wet rudder and winter time comming soon - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-28-2013 Thread Starter
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wet rudder and winter time comming soon

I was told by surveyor that there is moisture in the rudder. He suggested, and I have read on others doing the same, to drill some holes in the bottom to let moisture release. I am just confused slightly on the procedure. Can someone elaborate on the process? I mean, am I just cutting a hole in the fiberglass? I assume I am not drilling through the rudder? Also dont most or all hole saws have a pilot drill in the center that would drill into the rudder? And then what in the spring? Then I need to reglass or epoxy the next spring? Thanks for any help. My first year with a boat and am starting to contemplate the winterizing process.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: wet rudder and winter time comming soon

Basically, take a half inch drill bit and drill through the fiberglass skin and into the core. at the bottom of the rudder.
It's just foam or some other core wrapped around a metal rod with maybe some tabs on it under the fiberglass (assuming a small to mid sided boat).

When it's dry/Spring before paint and launch use epoxy and fill the hole.

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-28-2013
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Re: wet rudder and winter time comming soon

I use a bit, say 1/4" to 3/8", not a hole saw. The holes do not have to be big, but you'll need at least two. You are drilling through the fibreglass skin, into the foam core (which is likely saturated). Drill the main drain hole at the lowest point, but you may have to drill a number to get all the water. In my case I found pockets of water trapped, so ended up drilling a whole bunch up the side.

If the holes are small, and there is still foam backing, you can just plug with thickened epoxy. I hit voids, so had to grind out the area, and rebuild the fibreglass just as you would with any hull hole. Hopefully not necessary in your case.

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-28-2013
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wet rudder and winter time comming soon

If is wet please remove and dry indoors for the winter if it freezes before it is completely dry it will crack I have pics to prove it ( happened to me)
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: wet rudder and winter time comming soon

Yea but aint it a major pain in the ass to take it off? Its been wet for years now and I almost think I would be getting myself into more crap by taking it off. Can I take it off on the hard? I thought I read one would have to dig a fairly deep hole to get it out? Not that I have not dug my share of holes. But I'm reading about locating holes and chipping away glass then pulling bolts and re glassing etc... Sounds like alot of work every year.

Hell, I'm still dreading winterizing my motor etc... I am pretty handy and have worked in the building trades for 20 years but have no idea where most of these parts are located when they talk about pulling that and filling this.

Last edited by abrahamx; 08-29-2013 at 06:56 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-29-2013
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Re: wet rudder and winter time comming soon

Apparently it is pretty common to have water in the rudder. I was told to drill two holes in the bottom and then in the spring commissioning, seal in two lag bolts with 4200 (I think). No more drilling holes, just remove bolts and let them drain over winter. It's an experiment for me. Seemed to work last year so I'll see what happens this year.

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Re: wet rudder and winter time comming soon

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Originally Posted by abrahamx View Post
Yea but aint it a major pain in the ass to take it off? Its been wet for years now and I almost think I would be getting myself into more crap by taking it off. Can I take it off on the hard? I thought I read one would have to dig a fairly deep hole to get it out? Not that I have not dug my share of holes. But I'm reading about locating holes and chipping away glass then pulling bolts and re glassing etc... Sounds like alot of work every year.
Removing the rudder and keeping it from freezing is an excellent solution, but depending on your boat, this may be a difficult task. I would not remove my rudder unless I had no other choice. Drilling and re-flling is far easier. It really isn't hard to do. And you really can't make any fatal mistakes. Fibreglass is pretty easy to repair.

Trust me; on the scale of boat-ownership challenges, this one ranks pretty low.

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Hell, I'm still dreading winterizing my motor etc... I am pretty handy and have worked in the building trades for 20 years but have no idea where most of these parts are located when they talk about pulling that and filling this.
I felt the same when I bought my first big boat. Take it slow. Ask questions. Listen to others (but don't accept everything). Read, and try things. And just remember, you're not the first person to go through all this. You'll figure it out.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: wet rudder and winter time comming soon

I think you have a T30, the rudder is supported by a bronze shoe at the bottom and supported by a skeg. Pulling the rudder is more involved than the average 30 ft boat, so unless you have to it would be best to leave it on the boat. As far as I know all T30 rudders have water. This will cause trouble if the metal longitudinal straps welded to the post fail from corosion allowing the rudder to rotate on the post.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: wet rudder and winter time comming soon

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As far as I know all T30 rudders have water.
Anyone work on the radical idea, "Keep the water out."?

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post #10 of 11 Old 08-30-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: wet rudder and winter time comming soon

Great idea, too bad no one had that idea the fourty years before I owned this boat. But yea, I figure I will just leave it. Its been that way for who knows how long and looks great really. Some holes on the bottom and I am ahead of the game, relatively.
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