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Broken rudder...shield?

Discussion in 'The Cherubini Hunters' started by DanLink, Nov 7, 2015. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. DanLink

    DanLink

    Joined Nov 7, 2015
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Hunter 30
    US New York Sayville
    Hi all. Brand new to the group, and pretty new to Hunters. I bought a 81 Hunter 30 and had a great time sailing it all summer with my family. Hit bottom in soft sand a few times, but it didn't feel like much. I just had it hauled, and the skeg that comes down in front of the rudder is missing a good sized chunk. The skeg itself is foam filled, and the fiberglass there is oddly thin. This just happened, so I haven't done anything yet. I'll try to attach a photo, but if anybody has any advice as to what I could do about this, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:



  2. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    5,486 posts, 479 likes
    MacGregor, Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    One would think that the skeg should offer at least some protection in a soft grounding, yes?

    I wonder if you've bought a boat that's gotten a bit of a superficial makeover in that area.
     


  3. John T1594

    John T1594

    Joined Jun 4, 2004
    731 posts, 13 likes
    Hunter 340
    US Forked River, NJ H340
    Years ago I bought a 1980 H30 with a simialr problem. The previous owner had hit something underwater and took a good chunk out of the bottom of the skeg. He had a piece of sheet stainless steel fabricated to the shape of the bottom of the skeg and bolted in place. It look awful when the boat was out of the water but served the boat well for the 10 years I sailed her.
     


    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
    justsomeguy likes this.
  4. DanLink

    DanLink

    Joined Nov 7, 2015
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Hunter 30
    US New York Sayville
    Yes, the thought had crossed my mind when I saw how thin the fiberglass was there.
     


  5. DanLink

    DanLink

    Joined Nov 7, 2015
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Hunter 30
    US New York Sayville
    Thanks for responding. That's an interesting idea. I'll see if anybody else has thoughts, but I really appreciate your reply.
     


  6. Dalliance

    Dalliance

    Joined Oct 6, 2007
    565 posts, 43 likes
    Hunter 1982 H30 Cherubini
    US Chicago (Burnham)
    A good sized chunk? You are missing the bottom 1/4 of the skeg!

    Hunter changed their skeg construction in different model years. The one on my '82 H30 has a solid wood core, but I think most had some kind of steel frame with a foam core. Unless they also made some with no frame, which I have not heard of (but that doesn't mean much), I would kind of expect to see bent remnants of a steel frame if this were entirely new damage. As someone else mentioned, this makes me wonder if this is really a failure of superficial repairs to previous damage. Just curious, do you have have the 4' shoal draft keel or the 5'-3" deep draft?

    In any case, if it was my boat, I would be thinking in terms of removing and repairing or re-building the skeg. It's just attached to the hull with three to five lag bolts. I don't think it provides much support to the rudder, but it does provide some protection and contributes to the handling characteristics of the boat. Others on this site have argued that it is not necessary, and can be removed without affecting performance. I respectfully disagree with them. Mr. Cherubini put it there for a reason.

    Do a search of previous forum posts on this topic and I think you will find useful info on repair/rebuilding as well as discussion about the pros/cons of skeg mounted rudders.
     


  7. DanLink

    DanLink

    Joined Nov 7, 2015
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Hunter 30
    US New York Sayville
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have the 4 ft draft model, and there is no evidence of any metal.
     


  8. DianaOfBurlington

    DianaOfBurlington

    Joined Jun 5, 2010
    927 posts, 26 likes
    Hunter 25
    US New Jersey (for now) Burlington NJ
    Aiy-yi-yi-yi-yi! You're lucky the whole shootin' match didn't fall off!

    Come to think of it, what IS holding it up? --beats me!

    You say there is no metal bar stock along the after edge of the skeg? That definitely sounds like a dodgy PO repair. Hunter would have done it right if for no other reason than that my dad was there. They were sued over a H30's rudder breaking off and 'causing' 3 deaths, a case that was dismissed as pilot error; but their fix (if by 1977 it had not already begun on the production floor) would have been to include the metal bar stock in the skeg. In fact, by design, the whole skeg is really just a fiberglass, foam-filled fairing around the stainless-steel structure of the mounting flange, stiffening bar, and heel blade.

