Hunter 33 rudder split

Jan 7, 2011
2,911
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
How long has the boat been out of the water? Long enough for water in the rudder to freeze and create that crack?

I think if it was me, I would let it sit over the winter (maybe wrapped against the elements), check for moisture in the spring and if no significant moisture, grind out the crack and apply epoxy. If the rudder has significant moisture, it will probably need to be dropped and repaired properly (maybe requiring it to be opened up).


The rudder on my older O’Day 322 has a spot that was drilled and patched by a previous owner (probably to release some water in the rudder). I check it at haulout and after 6 years, don’t really see any signs it has gotten worse.


Greg
 
May 6, 2010
464
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
On our last two boats the rudders had significant moisture inside. On the first boat I removed the fiberglass skin from a large section of one side and vacuum bagged the rudder to dry out the foam core. On our current boat the moisture was so bad and had frozen to the point the rudder was badly delaminated and I sent the rudder post to Foss Foam in Florida and had a new rudder made. I would suggest checking the rudder with a moisture meter before determining a course of action - if it's very wet it needs to be dried, if it isn't, the crack can be repaired with fiberglass and epoxy.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,087
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Looks like damage to the bottom of the rudder. Pictures appear to indicate this is not a "just happened" event.

Question is there evidence that the rudder has absorbed water? Are there any dribbles coming from the rudder now that it is out of the water. If uncertain, you could drill a few small holes up into the rudder at a the lowest corner to see if water is present. A few holes could help to drain any water. You might even attach a pump and tubing (like that for a fish tank) to create a vacuum and suck moisture out. Then in the spring you patch the holes with epoxy.

With the cold weather you get, I would not want water in the rudder during the winter.

When you are happy that the moisture is gone, then grind away the paint to expose bare fiberglass and epoxy the area. Use an epoxy fairing compound. Then barrier paint and bottom paint. Good for a few more years of sailing.
 

RitSim

.
Jan 29, 2018
246
Beneteau 411 Branford
We had cracks and a hollow area on our C30 rudder. I could see water in the rudder looking down the rudder tube. Took the rudder off and home for one winter. Wrapped the forward, rear, and bottom edges with epoxy using 6" and 4" glass cloth band. I prepped each area and then added the cloth ( actually bought 6" wide ribbon and 4" wide ribbon so I wouldn't have to deal with unraveled edges). Then I wrapped the rudder with saran wrap taking special care to NOT have any fold overs or wrinkles. The saran allowed me to keep the resin where it belonged without drips and more importantly, kept the ribbon tight against the rudder. After curing, the saran comes off easily. My hollow spot was actually a manufacturing defect not freeze damage. Filled the hollow with fairing and then over layered with cloth. Faired all, sanded and painted with barrier coat. BTW, when i put the rudder back in, I checked the top surface of the rudder post bearing area by blocking the rudder post just flush with the tube bearing surface. Mine was way off. Sanded flat and parallel to the top rudder post surface, added a thrust washer to take up the space and finished the job.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
6
Hunter 33 Whitehall MI
How long has the boat been out of the water? Long enough for water in the rudder to freeze and create that crack?

I think if it was me, I would let it sit over the winter (maybe wrapped against the elements), check for moisture in the spring and if no significant moisture, grind out the crack and apply epoxy. If the rudder has significant moisture, it will probably need to be dropped and repaired properly (maybe requiring it to be opened up).


The rudder on my older O’Day 322 has a spot that was drilled and patched by a previous owner (probably to release some water in the rudder). I check it at haulout and after 6 years, don’t really see any signs it has gotten worse.


Greg
The boat was pulled October 8th and I noticed then water was dripping off the rudder which I thought wasn't too unusual but it dripped for a couple hours. I will check for moisture and consider grinding the crack and patching but I can't see the top of the rudder because it is too close to the hull. My fear is what if the water is getting in at the top around the post?
 
Jan 22, 2008
6
Hunter 33 Whitehall MI
Looks like damage to the bottom of the rudder. Pictures appear to indicate this is not a "just happened" event.

Question is there evidence that the rudder has absorbed water? Are there any dribbles coming from the rudder now that it is out of the water. If uncertain, you could drill a few small holes up into the rudder at a the lowest corner to see if water is present. A few holes could help to drain any water. You might even attach a pump and tubing (like that for a fish tank) to create a vacuum and suck moisture out. Then in the spring you patch the holes with epoxy.

With the cold weather you get, I would not want water in the rudder during the winter.

When you are happy that the moisture is gone, then grind away the paint to expose bare fiberglass and epoxy the area. Use an epoxy fairing compound. Then barrier paint and bottom paint. Good for a few more years of sailing.
Thanks for the advice, I'm still evaluating the issue but truly appreciate the input.
 
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Sep 20, 2006
2,820
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the advice, I'm still evaluating the issue but truly appreciate the input.
You could also try sending the pics to Foss Foam, the manufacturer, for their opinion. The 3rd picture almost looks like impact damage or maybe it did split with water in the bottom and expanded over winter. Foss may have better ideas.
 
May 6, 2010
464
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
Are you able to drop the rudder far enough to expose the top of the rudder itself? The area at the top of the rudder where the post enters is a prime area for water ingress. It wouldn't hurt to grind out a small valley there and fill with Sikaflex or other sealant. On our boats we also had water coming in through the top of the rudder post through the emergency tiller access.
 
Aug 7, 2018
179
Catalina 350 Great Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario
Drill 2 holes in the rudder, a vent and weep, if you get above freezing it may dry out over the winter. If not use try using a heat gun, I did on my oday to "thaw things out" I repaired the surface damaged in the spring. My dock neighbor drills his every year in the same spots then a quick patch before the splash. You need to figure out where the water is coming from.
 
Jan 22, 2008
6
Hunter 33 Whitehall MI
Are you able to drop the rudder far enough to expose the top of the rudder itself? The area at the top of the rudder where the post enters is a prime area for water ingress. It wouldn't hurt to grind out a small valley there and fill with Sikaflex or other sealant. On our boats we also had water coming in through the top of the rudder post through the emergency tiller access.
I have about 6" of clearance to the ground which may be enough for me to at least see the top area. I hadn't thought about the emergency tiller access. Mine is cover with an inspection plate which I can remove.
 
Aug 7, 2018
179
Catalina 350 Great Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario
I have about 6" of clearance to the ground which may be enough for me to at least see the top area. I hadn't thought about the emergency tiller access. Mine is cover with an inspection plate which I can remove.
I dug a hole in the ground to drop the rudder to get access to the top for the repair.
 
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Sep 20, 2006
2,820
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
I have about 6" of clearance to the ground which may be enough for me to at least see the top area. I hadn't thought about the emergency tiller access. Mine is cover with an inspection plate which I can remove.
There are only 4 screws holding the floor in place. 2 just at the steering pedestal and 2 at the base under the seat. Slide the floor out the stern with the seat up. You can see the top of the rudder post but not the top of the rudder.
 
Jan 22, 2008
6
Hunter 33 Whitehall MI
There are only 4 screws holding the floor in place. 2 just at the steering pedestal and 2 at the base under the seat. Slide the floor out the stern with the seat up. You can see the top of the rudder post but not the top of the rudder.
Yep, I've had that floor out before