal

Not a Beneteau, but I've done it twice. Well, I removed one rudder and one bare stock and reinstalled two new rudders - all without needing anyone in the water.

If you have vertical access above your stock and a way to secure a line to the top of the stock - eyebolt in a threaded hole - it's all pretty straightforward. Especially if your rudder won't float. If it floats (like mine do) you have to over come the buoyancy, obviously. If this is your case, report back and I'll elaborate what I did.

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Old 01-02-2015, 09:47   #6
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Re: In water spade rudder removal

I've done it many times. No problems at all. Be sure to secure it with a line before detaching it as some rudders are sinkers. If it's a floater, you will have to devise a ballast system to keep it neutral for reinstallation.

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