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Old 01-07-2019, 08:10   #1
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Rudder De-Lamination

Is this rudder de-lamination? Rudder has play from side to side without rudder post moving. I believe the top of the rudder cracked, let water in, and rotted the foam so much that the stainless steel webbing is just moving side to side inside the fiberglass shell. From a 1976 Catalina 30.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:11   #2
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Re: Rudder De-Lamination

Here are pictures:
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:17   #3
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Re: Rudder De-Lamination

This is one of those ‘guessing game’ questions with nothing but a picture to base a judgment. If you want to know rather than guess, the only choice is to open it up and inspect what if any damage or deterioration has occurred in the webbing.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:18   #4
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Re: Rudder De-Lamination

Well, you've got a trashed rudder, for sure. I'm concerned by that gap where the post exits the hull. Has this thing been hit? Are ou looking at impact damage?
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:46   #5
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Re: Rudder De-Lamination

Rudder is definitely trashed and is going to be opened up to see whatís going on, but Iíve never heard of the rudder moving back and forth within the shell. Wondering if itís even worth opening up or if a replacement will be the only option.

The boat has not been in an accident to the best of my knowledge, but not sure what PO did to her. Is that large of a gap unusual? There didnít seem to be any structural damage around rudder on the hill.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:57   #6
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Re: Rudder De-Lamination

Foss Rudders web site says it made the rudders for Catalina 30s. The foam that Foss uses is temperature sensitive and if the rudder is painted a dark color and exposed to the sun long enough the foam will fail. If you go out to the Foss site (www.newrudders.com) you can find the warning about painting your rudders a dark color. If the boat was on the hard then that may be what happened.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:07   #7
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Re: Rudder De-Lamination

S/V Illusion's point is well taken. The circular fitting at the top of the rudder looks like it was displaced from the flange just above it, and the two are not aligned.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:44   #8
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Re: Rudder De-Lamination

I believe it is just very aged and maybe something like the compression post bearing wore down over time allowing more space in the system. The problems symptom are more of a long term problem then a short term problem like hitting something. A minor bit couldíve caused the cracks at the top of the rudder, however, would not have cause the large amount of slop side to side of the rudder.

https://youtu.be/UtFBbP_iP8k
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:33   #9
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Re: Rudder De-Lamination

Yeah, get it off and apart and go from there. The shell is probably fine.

You can cut a big rectangular window in the side of the rudder with a Skil Saw and open it up. If the SS is OK you can readily rebuild it. Inspection of the SS weld joints is difficult, but you just have to do the best you can. If you are just sailing locally, it's different than going offshore.
I did mine still in the boat, but out would be easier. I cleaned the waterlogged foam out of mine, ground the entire outside clean, reglassed in the big cut out side. Then I filled the whole rudder using two 3/4" holes on the top with lightweight epoxy filler. Pour in one hole until it comes out of the other.
Of course buying a brand new rudder would be nice, but I doubt it's cheap.
I would guess 50% of the old boats out there have waterlogged rudders but the owners don't know it. Two of my boats have had; one was 6 years old, the other was 7 years old at the time.
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