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When to rebuild rudder assembly? H 23.5

Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
Edit: I changed the title from "When to rebuild rudder hinge" because this project evolved into redoing the entire rudder assembly.

I thinking about rebuilding the rudder hinge of my 23.5. However, before plunking down $130+ for new gudgeons and other stuff that comes up, Id like to have an idea how much play in the hinge is normal. Right now, it looks like there is well over 1/16" play in the holes for the hinge pins. In rough water I can feel the rudder shift slightly left and right while underway. Like loose steering. I drive sports cars, so I like a nice tight steering feel. But I dont know whats normal in this boat. Can anyone relate how much play in their rudder hinge? My son says his Hobbie has zero play. But I guess Im wondering if they just come loose from factory, or if they are ovaled out from leaving the rudder down in a slip all the time (I dont do that, but have only owned her for a few years).
 
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Ted

.
Jan 26, 2005
1,146
C&C 110 Bay Shore, Long Island, NY
You want as little play as possible. 1/6" of clearance is very sloppy. Depending on the design of your existing gudgeons, you might be able to install a sleeve or bushing. If your pintles aren't worn, this would be an inexpensive way to rebuild without buying new parts. You also could do an epoxy pour in place bushing using graphite mixed with epoxy to make a custom fit, low friction bushing. The pintle would have to be smooth with no deep scratches for this to work. You must use a release agent on the pintle to make sure the parts can be separated once the epoxy cured. I did a procedure similar to this for worn rudder bushings on a previous boat with great results.
 
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Jun 8, 2004
7,769
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Crispy

Take a few photos of the gudgon and pintel and the rudder where pintels are attached. Then advise if there are any spacers in the rudder bolt that holds the rudder to the rudder bracket as they would be large white Delrin. I need to know more before suggesting.
 
Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
I think I found where the play is happening. Took the rudder assembly off today and it looks like the hinge pins are pretty toasty. The gudgeons look fine, the space for between the pin and gudgeons looks fine, as well as the metal to metal between the pins and the transom mounts. So I guess Im getting new pins and the red rubber that holds the rudder in place. Its very dry cracked and brittle. I have a sheet of teflon that I can make some spacers
from if needed.

rudder pin.jpg
 
May 22, 2013
5
Hunter 23.5 Lake Calhoun
I'd suggest checking for slop where the tiller is bolted to the rudder head. The tiller thru holes often oval out causing a lot of slop.
 
Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
I'd suggest checking for slop where the tiller is bolted to the rudder head. The tiller thru holes often oval out causing a lot of slop.
Good idea. Ill be taking the whole thing apart to replace the rubber that holds the rudder in place. Ill check it then.

Also, I need to touch up the tip of the rudder from some bottom contact. Im not sure what to patch it with. Ill post pics later. I think Im going to sand it down and repaint the whole rudder.
 
Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
Additional questions on this winter project. Two areas needing addressed. 1) The tip of the rudder has some bottom damage, as well as a ding on the trailing edge. Not sure what to use to fill it. Im familiar with auto body repairs, but not fiberglass boat repairs. 2) If you look at the pics of the metal frame, you can see some warping that has taken place. Im not sure if Im missing some spacers or what. I can probably straighten it. But Im wondering if there are spacer washers between the metal and the tiller. Functionally, it works fine. The rudder will be sanded down and painted in the end. Also, it looks like the tightening nut has been cranked too tight at some point in the past and bent the frame in somewhat. 3) What should I paint it with if I sand down to original gel coat or fiberglass?

I guess I should have taken more pics for those not super familiar with this particular boat. Can later if need be.

IMG_6991.jpg
IMG_6994.jpg
IMG_6992.jpg
IMG_6995.jpg

View attachment 159792 View attachment 159792 View attachment 159793 View attachment 159792View attachment 159793
 
Jun 8, 2004
7,769
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Stand the rudder up to allow any moisture or water inside to come out. Do this in a dry place inside for a while.

I looked at manual but need some help refreshing my memory as I see something wrong with the rudder housing (top). Would others take some photos for me and post as I am looking at the tightening wing nut on top as I think it was added and should not be there

@CrispyCringle
Would you willing to talk with me?
 
Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
Upon further research, I appear to be missing the rudder spacers at the top of the assembly (part #800523). Image from the Hunter parts store.

