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Old 27-07-2021, 20:52   #1
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Boat: 1979 WD Shock Santana 30'
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Does this Cap center the rudder post?

Had my 1979 Santana 30' in some gnarly wind and wave conditions for the first time. Every time I pulled the tiller to starboard (and sometimes to port) there was a disturbing cracking sound. I found that the 4 screws holding the Cap shown in the attached photo were loose. I did an internet search and have not found any information on this boat. I am assuming that this Cap centers the rudder shaft, or rudder shaft bushing, and that it may have been moving back and forth under load. I loosened the bolts and pushed on the base of the rudder and the shaft at the location of the Cap did move. The question is - did I fix the problem by replacing the bolts and including proper washers and lock washers or should I support the rudder and take this assembly apart to inspect. The rudder does seem to be positioned correctly below the boat, there is no extra space adjacent to the hull. Supporting the rudder while in the water seems a bit sketchy but probably could be done. Nigel Calder shows an image of a rudder being supported by a Bosuns Chair! I would appreciate anyone's comments or experience with a similar issue. Thanks.
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Old 28-07-2021, 04:53   #2
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Re: Does this Cap center the rudder post?

The cross bolt in the picture ties the tiller to the rudder. That needs to be a really solid connection, with no play whatever. So, yeah, follow Nigel's lead and run a line under the rudder to hold it up, in shallow water in case you drop the !@#$% rudder and spoil your entire day, disassemble and determine whether the bolt and/or rudder shaft hole is egged. If it is, drill it one size up and install a new stainless steel bolt. Tightly.

The underlying point here is that the ultimate outcome of a loose fit in this situation is having the tiller pull loose from the rudder, ergo no steering, and it will happen when you apply unusually high force to the tiller, which will already be an OMG moment before you lose steering. Therefore, it is not a minor annoyance but rather needs a proper repair. Good luck with it.
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Old 28-07-2021, 05:45   #3
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Re: Does this Cap center the rudder post?

It could be a number of things but checking the easy stuff for being too loose or worn out (without loosing the !@#$% [ thanks TKL ] rudder) is probably a good idea. Knowing how the whole rudder system works: shaft, bearings, seals, hardware, tiller would be a good long term goal and might take a mess of Googling, another Santana owner, or disassembly once on land.
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