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Old 05-06-2012, 13:03   #1
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Rudder problem

Big waves, very close together, in a relatively shallow channel, made a big problem for me. A wave sucked a lot of water under the boat and then dropped the stern. The rudder hit bottom and is bent. It's a skeg rudder with only stern over it, and the back top corner of the rudder is now wedged up against the bottom of the boat.

We're waiting for weather to clear out to take it out into the bay and drop the rudder, but here's the "rub" (pardon the pun) -- that rudder is brand new. I replaced, the old, compromised one some months ago.

The top of the rudder was very close to the bottom of the boat before this incident. Do you think it would be safe to just straighten out the shaft (it's very long -- about 5 ft). There's a metal plate inside across the top of the rudder, and the rest is foam with a fiberglass overlay. Is there any other way the rudder might be compromised from this?
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:25   #2
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Re: Rudder problem

for safety i would make sure the post is not going to break when doing the straightening--please be safe. can do the removal by careening your boat. remember water can get into boat via rudderpost in many boats.

t is also possible to hole boat by trying to bend post while inside boat...please be safe. find ss guy and have help.
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:26   #3
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Re: Rudder problem

Anything is possible!! If it were mine I sure would be looking at it out of the water to be sure theres no damage to the foam rudder!! if no visable damage then strighten the shaft and your in Bizz!! if ya don't ck ya might lose it when ya need it the most !! My luck has aways been if it can, it will, kind of luck, so I never take chances if I can help it !! Just my 2 cents
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:34   #4
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Re: Rudder problem

forgot water doesnt go out far enough in fla for careening--will quick lift work for this--as long as ye get out of water to see hul integrity and shaft shape....??
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:36   #5
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Re: Rudder problem

We had a less traumatic injury to our rudder last summer (hit an uncharted rock), but with a similar result. The rudder, which had less than a one inch clearance to the hull was jammed against it. We had the boat hauled not certain what we would find. It turned out that the pressure against the hull meant that the shaft bend was minimal and the bearings were fine. We had a couple of machinists look at the shaft. They didn't think they could make it meaningfully straighter. That included discussing dropping a pipe down the shaft with an OD similar to the ID of the shaft so they could isolate and straighten the bend. We ended up repairing the ding in the bottom and shaving a tapered 3/4" off the top to reestablish the hull clearance. Our plan was to try the repair and finish the season. If it didn't work well we would get a replacement. We weren't able to see any difference and are keeping things as they are.
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:37   #6
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Re: Rudder problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Big waves, very close together, in a relatively shallow channel, made a big problem for me. A wave sucked a lot of water under the boat and then dropped the stern. The rudder hit bottom and is bent. It's a skeg rudder with only stern over it, and the back top corner of the rudder is now wedged up against the bottom of the boat.

We're waiting for weather to clear out to take it out into the bay and drop the rudder, but here's the "rub" (pardon the pun) -- that rudder is brand new. I replaced, the old, compromised one some months ago.

The top of the rudder was very close to the bottom of the boat before this incident. Do you think it would be safe to just straighten out the shaft (it's very long -- about 5 ft). There's a metal plate inside across the top of the rudder, and the rest is foam with a fiberglass overlay. Is there any other way the rudder might be compromised from this?
Trying to bend the Rudder back into line woud be very unwise. It may be possible to repair the shaft but not while it's in the boat. Moreover, if you hit the bottom hard enough to bend the shaft, you definately want to check the hull around the point where the rudder stock emerges from the hull. The shaft alley may be cracked or damaged as well as the rudder itself. There are a couple of yards in Salt Creek as well as along the Manatee River, e.g. Snead Island Boat Works.

What channel were you in that you managed to bang the bottom?
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:44   #7
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Re: Rudder problem

Do you have the name of the people who built you a new rudder? Contact them as a starting point.

