• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Bent rudder advice

Dec 22, 2012
102
Islander 30 Bahama Keyport
Sucky way to end the season! My I-30 sits in a slip that has a notoriously low tide. I can't enter or leave 1-2 hours on either side of low tide. A couple of weeks ago I was preparing to leave when I realized the rudder seemed like it was stuck when steering the wheel across the center even though it was high tide. When I returned at low tide to check things, I realized that my rudder had been bent to starboard! Probably due to a combination being stuck in the mud at low tide and a passing storm or two with high winds. So now I have another unscheduled spring project.

Any advice on what steps to take to straighten it out? Is that even possible? I'm pretty good at DIY so I would prefer advice in that direction vs. "have the marina do it".
Thanks in advance!
Nestor
 

Katica

.
Jun 1, 2010
7
Islander Bahama 30 Elk Rapids, MI
Rudder Repair

Ouch! That IS a lousy end to a season. Do you know if its the rudder blade or the rudder post that is bent? Or both? If its the blade, you can certainly repair it yourself. The blade has a metal cage structure with foam inserts and a fiberglass skin. You can strip it down, straighten out the metal, re-fill the foam and re-skin with West System and glass cloth. My rudder filled with water, froze and burst. I was able to repair it to like-new condition, but it was not bent. If its the post, you'll probably have to drop the rudder to get it straight. This is a royal pain to do. If you have to go this route, check to see if there is much play in the rudder post before you drop it out. If so, you might want to add replacing the rudder bearing to this project. West System has a good paper on how to do this with graphite impregnated epoxy that is pretty slick (pun intended). Lastly, if you can't repair it yourself, the company that made these for Islander is still in business, but I can't remember the name. Perhaps someone else on the list can remember. I think it has Foam in the name. If I find it, I'll re-post. Good luck!
 

Katica

.
Jun 1, 2010
7
Islander Bahama 30 Elk Rapids, MI
Rudder Replacement

If it turns out you have to replace it: I think the company that made these rudders for Islander is The Foss Company. They make "Foss Foam Rudders". www.boatrudder.com
They also do rudder repair, so if it turns into more than you want to do, I'd try these guys. If your insurance will cover it as storm damage, I'd certainly go this route.
 
Dec 22, 2012
102
Islander 30 Bahama Keyport
Just the post

Ouch! That IS a lousy end to a season. Do you know if its the rudder blade or the rudder post that is bent?
It appears to be just the post. Ironically, the tide was so low yesterday that half the rudder stuck out of the water! When I looked down the stern from the dock I could see that the rudder was bent to starboard.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,947
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I'm out of my element here, but I'm pretty sure I've heard of bent rudder posts being straightened out. It takes a machine shop, I guess.
 
Sep 23, 2009
1,450
O'Day 34-At Last Rock Hall, Md
A popular book on marine fiberglass repair (not at home now and can't remember the title) shows repairing a bent shaft by pressing it straight with a backhoe outrigger.
If you are close to Foss Foam they may be able to fix it once you have it off the boat.
Good luck, post some pics if you can.
 
Nov 26, 2012
2,315
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
Yes, my buddy uses his backhoe to straighten and load/press all kinds of things. They have precise controls to carefully press down incrementally if the operator is good. Chief
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,273
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
Crazy idea, but could you turn the rudder a full 90 degrees, so the bend is straight backward. then during low tied, could you throw a strap around the keel with a cable come-a-long wrapped around the rudder and pull it back straight. The should give you pretty good control.
 
Nov 23, 2011
2,022
MacGregor 26D London Ontario Canada
boatworkstoday on YouTube has a video series of how to repair a foam filled rudder. It's not rocket science. If the post is bent though. It could cost like rocket science.
Good luck.
Everyone with a fiberglass boat should take look at the boatworkstoday YouTube channel. It has all kinds of helpful tips on how to fix things properly.
 

RichH

.
Feb 14, 2005
4,773
Tayana 37 cutter; I20/M20 SCOWS Worton Creek, MD
Usually its the stainless steel rudder stock that gets bent in a severe grounding.

