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Old 02-05-2018, 06:12   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Melbourne Australia
Boat: Cole Pawtucket 35
Posts: 40
Images: 4
Rudder refit, spills'n'thrills or trail'n'error?!

So, here I am attempting to doing a full bottom job on my 35' boat. Bit of a jump into the deep end of the pool for me, but how else is a bloke gonna learn, right?
Anyway, much has been going on in life on the hard stand. Hull mostly freed of decades of over painted antifoul, numerous pot holes badly filled dug out and a number of larger osmosis blisters found. Anyhow, I digress from the subject matter...

I ended up dropping the rudder myself and what an interesting experience this was. Never have I done this before and now I know how these heavy rudders actually stay in a boat. Mine anyway!
Got it all apart in pieces and now I find that there is a crack developing along the seam where the two half shells of the rudder meet. Water had also been absorbed and after grinding/sanding it to bare glass, discoloration and possible glass rot was found.

Now I prefer to do things right first off, but I think I would be over my head as a first project to 'split' the rudder halves, dig out the existing foam, fix up any fiberglass and rebuild with expanding foam injection?! I mean I'm great at taking things apart and by my calculation, that is half the job done, but who knows right? The other option would be to dremel around the seam to open up a way to dry/drain the innards, then fill the gap with thickened epoxy, slap over a layer of epoxy and bi-axial cloth, fair and barrier coat. Done! Not the most elegant solution, but would it work?

Like I said, I'm a novice here, so any advice is muchly appreciated.

I better try and figure out how to get some pictures up for you, so you can make better sense of my ramblings.
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:30   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Melbourne Australia
Boat: Cole Pawtucket 35
Posts: 40
Images: 4
Re: Rudder refit, spills'n'thrills or trail'n'error?!

So, after I ask for advice on the rudder itself, now comes the question about the stock, bearings and quadrant, with, I'm sure, more to come.

First up, the quadrant, I started cleaning it with a synthetic abrasive wheel on a drill, as the paint was basically already falling off by itself. That worked quiet well and now I'm thinking of protecting this by either painting or having it coated somehow? Seeing it is in a hard to get at place in the bowels of the stern, I hope to do it right once at most every ten years. (Rules to live by!)

So, is there a good paint to paint this quadrant? Prefer a lighter colour as it should show up cracks a lot better, should they ever eventuate. I'm trying to buy myself some forewarning.

The bolt holes holding the two half quadrants together seem to be elongated, either during the install process, or by movement??? Could this happen? Anyway, was thinking either put up with it and re-use the old bolts (still in good shape), or bore out and use larger diameter bolts? Anyone with any knowledge and experience, please share.

All in all, it doesn't look too bad. Actually better than expected. 32 year old boat, I figure I could expect anything! Anyway, here the pics.
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:48   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Melbourne Australia
Boat: Cole Pawtucket 35
Posts: 40
Images: 4
Re: Rudder refit, spills'n'thrills or trail'n'error?!

And now for the bearings.... I have no clue as to what I'm looking at. Looks like I'll have to jump in feet first again and get my hands dirty, literally!

When I first got the boat a few years back, the steering was very, very stiff. I tried loosening the steering cables a wee bit and that helped a little, but what worked the most was unleashing penetrating oil on it. I unscrewed the emergency tiller cover and doused a can of Ballistol oil into it. The plan was to let the oil run down along the rudder shaft into the bearing surfaces. This actually worked and freed the rudder nicely after quiet a bit of working it over a period of time. Every so often, over a month or so, I'd give it a top-up and work the wheel. Maybe that's why the quadrant was quiet dirty with grease and oil!?

So now, after removing the rudder, I'm looking into the abyss of the rudder post recepticle, bearings and all,... I guess?!? As mentioned, I'm not sure what I'm looking at, so if anyone knows something about these things, please take a little time, come sit around the campfire and share the knowledge. PLEASE!!!!
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