Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-04-2007, 20:07   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 26
Weeping Rudder

Our sailboat's rudder has begun to weep water from 2-3 small cracks. Noticing it about 6 weeks ago, I removed the emergency tiller cap and looked down the hollow rudderstock and saw water. I sucked the water out of the the rudderstock with a wet/dry vacuum and drilled 6 - 1/8" holes in the rudder for drainage.

Well, 6 weeks later, the rudder is still draining and its now time to go back in the water. The drain holes and cracks dry up when its cool but begin weeping again as soon as it warms up.

Any ideas on how to stopper these holes? Know of any products that will adhere to moist fiberglass? Longer term, how should I go about repairing this problem?

Thanks.

Dave
S/V Horizon
__________________

__________________
wallandj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-04-2007, 20:46   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Bite the bullet and fix your rudder properly before you launch. Your life may depend on it.
__________________

__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23-04-2007, 21:16   #3
Registered User
 
BilgeRat's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: W. Seattle
Boat: Trawler
Posts: 66
I'd be weeping too if I had that much water coming out of my crack.

Sorry, I just couldn't resist that one
__________________
BilgeRat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-04-2007, 23:01   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
You can use epoxy putty. But I wouldn't recomend you putting the rudder back in till you have worked out what where and how. You need to know how much water is still in there, how did it get in there, and what damage has been done and what is it going to take to repair it properly.
__________________
Wheels

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-04-2007, 23:16   #5
Registered User
 
swagman's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winter land based UK New Forest. Summer months away. Making the transition from sail to power this year - scary stuff.
Boat: Super Van Craft 1320 Power Yacht
Posts: 2,175
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to swagman
I'm with all the others. Get it fixed before you reslip. Had one rudder delaminate once when under spinnaker. Scary.

If you get more water out when its warm, then why not create a 'oven' using a heater and wood frame / plastic covers and really get it dried out?

I don't want to be alarmist but also suggest you might want to check out what form of core is inside the rudder as well. A wood core may have been damaged by so much moisture.

Drilling more holes and circulating warm air will help get the moisture out - as would some form of vacuum bagging if you could arrange it.

Once fully dry and you also happy with the rudders structural strength, you can as suggested plug all openings with epoxy putty, fair off, repaint and refit.

Its not as hard as it might sound.
Good luck
JOHN
__________________
Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/yachtswagman/
swagman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2007, 02:24   #6
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
Photo?

Could you post a couple of photos?
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2007, 09:39   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
drill bigger holes in the rudder to help it dry out faster and to gauge the extent of the damage. Would you drive a car if the steering wheel was about to fall off?
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2007, 11:07   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle area (Bremerton)
Boat: C&C Landfall 39 center cockpit "Anahita"
Posts: 1,076
Images: 6
Do it right

There are two problems with a fiberglass rudder and a stainless rudder stock. First it is difficult to make a seal that will hold up to the water between the stainless and fiberglas interface. Second, once water gets into the rudder and a crack develops in the rudder any sealing of the crack will often result in another crack when the rudder is exposed to direct sunlight.

Like others have pointed out if the core has soaked up water the entire rudder should be opened and the core removed and replaced. The seal between the stock and the fiberglass needs to be professionally repaired. All this is still less expensive than making a new rudder.

It took me three attempts and 5 years before my rudder finally got fixed. It never was proper even from the factory. Finally found a competent boat yard with the personnell sufficiently knowledgable and experienced to effect a permanent repair. They removed the rudder and repaired with it to a shop and did some magic because after six years it still is in great shape.
__________________
"I don't think there'll be a return journey Mr. Frodo". Samwise Gamgee
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2007, 11:30   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
I have the same problem with my rudder. I have removed it. I'm going to split it down the centerline and then try to remove the halves. If that doesn't work I'm going to grind away the glass and foam that is in there and check the welds. If the welds have been in saltwater then they might need to be redone. Once I get that finished then I'll foam fill and try to line up the two halves again, reglass with epoxy and seal the top of the rudder where the stainless shaft enters with polysulfide sealant that is flexible. Hopefully that will cure the problem.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

JohnL
__________________
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2007, 11:56   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
I reinforced my rudder last year

before doing the hyd. steering install. That gave me a chance to find any problems along the way.

It had a lot of surface cracks but none to the core, fortunatly. I drilled a few small holes in the bottom and let it dry out in several positions for a couple months before doing some fare work.

There was a small gap where the post goes into the rudder. So, I ground out a 1/4" grove in the glass around the post where it passes thru. Then filled that with the softest Boatcalk so it would flex as needed. Then glassed over the top of that. I stripped it all down to bare glass and covered it with two more layers of glass and epoxy. The entry point for the post is around 4" above the waterline but still I wanted it sealed good for the rough weather. Before and after shots below........................._/)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	strippedrud2.JPG
Views:	112
Size:	98.1 KB
ID:	1087   Click image for larger version

Name:	rudder-glass1.JPG
Views:	124
Size:	89.7 KB
ID:	1088  

Click image for larger version

Name:	rudder-finish.JPG
Views:	126
Size:	114.8 KB
ID:	1089  
__________________
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2007, 16:02   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Looks like a great job. Did you check out the metal web inside the rudder for corrosion at the joints?
When we get a few rudder failures coming from the West Coast to Hawaii each year it makes me skeptical about the internal workings and quality of work done on the interior skeleton of the production rudders.
JohnL
__________________
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2007, 17:45   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 26
Thanks!

Thanks very much for the replies folks. With this much consensus, I have to agree and will have the yard pull and rebuild the rudder, along with inspection of the armature.

The oozing water is rusty and I don't want to chance it.

Dave S/V Horizon
__________________
wallandj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2007, 19:38   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn
Looks like a great job. Did you check out the metal web inside the rudder for corrosion at the joints?
When we get a few rudder failures coming from the West Coast to Hawaii each year it makes me skeptical about the internal workings and quality of work done on the interior skeleton of the production rudders.
JohnL
This boat was all hand built (No mold then). But there were no signs of rust/bleeding so I left the rudder intact. This one has two sister ships. One has crossed the Pacific twice. Haven't heard of any failures. The rudder shaft is 3-1/5'' OD stainless pipe with 3/8" wall. And it's filled with some kind of resin. It pivots straight so I'm not too worried............._/)
__________________

__________________
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
rudder

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wood Rudder Islandmike Construction, Maintenance & Refit 26 09-10-2009 21:18
how good are wind vanes? viking69 Seamanship & Boat Handling 38 25-03-2007 23:47
Rudder Problem Perithead Monohull Sailboats 12 16-03-2007 16:31
New Rudder bsokol Construction, Maintenance & Refit 11 29-01-2007 22:06
Rudder Alan Wheeler Construction, Maintenance & Refit 2 31-08-2004 08:32



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:42.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.