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Old 14-03-2017, 10:31   #1
TCL
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Pitting on rudder post

I was replacing the stuffing in my rudder post packing gland/stuffing box and found significant pitting in the rudder post. See pics (for some reason, can't get the second pic to rotate properly).

Anything that can be done, short of replacement?
I'd appreciate opinions on whether this degree of pitting would compel you to replace the rudder post now.

Boat is 1979 Morgan 461; owned for month and a half, first time I'm looking at the rudder post (survey recommended repairing/repacking rudder post packing gland).

Thanks
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Old 14-03-2017, 11:25   #2
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

howdy
sorry to hear about your bad luck
I own a 462 that had a split rudder case(the leading edge of the fiberglass split) couldn't see it because the rudder strut was in the way until we disconnected the ram and hyper extended it to one side. We opened the glass part to have a look inside. it seemed ok so closed it back up with epoxy and matt cloth ect. The rudder post was a straight shaft with a solid plate welded to its length then foam and glassed over. looking at your picture you may have trouble sealing that shaft. i would drop the rudder.
The bronze rudder shoe (if its the same as mine) has 5 machine bolts i believe that are drilled and tapped all the way thru the shoe then ground flush.Not screwed in as i thought. They can be difficult to remove. I had read stories of people loosing control of the rudder from the internal plate coming loose from the shaft. Also the rudder bearing on the bottom may be the same size as suspension parts on sand rail buggies at a third the price. i googled flange bearings and the dimensions and found some.

Ill be posting more pics of our refit over at OffIslandLife.com when i get a chance.
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Old 14-03-2017, 11:31   #3
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

Also cladding may be an option if available in your area. they do it to prop shafts don't know if possible on a rudder shaft...Skip on "flyingpig" knows a bit about this as well.
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Old 14-03-2017, 22:01   #4
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

First I'd want to know why it's pitting. Maybe a cheap stainless.
To fix you can weld and turn back to size, turn down and sleeve or a new post.
A cheap option I've seen is the clean the pits really well and fill with epoxy. Hand sand as needed. I don't know how long it would last.
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Old 15-03-2017, 08:20   #5
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

We had similar problem on our cat (read both rudders).

Electrolysis in our case and we replaced both (built from scratch) and tapped a bolt to the top of eack where we ran a wire to a sacrificial anode. 14k all up, ouch.

We were about to leave for NZ and didn't want to take any chances.

Sorry you have to deal with this. This is one of those unexpected items we all talk about on the budget side of the forum.
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Old 15-03-2017, 08:25   #6
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

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Originally Posted by akprb View Post
We had similar problem on our cat (read both rudders).

Electrolysis in our case and we replaced both (built from scratch) and tapped a bolt to the top of eack where we ran a wire to a sacrificial anode. 14k all up, ouch.

We were about to leave for NZ and didn't want to take any chances.

Sorry you have to deal with this. This is one of those unexpected items we all talk about on the budget side of the forum.
The pic looks much like my rudder post on my 1973 Formosa 41. The marine metal guy said it was electrolysis. Had a new rudder post made and attached a sacrificial zinc to it.
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Old 15-03-2017, 08:38   #7
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

It's quite typical, also on prop shafts. It occurs because the seawater is trapped in the packing and the boat is not used regularly allowing the flow of new water in. It attacks the SS. The problem with that type of corrosion is you cant tell if it's just a surface issue or will soon break off completely due to deep problems along grain boundaries.
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Old 15-03-2017, 09:12   #8
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

I would first determine what metal the rudder post is made with.

If the post is solid and not hollow, filling with epoxy and a filler might work for sometime. Might not...

My P-26 had an aluminum tube for a rudder post and where the post rested against the lower Delrin bearing, the post was severely pitted.

Silly me used graphite powder and epoxy to fill the holes and only later learned that carbon (graphite) and aluminum are at opposite ends of the galvanic scale. Shot myself in the foot.

When Pearson was still in business, they swapped rudders for ones with stainless steel posts. I had to buy one for $1000 when the original fell off on a calm day. Luckily, we could motor home using the outboard to steer.
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Old 15-03-2017, 09:26   #9
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

It's possible here's what you don't know.
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Old 15-03-2017, 11:30   #10
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

The other (Linwood) Skip has it right. See below.

For those thinking of sleeving, I looked very hard at that; it basically wouldn't work for our application due to size.

For those saying "turn it, weld on new, turn again" it's pretty difficult to find a shop which has a 3' on center swing on a lathe. There are machines which can attach to a shaft and turn/reduce it in place, but it's beyond stupid in cost.

Foss Foam doesn't have the molds for this, though they did at one point, for those thinking of remaking as a solution, whether or not with the same shaft (I have a good friend, not our boat type, who sent off their shaft for another rudder, all the way from Grenada to Canada and back, to the tune of 4 boat units - and only that cheap due to their providing the shaft).

Our solution is covered in our pictorial here: Pictures: Flying Pig Refit 2011-2012/Rudder

Those, such as the OP, or merely gruesomely fascinated, may care to peruse other places in our gallery; you can get there by going to the top of the page and backing up the tree.

There's pretty much no place on the boat - sometimes even those hidden - that I've not either had my hands in, a tool in, a light and camera, sometimes with mirror, so I have a concept of where the bodies are buried, so to speak.

To the OP (or any other Morgan 46x owner), drop me a line skipgundlach@gmail.com if you'd like to pick my brain or just chat.

L8R

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Old 15-03-2017, 11:50   #11
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

How much is your life worth? I would replace it if twer mine.
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Old 15-03-2017, 12:02   #12
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

My rudder post looked exactly like that.

I felt a lot better after replacing it. Rose's marine in Gloucester, Mass made the new one out of 316 (I would have done it in 2205 but it wasn't available in 1.625")

(In my case, the rudder and the post are two separable items, so it was pretty easy to do.)
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Old 15-03-2017, 12:25   #13
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

That looks like pretty advanced poultice corrosion, most likely from stagnant salt water trapped against the rudder.

If it's isn't just an optical illusion from the picture it also looks like an appreciable amount of thickness has been lost. In this case it's probably toast. You might be able to cut away the bad shaft and weld a new one in its place, but I would lean heavily towards replacement. If you have a very good welding shop nearby it might be worth it to speak to them.

Either way I would give Phils Foils a call first and get a price on replacing what you have with a new one. At a minimum this will give you a baseline against which to price any repair work.
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Old 15-03-2017, 20:48   #14
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

Many thanks to everyone for all the responses. Really appreciate y'all's time and input.
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Old 16-03-2017, 04:38   #15
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Re: Pitting on rudder post

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCL View Post
Many thanks to everyone for all the responses. Really appreciate y'all's time and input.
Drop me a line off-forum (see above); tell me about your boat...

L8R

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