Catalina 34

General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: kerk fisher on May 28, 2014, 10:55:01 AM

Title: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: kerk fisher on May 28, 2014, 10:55:01 AM
Greetings.  We noticed at the end of last season that the trailing edge of the rudder has only an eighth of an inch clearance.  About 8 years ago we nicked the rudder when our keel got hung up on a rock.  (My wife says she would have noticed it well before now if this kissing the bottom had caused it)  It's solid with no loose play and has posed no apparent problem.  So we don't know the cause.  BUT our idea of fixing it is to belt sand the top of the rudder a bit so we feel comfortable with the clearance.  Q: How would we finish it off? epoxy, primer, then bottom paint?  What epoxy and primer? 
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: lazybone on May 28, 2014, 01:14:33 PM
Consider changing the 1\4"+ nylon bearing under the aluminum top cap to a thinner 1\8" one.
That will increase your clearance by at least a 1/8".
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: Ron Hill on May 28, 2014, 04:40:17 PM
Kirk : I would NOT follow Aldo's advice. 
During heavy WX you'll find that the rudder will move up and down with more play in the vertical!!  I even put a extra thin bushing under the tiller cap to take out all vertical play!

I'd sand down the top of the rudder and the mating bottom of the skag above the rudder to get extra clearance.  Then use epoxy on both of those surfaces and then some hard bottom paint.

Guess you already figured out your rudder column and/or your internal rudder layup is bent!!

A few thoughts, good luck
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: lazybone on May 28, 2014, 05:17:36 PM
Kirk : I would NOT follow Aldo's advice. 
During heavy WX you'll find that the rudder will move up and down with more play in the vertical!!  I even put a extra thin bushing under the tiller cap to take out all vertical play!

I'd sand down the top of the rudder and the mating bottom of the skag above the rudder to get extra clearance.  Then use epoxy on both of those surfaces and then some hard bottom paint.

Guess you already figured out your rudder column and/or your internal rudder layup is bent!!

A few thoughts, good luck

Of course if that were a concern the nylon washer at the hull could be increased by the same amount.

But re-glassing the top of the rudder and insuring it was water tight might be easier?
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: kerk fisher on May 29, 2014, 04:06:55 AM
Yes Ron, we have unfortunately figured that. So once sanded, what epoxy (without mesh, I assume) would you use for this small job and what primer so that we could use our vc-17 extra ( know it's not hard but it's what's on the boat now).
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: Clay Greene on May 29, 2014, 02:24:32 PM
Why not use an epoxy primer/barrier coat like Interprotect or Pettit Protect? 
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: Indian Falls on May 30, 2014, 01:49:37 PM
What is wrong with the rudder moving up and down an 1/8'' in heavy waxing?

I would vote for a spacer over grinding every time. 

However, if it were me, I would do nothing until haul out time and then take the rudder off.  Sure looks bent to me.
Good time for a rudder upgrade.  I would consider the all plastic one you can find on Catalina direct.
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: kerk fisher on June 02, 2014, 04:58:12 AM
I"m ready to make this happen.  How much space (how much to take off top of rudder and bottom of skag) do I need?  Thanks for all your suggestions. Kerk
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: Jeff Tancock on June 03, 2014, 04:43:46 PM
a different thought....we were unlucky enough to hit a very large submerged log a couple of years ago. Big bang! The log was knocked down by the keel but rose quickly enough to just clip the bottom of our rudder. It bent it back far enough that it jammed hard (no clearance at all) and I lost all steerage. I was towed to a nearby marina. This was far from home and it was a Friday before a long weekend. After much debate the marina owner, a couple of yard monkeys and I took a come-a-long, wrapped a strap around the front of a wooden beam that the keel was just resting on ( to provide resistance) and carefully straightened it enough to function perfectly well. It was easy and it worked great. I sailed the rest of the season and let the insurance pay for a new one to be custom made in the off season. So you could just carefully straighten it enough it to make you happy!
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: lazybone on June 03, 2014, 04:59:55 PM
a different thought....we were unlucky enough to hit a very large submerged log a couple of years ago. Big bang! The log was knocked down by the keel but rose quickly enough to just clip the bottom of our rudder. It bent it back far enough that it jammed hard (no clearance at all) and I lost all steerage. I was towed to a nearby marina. This was far from home and it was a Friday before a long weekend. After much debate the marina owner, a couple of yard monkeys and I took a come-a-long, wrapped a strap around the front of a wooden beam that the keel was just resting on ( to provide resistance) and carefully straightened it enough to function perfectly well. It was easy and it worked great. I sailed the rest of the season and let the insurance pay for a new one to be custom made in the off season. So you could just carefully straighten it enough it to make you happy!