You don't need to pull a boat in order to pull the rudder. As long as the shaft is straight. If it is bent it maybe difficult to get the rudder out. Rudders are usually designed to be neutral buoyant. It is important to have enough water under the rudder so that you can push the post down thru the rudder post hole. Also you need to make sure that the rudder post tube is above the water line. From there you can take it to someone who is knowledgeable about metallurgy and see if it can be straightened.
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:44   #8
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Re: Rudder problem

rku--we broke a rudder--tangs from post-in st joseph bay and split the skin over the rudder--of the hull--we were stoopit enough to sail her 290 miles to slidell before looking at her--she didnt want to go where we wanted her to g o--we know there was a problem....please do a quick lift to check her out ....while still in lifts you can assess the need for further haulout vs rudder repair...be safe.
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:53   #9
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Re: Rudder problem

When I bent my rudder post last season, I was told that it was bent too far to straighten, so I had to have it replaced. Apparently, there is a point at which the stainless won't go back straight without cracking. Here's a photo of the bent post with a straight-edge held up against it:
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:54   #10
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Re: Rudder problem

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Originally Posted by DennisM View Post
When I bent my rudder post last season, I was told that it was bent too far to straighten, so I had to have it replaced. Apparently, there is a point at which the stainless won't go back straight without cracking. Here's a photo of the bent post with a straight-edge held up against it:
Ouch!!!!!

Da_n, Dennis. That's a heck of a bend!
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Old 05-06-2012, 13:56   #11
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Re: Rudder problem

Ya. Ran aground in fog south of the Cape Cod Canal, but that didn't do it. Getting towed off did the damage.
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Old 05-06-2012, 14:24   #12
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Re: Rudder problem

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
for safety i would make sure the post is not going to break when doing the straightening--please be safe. can do the removal by careening your boat. remember water can get into boat via rudderpost in many boats.

t is also possible to hole boat by trying to bend post while inside boat...please be safe. find ss guy and have help.

Trust me, water can't get into THIS boat this way. This will be the second time we've done this on this boat. If the rudder breaks during straightening I'll file an insurance claim but I have a good person on that.

The question is not a safety issue in any way -- what other ways besides the bent post could the rudder be compromised? I described how it's made. It's double-sided foam with a metal plate in about the top fifth, wrapped in a couple of layers of fiberglass. I have good people helping me so please let's shelve the safety stuff.
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Old 05-06-2012, 14:28   #13
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Re: Rudder problem

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Originally Posted by tartansail View Post
We had a less traumatic injury to our rudder last summer (hit an uncharted rock), but with a similar result. The rudder, which had less than a one inch clearance to the hull was jammed against it. We had the boat hauled not certain what we would find. It turned out that the pressure against the hull meant that the shaft bend was minimal and the bearings were fine. We had a couple of machinists look at the shaft. They didn't think they could make it meaningfully straighter. That included discussing dropping a pipe down the shaft with an OD similar to the ID of the shaft so they could isolate and straighten the bend. We ended up repairing the ding in the bottom and shaving a tapered 3/4" off the top to reestablish the hull clearance. Our plan was to try the repair and finish the season. If it didn't work well we would get a replacement. We weren't able to see any difference and are keeping things as they are.

Can't shave off the top of this one because of the metal plate at the top. I don't think (having dived the boat, along with someone else, and the guy who pulls the rudder will take a good look too) there's damage to the bottom of the boat worth a haul out.
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Old 05-06-2012, 14:30   #14
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Re: Rudder problem

After haul-out in the fall, I discovered that the damage to my rudder, though repaired, had allowed water to seep into the rudder itself. I drilled it, drained it and patched it, but I won't know probably until next haul-out whether the rudder is still compromised with water.

May I also say that getting testy with people who are responding to your request for help and advice is probably not the best way to deal with the good folks on this forum.
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Old 05-06-2012, 14:32   #15
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Re: Rudder problem

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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Do you have the name of the people who built you a new rudder? Contact them as a starting point.

You don't need to pull a boat in order to pull the rudder. As long as the shaft is straight. If it is bent it maybe difficult to get the rudder out. Rudders are usually designed to be neutral buoyant. It is important to have enough water under the rudder so that you can push the post down thru the rudder post hole. Also you need to make sure that the rudder post tube is above the water line. From there you can take it to someone who is knowledgeable about metallurgy and see if it can be straightened.

Oh boy do I know the people who made the rudder, although they would be quite surprised to see me again so soon!!! Oy ...

The rudder is not neutrally buoyant. It's VERY buoyant. I was just to this rodeo in February (yes -- brand new rudder here). We have all that stuff sorted out. What would we look for to see if the foam blade has been compromised? I'm not reporting this to ins unless I have to. I have a 5 year completely clean record with them.
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