    Cheapest fix:
    Repair the 'glass structure as-is and risk the same thing happening again. Good luck with that.

    Better fix:
    The whole rudder and skeg assembly needs to be removed (lifting the boat or digging a hole in the dirt to let the rudder shaft be lowered). The skeg won't come off easily-- it's bolted on inside the 'glass. I did this very same job on a Raider at CY-- they're done the same way. You'll need to have a stainless-steel framework made and set into the existing skeg. I can get you some drawings to facilitate this (these are easier to come by than the pretty sail plans, people; because resolution doesn't count. I have them right now in my parlor). The strengthened skeg needs to be refit to the rudder and new 'glass done to the bottom (which is the easy part). There is a trick to reassembly (bolting on the skeg); but it can be done on an otherwise finished boat.

    Needless to say this is a good time to consider new steering cables, refurbing the quadrant (actually a disc), and everything else, because you'll have it all apart. Again, I did this on the R33 and it was less hassle than it promised to be at first.

    Consider also pinning the rudder pintle, below the skeg's blade, to keep it from bouncing up... which is much more like what I would have expected to happen in such a case. In fact I wonder if that is not precisely what happened, and somehow the rudder came down, its pintle missed the hole, and the skeg worked loose and broke due to misalignment. The 'glass would let go before the rudder shaft yielded to it. Did you ever experience grinding or tightness in the steering?


    If you're anywhere near me I'll be happy to come have a look at it.

    I am still completely in a daze how it took this kind of hit (or corrosion) without the rudder becoming mangled or lost completely. Sheesh.
     


    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
    DanLink likes this.
  9. DianaOfBurlington

    DianaOfBurlington

    Joined Jun 5, 2010
    927 posts, 26 likes
    Hunter 25
    US New Jersey (for now) Burlington NJ
    Needless to say I agree with Dalliance (if being such a right gent he would not say the reverse!). Definitely I would restore it to as-was.
     


  10. DanLink

    DanLink

    Joined Nov 7, 2015
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Hunter 30
    US New York Sayville
    Thanks for the detailed response and generous offer to take a look at it. And the wealth of information on this site is fantastic in general. I never felt a tightness or any alteration really in the steering, and on that matter, during the soft groundings, it was the keel hitting and I never felt anything aft. I'm leaning more and more toward the idea that this was a previous fix... But the boat's mine now, so now it'll be my fix. I'm new to this level of repair, but interested to learn. Again, thanks for the information.
     


  11. woodster

    woodster

    Joined Sep 15, 2009
    6,239 posts, 261 likes
    S2 9.2a
    US Fairhope Al
    i personally would have him come look at it and buy him a extravagant lunch at the very least how often does one get the chance to have the designers offspring on the scene with all the knowledge that came from his father ......from looking at your pic there appears to be a pivot pin of some sorts at the bottom of your rudder that may have been secured by a back strap or bracket from the skeeg ...do as much research as you can before repair ......good luck on your fix....
     


    DianaOfBurlington likes this.
  12. DanLink

    DanLink

    Joined Nov 7, 2015
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Hunter 30
    US New York Sayville
    Again, I really appreciate the advice and suggestions so far. As I move forward and weigh my options, I just want to clear up an initial question I have regarding an aspect of the skeg’s purpose. Obviously the skeg plays a performance role in the design, and clearly it serves as some protection for the rudder. So since some have said they have completely removed it, and obviously mine wasn’t doing much to support the rudder even before it broke, does the skeg support the rudder from underneath? Some of the options I have seen for repair include removing the skeg, or using a sheet metal fix, or running a stainless rod from the pintle of the rudder along the leading edge of my existing skeg and bolting it to the hull, or re-glassing the missing piece, or trying to order a new one from Hunter, or repairing the whole thing as you detailed (and again, thanks). I guess what I’m wondering about is how the skeg actually attaches to the pintle of the rudder and whether it more or less just covers the bottom of the pintle or does it provide support to hold or guide the rudder in place?
     


