Re: Spade rudders vs blue water passage making
RichH...that's interesting. I don't think I've ever met anyone who dropped their rudder and did the inspection you describe. Sounds like a good idea before taking a long offshore trip on a less than new boat.
My recollection isn't perfect, but I think this rudder shaft was around 4" in diameter solid stainless. LH did lots of work in Taiwan, so I wonder about the quality of stainless.
I know Fontaine Yacht design has also done some of these shafts in carbon fiber. In talking with them, it was not only weight but also less bend, which reportedly made the bearing work better.