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Old 07-10-2013, 10:21   #1
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Boat: 51' Formosa Ketch "Un Mundo"
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Water/Oil in Rudder

Currently in middle of big re-do here in Cartagena, Colombia, hauled out at Todomar.Seeking advise on what to do with rudder. Years ago my shipwright guy in Los Angeles noticed that my rudder was filled with oil (it was leaking), so we drained it and refilled it with vegetable oil, and replugged it. He said this was an olden day way to protect the interior of the rudder, and spoke highly of this as an option.
Now it's got a small leak again about mid way down on leading edge (suspect the big ass mooring line that got caught around the prop in Panama) and took a small chunk of glass out and left a crack.)
I've drained the rudder again, this time of a good amount of smelly water, followed by oil.
Guys in boatyard here think I should take her down and open her up and refill with epoxy -- Hmm.
I'm inclined to leave hanging, fill and drain a couple of times with vinegar, or water, repair all possible cracks with fgb and west system, then refill with vegetable oil. Any thoughts wlll be very appreciated!!
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:12   #2
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Re: Water/Oil in Rudder

To repair a fiberglass structure that has been saturated with an oil seems like a lengthy task.

If it were mine this is what I would do.

1) Fill with a wet solvent and let soak awhile while moving the rudder around and then drain.

2) Remove the rudder from the boat and set up on blocks with the crack upwards.

3) Grind out the crack from top to bottom as far as you can see it go and only as deep as needed to go to follow it. Spray in a dry solvent (acetone, MEK or even brake cleaner) to clean out residue. (It'll drain inwards washing out oils/residue)

4) Immediately after cleaning fill the grind/grove with epoxy+ 404 filler.
And fair in after cure.

5) Wrap the whole rudder with a couple layers of fiberglass and epoxy. Fair in.

6) Reinstall the rudder.

7) Add a barrier coat of epoxy fair in and bottom paint.

8) Refill with oil.
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oil, rudder, water

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