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Old 14-12-2013, 15:37   #16
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Re: Spade Rudder with no bearings.

I think it's possible that the washers in the picture are thrust washers, and the boat was originally constructed without shaft bushings. I used to crew on a Ranger 29 with this setup, basically the rudder shaft rode on the entire length of the rudder tube. It seems a little Mickey Mouse nowadays, but we are talking about boats built some 40 years ago, one 29 feet and one 27 feet. If a significant amount of shaft play has developed over the years, having bushings machined out of plastic might not be a bad idea. I kind of like the soda bottle shims, too.
FWIW, I used the epoxy repair trick on my old Pearson 26 years ago and it worked fine, but not for the faint of heart.
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Old 18-12-2013, 16:14   #17
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Re: Spade Rudder with no bearings.

Thanks every one. The rudder was tight going side to side, but had a 3-4" up and down movement. I figured since I was changing all the thru hulls, I might as well drop the rudder. After researching thrust bushing, I found that Catalina makes some that will work and they are only there to protect the rudder and hull from damage. The up and down moment, the guy said was normal. Thanks for the soda bottle idea, some I might need in the future.
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Old 18-12-2013, 16:42   #18
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Re: Spade Rudder with no bearings.

The up/down movement needs to be constrained by the tiller and the rudder (with bushings on the bearing surfaces) - i.e. the tiller keeps it from going down, the rudder keeps it from going up.


Side&side and/or fore&aft - the epoxy thing is a good solution. (It's what the catalina factory recommends for my boat... and I need to do it next time it's out)
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Old 07-04-2014, 17:33   #19
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Re: Spade Rudder with no bearings.

Question? We had to sail 38nm to be hauled again... Steering was very hard.. The tiller felt wedged and very stiff. There is some play side to side can the play on the rudder shaft cause it to pinch and bind up? Would a loose rudder side to side be the issue?
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Old 07-04-2014, 18:01   #20
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Re: Spade Rudder with no bearings.

Could be. The plastic bearings should go all the way 'round the rudder post evenly at both the top and bottom to ensure that the rudder moves smoothly through its full arc. We managed to slide a thin plastic sleeve into our rudderpost tube when we noticed the rudderhead seemed to be joggling a bit in some wave conditions. Stopped the joggling and we've had smooth movement since.
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Old 07-04-2014, 19:23   #21
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Re: Spade Rudder with no bearings.

You need to have a professional troubleshoot this.
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