Did you do the straightening while the rudder was still installed in the boat?
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: Stu Jackson on June 03, 2014, 05:28:45 PM
I"m ready to make this happen.  How much space (how much to take off top of rudder and bottom of skag) do I need?  Thanks for all your suggestions. Kerk

Kerk, it's a skeg, Ron's been misspelling it for years!   :D

Visualize it if you can:  The hull, the rudder shaft up through the quadrant the lazarette, and to the rudder head and bolt.  You could measure it with a yard stick, but most skippers drop the rudder when in the slings simply because few can afford to dig a hole deep enough to drop the rudder once in a cradle or on the jack-stands.  The asphalt is a bear to dig a hole through, and the replacement of the asphalt...well, you get the idea... :thumb:
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: kerk fisher on June 04, 2014, 04:45:27 AM
A new thought!!  Speaking of the skeg (!), I"ve included another picture taken just after the boat was hauled out.  Looks as if the skeg is slanted in a curve downward almost touching the rudder.  If the rudder were bent (and decreased the clearance at the skeg) wouldn't we see a corresponding increase in the space down the rudder post?  But there isn't any. Although my wife would not agree with me maybe this is the way it has been all along and all we need to do is only sand the skeg (as Ron suggested earlier) and not touch the rudder.
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: Jeff Tancock on June 04, 2014, 11:05:36 AM
Yes I bent it back installed. It was actually bent back and a bit sideways. It was surprisingly easy to bend it a bit then turn the rudder and bend some more. After a few goes we straightened it right back to nearly perfectly square.
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: Ron Hill on June 04, 2014, 02:53:39 PM
Guys : The movement of the rudder vertically is to me "disconcerting" - it may not bother others to see unnatural movements!!  Wear from turning is just added to the vertical movement wear!!

Kerk : Take a straight edge and make sure that the skEg is infact curved.  If it is I'd grind it to where it is straight.  Then measure the distance at the top of the rudder to the hull indentation at the top and then at the bottom of the hull indentation.  That should tell you how much it is bent it maybe - if any!?!

I would NOT try Jeffs' idea. Reason ? are you bending the stainless column (probably NOT) or are you just loosening the grid welded to the column inside the foam layup??  If the rudder layup were a solid fiberglass I'd try it, but it's not!!  I don't know, so you decide.

You might be in the market for a new rudder.  The reason I mention that is because of the weeping rudder rust stains in your last photo.  There a bunch of stuff that I wrote up in the Mainsheet Tech notes on how to prevent the iron grid (welded to the early stainless columns) from further leaking.  You've got a 1988 and it probably has been leaking from day1!!

A few thoughts  
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: kerk fisher on June 04, 2014, 07:27:16 PM
Ron, makes sense to do the skeg.  What does "Then measure the distance at the top of the rudder to the hull indentation at the top and then at the bottom of the hull indentation." mean?  Where are the bottom and top indentations.  This was a brand new reconfigured rudder in 1995 when we bought the boat. We bought it because the rudder it came with was water logged. I"ll look your article up nonetheless. Thanks
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: Jeff Tancock on June 05, 2014, 08:06:17 AM
In your case you may be right to grind the skeg, but my shaft is definitely what we were bending. It was very straight forward, controlled and easy to do.
 I would also like to mention that I had been worried for years about the warnings of a rusting out grid in my rudder. I went in to the ship yard that did the repairs to see the autopsy on the old rudder. On my boat, #630, there was no iron grid! Instead I saw two very large stainless plates offset for strength and absolutely no signs of any internal problems. So glad I never drilled and filled etc.
Title: Re: rudder not enough clearance-how to fix?
Post by: Ron Hill on June 05, 2014, 01:29:35 PM
Kerk : What I was trying to get you to measure maybe un-measurable!

Try what Jeff did, just be careful.  If the underside if the hull above the rudder is not straight - then grind it to where it is. 

I only operate on the information that Gerry Douglas (the designer) gave me.  He said there was a ferrous grid not stainless plates. 

If you have a "weeping rudder" with rust stains running down the side - something is rusting inside and it's not the stainless!!