A piece of advice regarding rudders and keels.

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Mickey Lake
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:18 am
Location: Spanish Fort, Alabama, USA

A piece of advice regarding rudders and keels.

Post by Mickey Lake » Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:33 pm

We are having to pull the rudder out of the boat to repair a pretty bad split in the trailing edge of the keel.

My boat is coated with the class-legal layer of glassfibre to help strengthen it and to allow for a more fair hull. The glass along the trailing edge of the keel had split allowing water up into the area of the deadwood, a dangerous situation with a boat that has been covered with cloth (my boat sits on her trailer normally). We weren't sure why the split happened but found out today. The pins that attach the rudder to the rudder shaft had worked their way out (two of the three of them) and whenever the helm had gone beyond 10 degrees or so the pins were tearing into the keel. Yuck!

Well, taking the rudder off is quite a chore when the shoe is 'glassed over, but we can do that fairly easily at my yacht club. Getting the rudder head off was also a chore and required an automotive tool called a 'wheel puller'. After that it's just a matter of taking off the shoe and dropping the rudder out, repairing everything and putting it back correctly.

My advice is this: if you are rebuilding a boat, as many people in North America are doing, it is worth your effort to drop the rudder at the beginning of the process and inspect the pins and shaft. What I have to do now is to take the rudder to a machine shop, where they will tap the pins back into place and tack weld them before we 'glass over them again. But if we had done that in the first place when things were easy to get to none of this would have happened.

Just thought that I would share that so that hopefully no one else has to go through this.

Mickey Lake USA149
A disciple of the Norse God of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker.

Mickey Lake
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:18 am
Location: Spanish Fort, Alabama, USA

Post by Mickey Lake » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:39 pm

Well, the rudder is off and the repair can now be done. For those of you who knew what I am going to tell you please don't laugh (and shame on you for not telling me :)): there is no shoe on the bottom of the keel. The casting is of one piece.

My boat-builder friend and I went down today to do the work, lifted the boat up, and I ground down the fairing along a piece about 12"x12" on both of the trailing edges of the keel at the very bottom. After doing this I looked at my friend and said 'uh, I don't see anything'. He was expecting pins or fasteners of some kind. After looking at each other and the boat for a couple of minutes we both said 'hm. I wonder?'. Yep. The rudder just lifts out of the bottom of the keel. There is no shoe, and now we will have to refair all of that which we ground off today! No worries, though. It'll be a snap to fix it and I will be happy to have the old girl back in one piece soon and looking good.

Just one more case of learning on the job.

Mickey Lake USA149
A disciple of the Norse God of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker.

trw999
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:10 pm
Location: England

Post by trw999 » Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:01 am

Hey Mickey

If the shoe fits .....!

T

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