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Old 30-04-2016, 09:18   #1
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Plugging rudder holes

So I drilled three very narrow holes into the bottom of my rudder to drain any accumulated water. These are vertical holes, straight up from the bottom edge. Good news very little clear, not rusty, water weeped out over the next 3 weeks. Bad news I had real trouble forcing any Marine-Tex epoxy into these little pipette sized holes. It appears only a very shallow plug is setting up in the hole. Has anyone else worked with this? Is a shallow plug enough? Has anyone successfully filled a narrow vertical drain hole at the bottom of a rudder? I'm concerned I've created a new water contamination problem rather than removing the little water that was there to start with. I sail on Buzzards Bay so it's not a fresh water situation.
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Old 30-04-2016, 09:24   #2
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Re: Plugging rudder holes

Clean out the holes. Use a syringe, inject some epoxy, quickly put a piece of tape (masking, packing, mylar duct, whatever) over the bottom edge to hold it in. Let cure overnight, then sand smooth.


Gravity is just an inconvenience.(G)


The good news is that your rudder armature and foam aren't rotting bigtime yet. The bas news is that any water in a rudder, means failure to come. Later if not sooner.
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Old 30-04-2016, 10:20   #3
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Re: Plugging rudder holes

Make the hole big enough for a syringe tip. Dry thoroughly the area with a hairdryer.

Mix half thick filler epoxy and silicat. Fill the syringe, inject into the opening. Tape.

Remove the tape after about 1 hour, apply some epoxy and a small speck of very light glass webbing overlap.

Sand and prime when dry.

b.
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:00   #4
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Re: Plugging rudder holes

I drilled my drain hole once, fill it in the spring with a little dap of black Mono Ultra caulking. In the fall I can poke/pick it out in a couple seconds.
Mono isn't silicone so no issues with paint or glue down the road from residue.
Might not be the answer if the boat is in the water year round, lasts fine for the 6 month Ontario season.
I get a couple oz. clear water dribbling out in the fall. No idea where it comes from, always done it. Rudder was epoxy sealed primed and painted 2 summers ago, still had the same amount.
Transom hung rudder.
Only reason I use black caulking is black bottom paint. I know nobody sees it on the bottom of the rudder.....would bug me anyway!
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:24   #5
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Re: Plugging rudder holes

Thanks guys,
I appreciate the detailed suggestions for completely filling the holes. I think that is the best permanent solution. I don't know why taping the holes didn't occur to me. I just got done reinforcing my deck as part of replacing my chain plates. So the syringe, tape, etc of the West System is something I have used. Siberianhusky's practice mirrors something I considered doing if the Marine-Tex didn't hold. Push butyl tape into the holes and paint over. I've read about others installing one form or another of permanent drain holes that you open in fall and close in Spring. It's nice to hear about simple solutions that work.

Hellosailor, the later the better. This rudder is 37 years old and passes all the "solid" and functional tests.
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