Screen Shot 2019-01-03 at 8.04.23 AM.png
 
Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
Here is a pic of the whole assembly, with the rudder in the Up/Stowed position. Areas in RED are the locations of the dents a scrapes. It looks hideous. Can wait to get it all prettied up.

Any suggestions on what to fill it in with? Also, what glue to attach the red rubber to the metal frame?

IMG_6996_2.jpg
 
Apr 27, 2010
1,117
Hunter 23 Lake Wallenpaupack
I had gouges like that on my H23 rudder when I bought it. I bought the West System epoxy, and their metered pumps, and both the fairing and structural thickeners. I used the structural thickener for the deeper gouges, with some of the softer fairing thickener to round off the surface. You may need to use some fiberglass cloth if your gouges are big enough. The one on the bottom tip might benefit from that, by grinding out some of the foam and "wrapping" with a layer of cloth designed to help keep the side skins from separating, topped with a peanut butter consistency thickened resin.
I have tried both the 2 part barrier coat and a one part paint and did not like the results. I think a proper gelcoat with wet sanding is likely the way to get it looking nice, but I don't yet have experience with that.
 
Jun 2, 2004
2,915
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
Epoxy with thickener, sand to shape and a spray can of white Krylon will get you going
 
Jun 8, 2004
7,769
-na -NA Anywhere USA
@Rick Webb and @isaksp00

Ok you wascals, thank you very much for responding. Both of you are correct. The first question is the water inside the rudder and if there is any, it will need to be positioned in the up position for the water to drain. The key to this you have two halves married together with marine putty which the bottom is pretty well beaten up. I would Dremel out the affected part inside so you could get back to a clean and unaffected or undamaged area. At that point I would determine what direction to go but glassing in the bottom is going to be recommended. Filler of two part epoxy is good but the damages are too deep just to epoxy only.

I would suggest removal of the anti fouling paint by sanding only. Leave the gel coat alone. In a sense it is an oil based paint and repainting back with gel coat is a pain in the butt. I would do what Rick suggested using the Krylon plastic paint that will do just fine. I forgot the number of that white paint is so if anyone knows, please post it here.

Crispy, please go slow on the removal. I have sent you my phone number which is highly secret. Har Har. I ask that it not be given out as I do the same with all of you. Please do that only by private message to protect your contact info. I will talk with you before you start. The bolt on the back of the rudder head generally I think had a metal spacer tube I think with a plastic pipe over it to prevent the back side of the rudder when in the up position. Not sure if that caused that damage.
 
Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
Well, Ive made some progress. The rudder assembly is all taken apart. Parts ordered. I am apparently missing all the spacers in the rudder head. Hence the metal distortion. Ill be working on that soon and breaking out some body work tools and hammers. The red rubber gasket was completely worn out where the rudder blade swings up and down for stowage. Ive been hunting for the stainless steel hardware. So far, Ive been to three hardware stores and a marine store with really good fastener selections. Well, not good enough. Finally got what I needed. Ill post pics later.
 
Apr 27, 2010
1,117
Hunter 23 Lake Wallenpaupack
I had some distortion of the aluminum at the top of the rudder head, like yours but maybe a bit less. I threaded nuts and fender washers positioned on the hinge bolt with both nuts inside the head, then used open end wrenches to turn one nut to "squeeze" the sides back outward.
 
Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
Alrighty! Its May and I still havnt gotten the boat back in the water. I normally go in the beginning of april. Life. Anyway, I did the finishing touches of the rudder rebuild last night. Im liking the results.

This rebuild involved replacing and repairing pretty much all of it. The red rubber "grippers" were completely toasted. Dry and worn to metal in a few places. The red rubber can be a challenge to get off, as I read in other threads. But its weakness is application of heat. A heat gun and putty knife is all it takes to get it off without much effort at all.


The next problem was trying to straighten the metal frame. It was warped from some hamfistedness in the past, as well as missing the spacers for the tiller. I thought I could hammer the bends out. First I tried a two pound hammer and some body work dollies and wood blocks. Dont do this, folks. The first wack of the hammer, inside my garage and no ear protection, sounded like Daffy Duck just slammed my head between two symbols.

The smart way to do it is to reassemble the halfs facing the opposite direction and put some 2x4 wood spacers in between along the creases where the rudder blade and tiller would be and crank the bolts back together- hard. This puts the exact opposite stress on the metel that distorted it in the first place. This worked well. (You can also see the results of taking off the rubber with a heat gun)



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