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Old 16-03-2016, 23:55   #16
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Re: Rudder stock is probably bent

A rudder manufacturer in Florida of whom I have heard good things but have no experience with: » About Us
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Old 17-03-2016, 04:31   #17
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Re: Rudder stock is probably bent

Originally Posted by Two Oceans View Post
... I've ordered a new ercolyte bearing ...
That wiould be "Ertalyte".

Ertalyte TX is an internally lubricated thermoplastic polyester that provides enhanced wear and inertness over general-purpose nylon and acetyl products. Ertalyte TX contains a uniformly dispersed solid lubricant, providing a lower wear rate and coefficient of friction than unmodified polyesters like PET or PBT and even internally lubricated materials like Delrin AF.
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Old 17-03-2016, 05:22   #18
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Re: Rudder stock is probably bent

We have JP3 bearings and have pulled ours in the water several times. The bearings swell up over time and we've had to sand them down a bit to allow the rudder to turn more easily. Our rudder stocks are solid 3" dia so the entire rudder sinks. There is a 10mm threaded hole in the top. We screw an eye bold into that and tie a line to it. Remove the arm assembly and the pin through it and it drops right out. Sometimes you have to push a bit. No pieces to fall out. Then the bearing comes out by turning it and pulling it out the slot. Sometimes difficult to do the bottom one under water. But if you just want to get it out to check it out, no problem.
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Old 17-03-2016, 05:28   #19
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Re: Rudder stock is probably bent

Originally Posted by Two Oceans View Post
Thank you everyone for your contributions and advice.

Although the haul out and in will be fairly costly (>$300), I think it's best given it will be the first time I've taken apart one of these rudder systems.

I have attached a schematic of the system and it is a stainless steel rudder stock of 1.5" (39mm) thick and 5.2 ft long.
It seems surprising that a thick bar like this bent given that the reversing off the sandbank was very slow manoeuvring but it is long so perhaps it was the leverage - anyway we'll see when I remove it.

I will take measurements before I dismantle it but I hope the reassembly to get it aligned with the other rudder will be possible by visual clues, because you can't easily mark the top of stainless steel bar. I'm not going to take the other rudder off as it's motion is not particularly stiff and the boat is new only 2.5 years old.

I've ordered a new ercolyte bearing from France on urgent shipment so I plan to replace the existing one. I'm wondering if the stiffness is not caused by a bent stock but by dislocation and damage to the bearing. That would be great because getting the bar straightened is going to be a pain. I will probably have to cut the fiberglass rudder blade off so the machine shop can work on it. From what I can see of the drawings it looks like there are three 7.5" stainless fingers and a stainless steel sheet welded to the stock. It might take several weeks for this to be done before I can reassemble it. Then I will have to decide again whether to save money and try and put the repaired rudder back while in the water. I'm guessing the difficulty will be reinserting the lower bearing. I'll run a line down the column during removal to facilitate reassembly.

The stock straightening will cost about $90/hr, hopefully it's not a long job. Cutting open and re-bonding the rudder blade would be time consuming but maybe that's something I can do. Anyway I hope to do this properly but not throw money away. Won't be making an insurance claim I purposely set my deductible for only really serious problems, not learning curve mistakes.
If it is bent just order a new rudder. It will be much simpler and not much if any more expensive. FP likely has one they can ship nearly immediately, they always have for us.

The alignment is very simple. There is a groove cut in the rudder for the set screws. When you put the tiller arm back on the screws go into that groove. If the rudder is pointing for and aft you are good. Put some red paint on either the front or back of the tube before removing it and you will know the orientation.

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Old 17-03-2016, 17:36   #20
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Re: Rudder stock is probably bent

Originally Posted by seasick View Post
My nephew and his bride have had a very good experience with this company. When they lost their Islander 30 spade rudder recently in the Aliinuihaha and steered into Maalai with their locked down servo-pendulum paddle. FOB Maui for <$2,000. They are injection molded plastic like those white cutting boards. I forget the correct name of the material. Rudder Craft Inc.
My concerns about rudders such as these, is that there's no proper spine, or shaft, in their rudders, to carry the bulk of the load. Especially in bigger boats, & or, boats capable of higher speeds.
As in such craft, the loads on the rudders can get exceptionally high. Especially if, say, you're surfing down a wave at speed, & then the rudder happens to get jammed over against it's stops, in one direction or the other.

They're definitely worth looking into. Though, as it's said: "There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" (RAH).

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Old 18-03-2016, 01:32   #21
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Re: Rudder stock is probably bent

Plan A. New OEM rudder.
Plan B. Split open the 2 halves and let a Metal workshop built a new SS stock structure , glass the 2 halves back and voila.
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Old 27-03-2016, 12:09   #22
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Re: Rudder stock is probably bent

Last weekend I fixed my rudder problem.

I was really lucky because the rudder stock wasn't actually bent. Not surprising really because I didn't hit anything hard, it was just a gentle bump and the rudder stock is a thick solid bar that would take some force to bend.

I hauled the cat, see first picture with family watching. Could not have been done in the water, it would have been impossible to shove the rudder back up while underwater because I am in a cold deep murky marina. Rudder was clearly jammed up too high - see second picture. Then undid all the bolts attaching the rudder stock to the steering arm see third picture. Then gradually pushed the rudder down. Then very fortunately before completely removing the rudder I decided that the stock wasn't bent see 4th picture, it had just been jammed up out of position and it just needed more clearance to the hull of the boat. So against the advice of everyone watching (who thought we should take the rudder off and have it carefully checked) we very carefully pushed the rudder back up through the top bearing with the help of a forklift truck. Rudder was too heavy for two people to push back up. By undoing the bolts holding the top bearing assembly it was easier to get the rudder stock through the top bearing, which kept twisting out of position - see 5th picture. There is no alignment issues really as there are two set screws that screw into grooves in the stock so they effectively aligns the rudder.
Then bolted it all back together, while there is a 2 inch clearance see last picture and tested the steering - was not stiff at all - problem fixed for minimal cost.
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Old 25-05-2016, 14:27   #23
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Re: Rudder stock is probably bent

I lost my rudder a few weeks ago, I was sailing with only one and always reefed, no problem. I got a new one from Fountaine Pajot which cost a small fortune. and replaced it all on the water. it took me an hour or so.
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Old 25-05-2016, 15:10   #24
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Re: Rudder stock is probably bent

I know at least 4 cat sailors that have simply bent them back, without removing the rudder. One of them did it in the water! A large block and tackle is needed, and there are some tricks, but it can be quite simple. Obviously, this is for very small fore-aft bends, and depends on the structure of the boat.

The other thing to remember is that most cats sail quite well with one rudder jammed, by just disconnecting the jammed rudder and using the other. I did that once for the last 2 days of a cruise. No problem, just had to watch sail balance.
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