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Rudder play

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Oct 2, 2008
3,409
Pearson/ 530 Strafford, NH
Hi all,
My 1981 Catalina 30 has some up and down movement on the rudder. It's on the hard so when I lift the rudder I get it to move about 1/4 inch. Is this normal or should I find a way to tighten it? I did a search and didn't find any obvious info.
All U Get
 
Jan 22, 2008
387
Catalina 30 Rochester NY
I didn't have up and down play, but sloppiness side to side.

I have pedestal steering and the radial bracket fastened to the rudder post with a 1/4" bolt. The hole in the rudder post was more like 3/8" and this caused the rudder to swing back and forth. I hade major shearing issues.

I finally redrilled the post to a 1/2" and used roofing flashing as a shim and this tightened the steering down.

You might want to check and see if your post is connected to the steering arm.

I do have pictures if you need them.

Chris
 
Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
Hi all,
My 1981 Catalina 30 has some up and down movement on the rudder. It's on the hard so when I lift the rudder I get it to move about 1/4 inch. Is this normal or should I find a way to tighten it? I did a search and didn't find any obvious info.
All U Get
The rudder has positive buoyancy (it wants to float) so first check that when you hold it up that there is clearance between the rudder and hull/skeg.

Some boats have a spacer or two between the rudder and the hull.

There can also be spacers under the tiller head, these are not critical as the rudder will move up when the boat is in the water and extra clearance there has little/no effect. For wheel steered boats you should check the steering cable alignment to the quadrant, a missing spacer can change this.

If the alignment is good with the rudder supported in the up (sailing) position, I'd just leave it alone ... don't be fixing problems that aren't problems.

Side to side play is a different deal and is not hard, but time consuming to fix.

Randy
 
Jun 30, 2009
26
Catalina 30 Cundy's Harbor
My 1980 Catalina has some side to side rudder play.
What is the downside of side-to-side rudder play? How much is too much?
 
Jan 22, 2008
387
Catalina 30 Rochester NY
Side to side play can be bad, at least if you have wheel steering.

In my boat, there is a bolt that hold the rudder post to the radial wheel housing. The bolt was too small for the hole and this caused play. Twice last summer, this play was enough to shear the bolt and I was forced to use the emergency tiller to get back.

I fixed it by redrilling the hole to 3/8" and using aluminum flashing as a shim. I wrapped the shim around the rudder post and then used the larger bolt. Problem has gone away so far.

Some wheel steering use keys so I don't know what to do in that situation. I would probably still drill a hole.

Good luck Chris
 
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