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post #1 of 15 Old 12-11-2007 Thread Starter
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Rudder Crack Repair

Folks, I have a 1978 Catalina 30. It has a crack running down one side of the rudder. The crack seems to be about one sixteenth of an inch deep. It extends from the top along the rudder post down about a third of the way down the rudder. It is weeping brownish liquid. I see no bulging. The rudder seems structurally sound. fficeffice" />>>
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I saw this last year. I was advised to grind a v along the crack, fill with thickened west, then seal with interlux watertite epoxy filler, sand and bottom paint. I did this last year but it has reappeared. >>
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I had thought about grinding out and re-glassing the area. I am looking for some advice on this. Any tips would be appreciated. >>
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-11-2007
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What about a picture?
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-11-2007
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I had some cracks along the top of my rudder which, after drilling some weep holes at the bottom of the rudder, I glassed over and filled the weep holes with thickened epoxy.

John
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-11-2007
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I'll second what PBzseer said, your want it to be strong and you don't want water getting inside. Epoxy and glass it.

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post #5 of 15 Old 12-11-2007
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Part of the problem is that if water has gotten into a foam/fiberglass rudder, the rudder stock and webbing, which is normally stainless steel, may have started to corrode—which could be the cause of the brown coloration of the weeping water. If that is the case, merely filling and epoxying over isn't going to help much, as the stainless steel will eventually fail—sooner rather than later since it is definitely oxygen deprived. Given that the rudder may be nearly 30 years old, it may be wiser and cheaper in the long run to replace the rudder. YMMV.

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post #6 of 15 Old 12-11-2007
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I am thinking like the dawg too..(scary!).
I don't know if a complete rudder replacement is necessary but i would certainly drop it and peel it to inspect the stainless infrastructure before putting it back together or getting a new one. Depending on the cost of a new one...it may actually be cheaper to buy one if you need yard help to peel/repair the first one.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-11-2007
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Run a moisture meter over it. The water must come out. The rudder can be 'skinned' (remove the fiberglass/epoxy) down to the foam, dried out, and re-glassed/epoxied. Labor intensive. Or, buy one. I'm going through the same mess. Mine didn't even crack; it just started dripping. Had a moisture meter put to it and it is saturated. I'm considering an after market rudder from the chandlery at salboatowners.com vs. the rebuild. Also trying Irwin Yachts. Cam is right. The rebuild is more expensive than the after market rudder. I have to decide whether or not to trust it over a qualified repair.


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post #8 of 15 Old 12-11-2007 Thread Starter
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Thanks folks. I will take a picture next time I am up to the boat.
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-17-2007
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Hate to add to your woes, but I think you need to take the problem seriously. The cost of a new rudder will be substantially less than the potenial disasters if the current one fails. You could do worse than build yourself a new one - it is actually rather pleasant work
See http://www.handymariner.com.au/rudders.htm for a discussion on rudder design and construction

Alan
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-14-2008 Thread Starter
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Folks, again thanks for your input. After looking again at the rudder, I have decided to replace. Does any one have a descrition of the steps involved with the repacement. I thought I had seen some here, but I cant find this. I took a close look at the set up yesterday. I think I have an idea of the steps but, hearing your epxeriences would sure help.

Thanks, Russ
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