Firstly, even before you get setup to haul her out. Closely inspect the area around the bearings (top & bottom), & where the shaft enters the hull
You're looking for any signs of deformation, & or damage to the structure. And given that you have a twin on the other side, it should be fairly easy to compare the two.
Also, be sure to use whatever tools that you have at your disposal. Both to check the shaft & bearings, as well as the laminate, & where everything sits in relation to it's neighboring parts
Meaning measure (& log) the distances to X, Y, & Z. Degrees or distances off of plumb, along several different axis. And if you can borrow one, then use a run out dial gauge in order to measure the trueness of the rudder post, at a set distance above the lower bearing, & compare it to it's sister. Particularly while you have someone slowly turn the shaft. Plus, try this measurement at the top ends of the shafts also.
Not all of the measurements that you take will be the same, even accounting for the mirrored image thing. As few boats are built exactly the same. Even from one sistership to the next. But it'll help to give you some ideas anyway.
Ah, & BTW: Most of these tests are something which can (& perhaps should) be done by a pro. Especially if this is an insurance
But it wouldn't at all hurt for you to do them as well, in addition to asking the pro, what he's doing, how he's doing it, why he's doing A & B. And also, why is he not doing tests C & D, etc. Both to the rudder, & shaft, but also to the hull, & other relevant structures in the area as well.
Given your description of the grounding, & that boats are designed to handle such things. Especially gentle ones, meaning at a low speed, & in soft sand. Then yeah, the odds are that you've just jammed up a bearing.
Before you pull a (or both) rudders, make sure that you (measure) mark; both with a marker pen AND with a scribe: The positions of any key hardware
, in relation to it's mates. Ditto on the connecting linkage between the rudders, if any, & the vertical position of your quadrants, & that of their alignment, etc., etc.
Do the same regarding any cable or turnbuckle settings, measured with a micrometer & tape. Plus, the positions of things in the vertical
alsol; given that most of the other measurements are primarily in the horizontal
And of course, log this for both rudders.
Too, I'd imagine that there are more than a couple of factory service manuals
(or sections thereof) which cover how to; inspect, remove, & reinstall the rudders, & all of their hardware
Which may help you to diagnose things, even before breaking out the toolbox. But it will definitely help a lot when you do. As will both a still camera
, & a dedicated video camera/videographer.
Even just mounted on a tripod, they take Great visual, & narrative type notes.
Plus, the manual will give you all of the relevant dimensions & spec's on things. Such as the rudder's weight (obviously). Procedures to follow so that you don't wind
up taking a shower
in small, expensive pieces that are vital to your steering
gear's operation. How to check if things are in proper alignment; top to bottom, as well as between both rudders, & other components of the boat's steering gear
Also, the manual will give you the spec's on the shaft, & the rudder's internals. Which will give you a better basis on which to form a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) as to whether or not things are awry, structurally.
As, for example, it lists the shaft as being 4" OD Stainless, then odds are that it's not bent (but some of the other structure might be).
Plus, if the innards are FUBAR, a schematic will give you a lot better idea of which bits to pay the closest attention to. As well as how hard fixing them may be.
As to dropping your rudder (proper):
There's a school
of thought that says that as long as you're pulling one of them out, then it makes sense to do both. For a couple of reasons.
- It might be time to service
both of them/their bearings, since you're hauled out anyway.
NOTE: In the interests of (CYA) preparation: Have a creative & logical reason for pulling them both, ready for your insurer. Well, okay, several such reasons (see below).
- Pulling both of them will give you a 2nd, non-damaged unit, right there, to compare things against. Both bearings & rudders.
Originally Posted by seasick
My bet is it will be cheaper to replace than attempt to straighten it. There are a few good companies in the US that do nothing but make replacement rudders. These are surprisingly affordable, usually less than $2,500 and more often <$1,500 plus shipping
I'm tending to agree with this POV. However, perhaps a more realistic number for a new rudder, including a stock & the other internal supporting structures, would run towards 3x the above quotes.
I say as much, based on what you see at places like www.PhilsFoils.com
You might also try doing some fishing
for resources though the boat's builder
(obviously). As well as with any charter
companies that may, currently or in the past, have this model in their fleet. Because charter
boats see plenty of hard service, so...
Plus, you may turn up some info & or contacts via, say, www.L-36.com
And, of course, any custom designer
& or builder
, will have a whole listing of resources covering this too.
That said, I'd REALLY like to know where to get a rudder built for a boat that size, including the custom metal work
, etc., for $2K.
I'd put such into my phone's speed dial, like yesterday!
One other thing, & it's Key
. Is that when talking to your insurer (assuming that you have one who covers such damages). Is to express concerns to them that the a grounding may have opened up cracks in the rudder (visible, & non). Which will allow water ingress, that'll create further (& more expensive to repair) damage, down the road. And that the possibility/probability of such, is a safety
As that kind of damage sometimes only manifests itself during higher load conditions, such as heavier weather
And also that you may have bumped the other rudder unknowingly, in the midst of things, during the grounding. And that want to give it a 110% checkup too. For the same reasons.
Using, say, at a minimum, some of the more advanced Non-Destructive Testing out there. Be that by Thermal Imaging the blade, or other. And having the bearings & shaft properly inspected on it.
It's just a think
But then, most rudders, historically, start going bad, where their skins attach to the shaft, up top. So anything which might exacerbate the bond breaking down in this area bears attention... such as say, a grounding. You get the picture.