- - Good photos! The Rudderhead is a stainless steel
casting that slides down over the top end of the rudder post and has a split cut into the bottom part - Yes? No?
- - The 2 "ears" allow the split lower portion of the rudderhead to compress around the top of the rudder post to be squeezed tight around the rudder post - Yes? No?
- - Assuming - yes to the above - Welding on a replacement "ear/tab" would be difficult as the welder cannot get to the inside "seam" of the new "ear/tab" to fully complete the weld. Unless - the new "ear/tab" is located about 3/8" to 1/2" away from the existing ear/tab. Then the welder can get the welding rod into the gap and complete the weld. This would be an easy job for a stainless steel welding shop to fabricate the new "ear/tab" and drill a hole in it, then weld it to the Rudderhead. You wold have to use a stainless bolt long enough to pass through both ears and then use a lock washer and a stainless steel "ny-lock" to tighten the Rudderhead to the rudder post. Be sure to use "Lanacote" or "Tufgel" on the new bolt threads.
- - An alternative fix would be to have the split in the Rudderhead welded shut. Then drill and tap 3 holes in the portion of the Rudderhead that fit over the rudder post. Use 1/4" hex-head stainless bolts (like set-screws) to clamp firmly the Rudderhead to the top of the rudder post. This stops any twisting or rocking motion of the Rudderhead that would put shear pressure/wear on the existing through-bolt. If you look at the standard transmission
shaft "flanges" you will see this kind of thing. It would be good idea to carefully drill a 1/16" hole horizontally through each bolt's head
to accept "safety wire" that would prevent the "set-screw" bolts from loosening over time. That is why you use hex-head bolts rather than normal set screws.
- - I would prefer the 2nd solution of "set-screw" bolts rather than a new "ear/tab" for the reason that trying to squeeze a stainless steel casting is not easy and puts too much tension on the "tab/ear" weld. If the Rudderhead was made of Bronze then squeezing would be easier. But it would depend upon the thickness of the metal that captures the top of the rudder post. The thicker the metal the more difficult it is to squeeze.
- - This is not a difficult fix. I would be choosing a "fix" that will eliminate the problem from re-occurring in the future.