Originally Posted by Lady Roslyn
Hoping to get some advice from forum members please. I noticed today that we have water weeping in at the point where the rudder stock outer pipe enters the hull in the starboard engine bay. Seems like some type of white sealer has been used to create a watertight seal beyween fibreglass/core and aluminium pipe. The rudder has not been bumped at any time. Please see picture. Any ideas on how to reseal this while in the water? Thanks Attachment 173408
Hello Lady Roselyn,
Helia 44 here, now Blessed to be on Saba
50 "SERENITY". As you would know the Saba
is just a blown up version of the Helia 44, with massive more storage
and buoyancy in the hulls for cargo.. I am probably the only person, one of a rare bird, that has personally owned the Helia 44 and graduated to the Saba 50, hull number 11. I had the exact same problem happen, exact same situation, on the Helia 44 and don't panic, I can tell you the fix in the water...
That is your outer rudder housing. It is fit and glassed a bit into the hull, but sealed with Sika-Flex like polyurethane
caulk. What has happened is slight increase in top rudder bearing pressure, or just flexing wear, has broken that seal at the bottom and the outer rudder housing is turning a bit with your rudder top bearing.. I will try and find you the picture of mine when finished, I am likely to have it on the computer, but I am underway en route
to Lady Musgrave atoll in the Capricorn group at the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef
Now, the fix is better to be done a drift or at anchor
or dockside, so the outer rudder shaft is not moving. It is a slight flaw in the F.P. Engineering, in that it should have had that outer rudder shaft housing glassed into the hull and several inches up the aluminium housing. Here is the basic system of the fix:
1) You abrade the housing up several inches with like 80 grit or wire wheel
, so the resin can grip. The same for the hull out sort of 200 mm / 8" in all directions you can go.
2) You can use regular resin, or epoxy
resin, and cut yourself some strips of fiberglass
, I mean like about 50 to 80 or so, of 2" wide strips about 6" long.
3) Basically you hot batch the resin, and start apply the strips like paper mache, dry if off as best as you can, clean it off with acetone or miner turps, and you start laying the glass strips all around it in small batches of resin. At first with any weeping, the resin will go white if there is any leaking, but you slowly battle it out to dry parts
of the hull with subsequent batches. It is a few hours job, with someone mixing small batches, but you eventually contain the small leak with clean adhesion of fresh batches out on the dry hull.
4) I ended up with what, maybe 15 batches over a few hours, but had a smooth fiberglass
flat funnel shape about maybe 6-8 inches all around on the hull and up to the top of that first flange of larger tubing on the bottom of the outer rudder shaft. It eventually seals
, and you have an inner hull extension up about 3 inches up the outer rudder shaft.
Look, it is tedious, messy, and impossible to do without gloves and a helper mixing hot batches for you and sending you batches of fiberlass cloth.. But it does work
. It would be half as hard on the Saba, as on my Helia, because on the Helia the rudder was forward of the saildrive
and you had to lay on your side along the engine.. HELL on comfort, cramping, sore, hard work
, but really easy to do..
I am in route
, and I need to try and find the picture, but the result is permanent and strong, and passed Survey
on the Sale
of the Helia 44. I might do it on both of the rudder shaft outer housing on the Saba in haulout next May, as it would be SO MUCH EASIER in the dry..
I hope I have been clear, I will try and find the picture in my many files..
But you start with clean abraded surfaces so the resin can stick, and what you end up with is a flat upside down funnel shape hull reinforcement that goes several inches up the outer shaft and is VASTLY stronger than new.. As well as permanently sealed and structurally frozen... I will try and find you the picture, but I think I have described it well enough..
Kind regards, and I would not attempt it under way... Steven Gibbs on "Serenity" In the Grace of our Lord..