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Old 04-03-2011
madmaggiemae madmaggiemae is offline
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Rudder Help Please!!!!!

I just bought a Grampian Classic 31 a few months ago..discovered a leak inside the boat around the bronze rudder tube...I ground down the old resin/glass around it and reglassed it. Apparently, some epoxy made its way down to a place its not supposed to be, because now my rudder is VERY stuck in place!! I could see epoxy around the lower "bearing"..unfortunately after it had cured. Kind of feel like an idiot right now, but I need to ask for help.
I've done EVERYTHING possible to try to force it loose (without breaking the rudder), I have taken off the shoe and the rudder won't drop, have even begun resorting to destructive means (see picture where a cut off a piece behind rudder to gain more access)...it's really stuck. What I need to know is what is going on in there...what the rudder tube/bearing/post assembly might look like under there before I can know how to proceed (ie whether to cut a hole in my boat from the inside or the outside.) It's an old boat..1965..if that helps. Can't post a picture but it's a Modified full keel..Tiller...Rudder is hung under the boat with cutaway for prop.
On the underside, the rudderpost is inside of a bronze "bearing" (maybe not a real bearing) or bronze tube that has the same diameter as the tube on the inside...but I KNOW that this piece is supposed to turn WITH the rudder and that the tube on the inside of the boat ISN"T supposed to turn (the rudder post turns inside of it). When I ground down to the tube from the inside before, I didn't see the top of any bearing or junction. Where is the junction and what does it look like??? (I could use a pair of xray goggles right now.) I have tried so much with so much force that i know there is more than just the thin bond around the tube holding this in place. Are there set screws? Could this junction be resting inside the hull?
I am afraid if I grind back down from the inside, I will have to go so far that the tube won't be held by the hull anymore and I will never be able to align the rudder right again. I am hoping to find info from other GC31 owners who have had their rudder off and can tell me what it looks like in there, what kind of bearing or whatever this might be, and how it's held onto the rudderpost. I can't find any information on this boat anywhere.
Thanks for any help.
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