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Old 24-02-2016, 11:48   #1
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Keel/Rudder Alignment

I am in the surveying phase of purchasing a 1984 C&C 32 in BC and while she was on the hard, noticed that the keel and the rudder were not plumb with the hull and mast. The deflection of the keel appeared to be to Stbd about 1 - 2 inches over its length and this was roughly checked and confirmed by measuring the tip of the keel to the waterline (difference was about 1 inch). The rudder appeared to be angled slightly to port.

The keel bolts and fibreglass in the sump area showed no signs of repair or problems. The rudder moved through its arc without binding or showing any distorted path. An experienced surveyor suggested that if there is no evidence of repair in the area of the keelboats the deflection is likely to be a factory anomaly… as is the rudder.

I am curious if others have experienced this issue and if indeed it is benign. Are the keels and rudders of C&C boats not necessarily plumb from the factory?

A prospective owner,
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Old 24-02-2016, 13:04   #2
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Re: Keel/Rudder Alignment

It's not unknown for their to be discrepancies in the molds that cause appendages to be out of line. Wouldn't be unusual that the height of the hull is not the same from side to side and such quality yachts as the Bristol Channel Cutter have rudders that are exactly vertical.

If you can drop the rudder might be a good idea to check if the rudder shaft hasn't been bent somewhere along the line.

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Old 24-02-2016, 13:07   #3
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Re: Keel/Rudder Alignment

Its entirely possible that the waterline might be higher on one side than the other resulting in your off by an inch meausurement of the keel. Try measuring from the waterline to the toe rail on each side as well to see if it is the same. Best of luck with your survey.
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Old 24-02-2016, 13:52   #4
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Re: Keel/Rudder Alignment

I have seen this only on poor quality boats. Where I live the keel and the rudder are expected to be perfectly aligned.

I believe there will be consequences to how she sails.

Can you find an identical boat that does not show this mis-alignement?

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Old 24-02-2016, 14:40   #5
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Re: Keel/Rudder Alignment

Was the boat resting on her keel at the time? Hulls do distort to some degree when thus stressed... it might go away when floating. However, might indicate some asymmetric flaws in the layup, too.

A bit worrisome, possibly not important.

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Old 24-02-2016, 17:10   #6
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Re: Keel/Rudder Alignment

It is more common than not for the rudder and keel to be slightly off center compared to the centerline. It's why almost all Newley bought race boats get delivered to an optimization shop. To have all these small issues corrected.

For non-racers it is not really important. You will have one tack the boat favors, and can just adjust to the boat.

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Old 09-03-2016, 21:54   #7
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Re: Keel/Rudder Alignment

Thanks to those who offered opinions and advice regarding the keel/rudder alignment. After determining there was nothing amiss with the keel bolts and no evidence of repair to either the keel or rudder I decided to go for the purchase albeit with a reduced price. Now the effort to erase a few years of neglect begins in earnest.

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