  13. woodster

    woodster

    Joined Sep 15, 2009
    6,239 posts, 261 likes
    S2 9.2a
    US Fairhope Al
    i would think that the pintle pin at the bottom of the rudder helps stabilize the rudder from whipping and flexing while under way ...it's sorta of like the end of a fishing rod on the bottom and without that pin being in a support bracket it is free to drift and whip maybe not a lot but enough to feel it in the steering under way ...and that would drive me nuts over time ...i like positive control response ...that way if something did go awry you would know it
     


  14. Dalliance

    Dalliance

    Joined Oct 6, 2007
    565 posts, 43 likes
    Hunter 1982 H30 Cherubini
    US Chicago (Burnham)
    The pintle at the bottom of the rudder goes through a stationary bronze fitting at the bottom of the skeg. It may have some kind of bushing also, if I recall correctly. I'll be at the boat this weekend and will take a few photos of the fitting at the bottom of the skeg if no one else has posted any by then.

    The skeg certainly affects tracking and steering. It likely also provides some reinforcement against whipping or flexing as Woodster described, but the rudder is far stronger. The skeg definitely protects the rudder, maybe in almost a sacrificial way. It does not normally support the rudder from underneath, though it would keep the rudder from dropping out of the boat if it ever tried to. One annoying thing about this design is that in order to drop the rudder for maintenance or repair, you have to remove the skeg first, as the fitting at the bottom is not independently removable. You may have an opportunity address that now.

    It's also a good time, by the way, to drop the rudder and replace the log hose and packing. Then, while you're at it, with both rudder and skeg off, it's an easy time to replace the cutlass bearing in the prop shaft strut too. That's the problem with old boats - maybe new ones too. Every project seems to turn into three.
     


    DanLink likes this.
  15. DanLink

    DanLink

    Joined Nov 7, 2015
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Hunter 30
    US New York Sayville
    Thanks for the reply and suggestions. Maybe I'll get off lucky if one project turns only into three... But really, I appreciate the support.
     


  16. HSMCh30

    HSMCh30

    Joined Dec 13, 2011
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 78h30
    US St Marys City MD
    Greetings,
    The Hunter 30 that I am currently caring for, 5'3'' draft, has had the fairing, forward of the rudder missing for many years. The rudder post has been rust coated and epoxied. It sails and behaves just fine without the fairing. While a fairing would be more aerodynamic and offer some shock absorption, a really hard grounding would probably damage the rudder shaft, as well as destroy the fairing. A proper fix would not be cheap in both labor, time or money. Personally, if the rudder and steering is sound, I would put my efforts else ware. Cheers!
     


  17. normofthenorth

    normofthenorth

    Joined Nov 13, 2015
    45 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 290
    Ca Toronto Toronto Ontario
    I don't want to suggest that all boat designers are the same, or that John Cherubini (Sr.) didn't test a bunch of prototypes in all conditions before going with this chosen skeg design, but... I recently read a nice blog by boat designer Robert Perry about a famous and successful commissioned design of his. The owner contacted him to tell him that he needed advice because the rudder skeg had broken off. Perry's first question was "How did it steer without the skeg?" and the owner said "Better!" So they left it off and went with a pure spade rudder! :)
     


  18. Dalliance

    Dalliance

    Joined Oct 6, 2007
    565 posts, 43 likes
    Hunter 1982 H30 Cherubini
    US Chicago (Burnham)
    Here are photos of the bottom of the skeg. It does have a bushing, though it's not visible from below. Attachment to the structure of the skeg is either wrapped by fiberglass or otherwise not visible under sealant, barrier coat and layers of bottom paint. It is one hunk of bronze which forces you to remove the skeg in order to drop the rudder. It seems to me that it could be done in two pieces; the first attached to the skeg and the second piece, below the rudder, bolted to the first so that it is removable.
    image.jpg image.jpg
     


  19. Dave Groshong

    Dave Groshong SBO Staff Staff Member

    Joined Jan 25, 2007
    1,119 posts, 22 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Seattle
  20. DanLink

    DanLink

    Joined Nov 7, 2015
    9 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Hunter 30
    US New York Sayville
    Thanks so much for taking the time to take and post the pictures. I very much appreciate it!
     



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