If the Keyport you live in is near the Raritan Bay in North Jersey, you have 2 options:

1. With the immense damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, your insurance underwriter or other boating insurance firms may have information of Islander30 Bahamas that were 'totaled' and are now being 'parted-out' for scrap.

2. The North Jersey area, due to a heavy presence of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industry, has a prolific amount of masterful 'ASME code' welders fully skilled in metal work and repair of stainless steel. Usually all that has to be done with a bent rudder stock is to chain the rudder to a large I-beam and 'jack' the stock back to 'straight and true'. If any heat is applied to aid in the straightening such a highly skilled welder will apply appropriate 'heat sinks' on the stock to prevent heat transfer into the fiberglass. Since such straightening can remotely promote internal cracking, etc. I would suggest that after straightening the stock, that a smaller but fairly tight fitting stainless tube/pipe be inserted and epoxied and 'tack welded' inside the original tube stock ... as an additional 'safety', especially with a 'spade type' rudder (a cantilever subject to continued 'flex') as such cracks no matter how minor will usually begin to 'rust' and continue to destructively penetrate though the stainless. The 'insert' would be a 'belt and suspenders' approach.
After any stock straightening, I would carefully seal (cloth and epoxy) all areas at where the shaft enters the fiberglass to prevent any water intrusion, especially if the rudder is 'hollow' and 'buoyant'.

;-)
 
Sep 23, 2009
1,450
O'Day 34-At Last Rock Hall, Md
A popular book on marine fiberglass repair (not at home now and can't remember the title) shows repairing a bent shaft by pressing it straight with a backhoe outrigger.
If you are close to Foss Foam they may be able to fix it once you have it off the boat.
Good luck, post some pics if you can.
The book is Fiberglass boat repair by Rodger Marshall. Lots of topics covered including bent rudders.
 
Dec 22, 2012
102
Islander 30 Bahama Keyport
Interesting suggestions

Rich:
Thanks for the tips. I'll certainly contact the insurance firm to see what they have to say. I'd much rather replace than repair.
The repair approach you're suggesting is similar to a previous post, so at least there's consistency there. I'll also have my boatyard chaps weigh in. They haven't seen it yet as the boat was still in the water yesterday. They'll be hauling it out this week I suppose.
Nestor



Usually its the stainless steel rudder stock that gets bent in a severe grounding.

If the Keyport you live in is near the Raritan Bay in North Jersey, you have 2 options:

1. With the immense damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, your insurance underwriter or other boating insurance firms may have information of Islander30 Bahamas that were 'totaled' and are now being 'parted-out' for scrap.

2. The North Jersey area, due to a heavy presence of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industry, has a prolific amount of masterful 'ASME code' welders fully skilled in metal work and repair of stainless steel. Usually all that has to be done with a bent rudder stock is to chain the rudder to a large I-beam and 'jack' the stock back to 'straight and true'. If any heat is applied to aid in the straightening such a highly skilled welder will apply appropriate 'heat sinks' on the stock to prevent heat transfer into the fiberglass. Since such straightening can remotely promote internal cracking, etc. I would suggest that after straightening the stock, that a smaller but fairly tight fitting stainless tube/pipe be inserted and epoxied and 'tack welded' inside the original tube stock ... as an additional 'safety', especially with a 'spade type' rudder (a cantilever subject to continued 'flex') as such cracks no matter how minor will usually begin to 'rust' and continue to destructively penetrate though the stainless. The 'insert' would be a 'belt and suspenders' approach.
After any stock straightening, I would carefully seal (cloth and epoxy) all areas at where the shaft enters the fiberglass to prevent any water intrusion, especially if the rudder is 'hollow' and 'buoyant'.

;-)
 
Mar 4, 2015
16
Beneteau 411 Narragansett Bay
Hope you had some luck finding a replacement rudder. My I-30 rudder had a similar fate and for less than $ 1000 Foss sent me an exact replacement. If they can still help you, it's really the best way to go. Heating the rudder post will melt the interior foam because the internal structure is a series of steel branches off of the post. And bending the post will require enough force to crack the exterior of the rudder blade.