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Rudder chip repair?

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Scandium, Mar 12, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

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  1. Scandium

    Scandium

    Joined Aug 16, 2018
    33 posts, 7 likes
    Seaward 23
    US Annapolis
    Sure, but "faster" is relative. The sail-life video it seemed like it took a couple weeks, using some serious tools I don't have..
     


  2. isaksp00

    isaksp00

    Joined Apr 27, 2010
    1,034 posts, 81 likes
    Hunter 23
    US Lake Wallenpaupack
    I think one key will be figuring out to what extent it is cored with foam vs wood. You may have to peel off the glass jacket from one side to see this, as described in that boatworks video (which if I recall is for a much larger rudder with post). Given this is a transom hung rudder and not mounted below the hull, you may be able to get away with opening up on side and if it is mostly foam, just let it dry for a while, possibly filling in some voids with more foam or selective use of wood. If it is or was mostly foam as built, I'd try to minimize use of new wood, as I think you want to keep it light. Assume your rudder floats like mine?
     


  3. Scandium

    Scandium

    Joined Aug 16, 2018
    33 posts, 7 likes
    Seaward 23
    US Annapolis
    That sounds like a good plan.
    I cannot imagine that this thing floats, it feels very heavy! 30 lb maybe? Though it could just be weight of the extra water.. I've been meaning to weigh it, to see how the drying changes it. The boat is solid fiberglass, so seaward seems to like heavy build. Imagine that extends to the rudder too.

    edit: weighted it; 28 lb. I'm too lazy to measure and calculate the displaced volume to see if it'll float, but I seriously doubt it.
     


    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 7:37 AM
  4. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,287 posts, 1,487 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    The biggest time consumer is waiting for the epoxy to cure before going on to the next step.

    Removing the skin from one side is also a good suggestion. If it is wet, then dig out the wet core and replace it.
     


    Project_Mayhem likes this.
  5. Scandium

    Scandium

    Joined Aug 16, 2018
    33 posts, 7 likes
    Seaward 23
    US Annapolis
    So did some surgery on the rudder last night. Cut out some pieces and drilled some holes. Up to 5 inch away from the damage (i.e. lower pintle) soggy pieces of wood came out. There's a bunch of layers, I'm not sure what it all is.. (FG/foam-wood-foam/FG?)
    Attaches some photos. The lower (in the photo) filler looks like soggy sawdust. Not providing any support, not sure how far away it extends. In the upper wood layer water squeeze out when I press it.
    So yeah, guess I need to figure out how far away the soggy, powerdery wood extends, and then how to replace it. But like I said this has probably sat for at least 3-4 years so ripping off at least one side will probably be required. And if the (still solid) wood ever dries out will it be strong enough again?

    IMG_20190314_210025.jpg IMG_20190314_205817.jpg
     


  6. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,287 posts, 1,487 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    The strength of the rudder is in the skin, foam core works to shape the rudder. It may be the case that the wood is only where the gudgeon is mounted. This would give the screws something substantial to bite into. The wood is unnecessary if the gudgeon is through bolted. The wood looks like end grain balsa.

    I see a couple of options. The easiest fastest option would be to excavate the rest of the rotten wood to see how far it goes. A thin chisel or screwdriver will probably work. If the screwdriver goes in its full length and is still digging out rotted wood, then the wood probably extends most of the length of the rudder. The void could be filled with thickened epoxy and a block of wood could be glassed in to replace the piece you cut out. Fair the rudder and call it a day and go sailing.

    Option 2 would entail removing the skin from one side of the rudder and excavating the entire core. Replacing the core and glassing the skin back on. This process is shown on a series of videos on Boatworks Today.

    A third option, would start with Option 1, then next fall drill a series of holes in the rudder and let it dry out over the winter. Fill the holes with thickened epoxy in the spring fair and paint and go sailing.
     


  7. isaksp00

    isaksp00

    Joined Apr 27, 2010
    1,034 posts, 81 likes
    Hunter 23
    US Lake Wallenpaupack
    You may want to add photo of the whole rudder. Does it swing up and down on a pin when mounted, or is it a fixed position? If it we're me, I think I'd see what the pour-in foam costs, the type used in that boat works video. If enough to fill your rudder is affordable, I would remove one side all around where the "chine" line is, dig out all the wet stuff, sand the insides of the rudder sides a bit, and fill with foam, then epoxy the side back on. Probably far less work and cost than new rudder.
     




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