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Old 19-01-2009, 13:01   #46
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I'm a little concerned that you are covering up some serious problems with cosmetic fixes. I think your yard may be leading you astray. First of all I don't think it's normal to have water on the inside of your rudder. Secondly how can you be sure that the foam has stopped shrinking/deteriorating without opening up.

How old is the boat and has the rudder shaft ever been checked to ensure there are no stress cracks or crevice corrosion. Spade rudders like yours can and do fail at the shaft/rudder interface from crevice corrosion.

I really don't have much personal experience with rudders except for helping a friend check the inside of his rudder and then reglassing with epoxy and cloth over the outside. But I do read regularly of rudder shafts failing at the interface to the rudder itself. There is at least one thread on the forum about just such an experience.

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Old 27-01-2009, 06:02   #47
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The End of the Story...

I've already posted this on the SSCA site but for the sake of those that are not SSCA Members and may have an interest in the outcome, we finally collected HyLyte from Snead Island Boat Works on Saturday morning and had a nice, albeit short, trip back to our Club with a much more easily handled yacht thanks to a proper rudder and smooth bottom.

The portion of our bill concerning the rudder repairs included $701.50 for labor and about $350.00 for materials--somewhat less than I had expected but still not inexpensive. (I suspect that SIBW did give me something of a break on the repair as the yard is not inexpensive but they are not likely to admit to that least they have to extend the courtesy to others.)

As to collecting anything from Foss Foam I am told that the head of SIBW spoke with Foss at some length but was rebuffed. Foss's warranty is for 12 months which expired in May of '03. I discussed the matter with another member of our Club, a legal beagle that specializes in such affairs, and was advised that Florida is a particularly difficult venue for recovery. Firstly, Florida's consumer protection laws specifically exclude yachts. Secondly, if I were to prevail in an action, I could only collect the actual amount paid to the vendor for his/her/its services as consequential damages--i.e. the cost of work performed by SIBW and shipping charges--are specifically excluded from recovery. Thirdly, I would have to prove that the collapse of the foam was due to a manufacturing defect that was "known to; or reasonably knowable by" the vendor and undisclosed in the event and a propensity of the foam to shrink under certain conditions, which is warned against by the vendor, is not necessarily a manufacturing defect but simply a property of the material (like the shrinkage of new blue-jeans).

In light of the foregoing it seems we're stuck serving as a costly object lesson as to Foss Foam for others.

FWIW I did look into the cost of a replacement rudder built around our own rudder post and armature by Phils Foils, as suggested in another thread, and it seems that vendor has a similar disclaimer regarding the foam coring. However, another friend of ours does have one of their rudders of similar age to ours with no problems thus far.

And that's the end of the story...

s/v HyLyte

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Old 28-01-2009, 09:23   #48
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I believe Phil's Foils uses Corecell, which should not absorb water or deform, in their foam laminates. It would be interesting to know what Foss Foam uses.

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Old 18-10-2009, 21:04   #49
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For $200-$300 you could have purchased enough white oak from a hardwoods supplier to have a decent carpenter completely fashion you an entirely new rudder in under 8 hrs (total) man-hours using the original as a pattern (about $300 labor). Then it would have cost you another $300 or so in materials and $300 in labor to have your new oak rudder glassed over if that is your preferred method of finishing. All told, a brand spanking new fiberglass-covered white oak rudder for about $1500 or so.

That foam and bondo job is about as 'correct' a repair as an automobile body shop filling a dent with foam and bondo, painting over the mess, and calling it 'fixed'. Why do people settle for such repairs on boats, when they would sue the pants off a body shop for similar shoddy work on their automobile?

I should open a boatworks shop, as there seems to be some money to be made.
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Old 22-10-2009, 10:41   #50
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Originally Posted by bene505 View Post
Is there some type of primer or zinc coating that can be applied to S/S to lenghten it's life in rudders?

Stainless steel does just fine in oxygen depleted environments. It is when you add sea water to the environment that some stainless steels suffer and crevice corrosion develops. If the interior of the rudder is dry, there won't be an issue with using stainless steel assuming (of course) that the welds were done correctly.

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fiberglass, rebuild, repairs, rudder

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