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Old 23-11-2010, 16:34   #1
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Rudder Tube Reline

The suggested method for repairing a worn rudder tube (no bushings) involves graphite and epoxy. Has anyone done this repair and what were the results. I am contemplating doing this on my old Grampian 26 because I am tired of chasing the helm while sailing. I await your input.
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Old 23-11-2010, 17:26   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perchance View Post
The suggested method for repairing a worn rudder tube (no bushings) involves graphite and epoxy. Has anyone done this repair and what were the results. I am contemplating doing this on my old Grampian 26 because I am tired of chasing the helm while sailing. I await your input.
What Diameter Shaft ? What material is presently used in the 'tube'?
Have seen Cutlass bearings used.
Have a look at this site - the FAQ has info on Rudder problems http://www.grampianowners.com/G26/grampian_26.html
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Old 24-11-2010, 06:50   #3
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The tube is unlined fiberglass and the shaft dia. is about 1 inch. There is not enough material in the tube to install any kind of bushing.
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Old 24-11-2010, 07:13   #4
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Here's what I did.

My rudder post is about 1-1/4" in diameter. It was getting sloppy at the top, so I made up this s/s plate, and it works perfectly.
This picture will show the 8" x 8" s/s plate screwed into the cockpit sole (used s/s screws & epoxy bedding). Add a thick s/s washer at the top and you're good to go.
Your rudder tube cannot be adjusted with the idea you indicate. The tube is just to keep the rudder post relatively stable, and stop any water from coming into the stern area. Don't even think of making it a bearing. If your G-26 is sitting correctly in the water, about 4" to 5" of the tube would be below the waterline.
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Old 24-11-2010, 07:51   #5
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How to rebuild the bearing surface, by injecting graphite-loaded epoxy into the rudder tube, using the rudder stock as a mold is described in section 8.4 of "Fiberglass Boat Repair & Maintenance", published by West System Inc.

Here ➥ http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/...aintenance.pdf

Here’s a few good articles from Dan Pfeiffer :

Rudder Bushing Repair Alternative ➥ Rudder Bushing Repair Alternative - Pearson 26

Rudder Bushing Considerations ➥ Rudder Bushing Consderations - Pearson 26

Rudder Bushing Repair ➥ Rudder Bushing Repair Details - Pearson 26

See also:

Repairing Worn Rudder Post Tubes ➥ home
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Old 24-11-2010, 10:25   #6
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Having owned two Grampians, I'd say that Jims method is best. The rudder hangs down in the tube, supported only by the pin which secures the rudder into the boat. It rides on a large bronze washer which sits on the cockpit sole or may be imbeded into it. The tiller head is keyed and held in place with a tightening bolt. As time passes the washer gets opened up in diameter, and the pin wears a notch on either side of the shaft. It also works loose and allows water to get into the plywood core of the cockpit sole. So putting a large plate, drilled for the shaft diameter will tighten up the top end. I would route out the sole about half the depth of the plate, epoxy the plywood and rudder tube junction (checking for any deterioration of the plywood) and then install the plate.

I would also suggest that you examine the tiller head and tiller fitting as the twisting motion of using the rudder will over time elongate the holes in the tiller head. There is only so much material here so if its been drilled out for a larger bolt once or twice you may be nearing the point at which the tiller head and fitting need to be replaced. I believe this is the cause of your problem of having to chase the rudder. Wear in the tube or erosion of the support washer would not affect steering very much given the length of the tube and the clearances within. Block the rudder amidships from below so it won't turn, then check the slop in the tiller head.

As for the tube bottom, the clearance between the shaft and the tube is pretty tight. It may be possible to have a bushing machined from plastic which you can put on the shaft and have it slide into the rudder tube as the rudder is reinstalled from below.That will tighten up the clearance at the bottom. Alternately, remove the rudder and shaft, coat with release agent and re install after drilling a hole into the shaft about 5 inches up (crawl under the cockpit sole to do this). Seal the shaft as well as you can with plasticine from outside, and then inject the epoxy/graphite mix into the rudder tube.

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