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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-06-2009
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rudder care

I'm heading down to the yard this afternoon to pull the rudders off my catamaran (they're transom-mounted, very easy to remove). They are some sort of wood (marine ply? not sure) covered with epoxy. There doesn't appear to be any fiberglass, just thick epoxy over wood. There are a couple of chips and dings exposing the wood that I was going to re-epoxy.

Now, overall the appearance is a bit rough. I'm wondering if that's from UV exposure degrading the epoxy? There's no paint or anything on them. Should I spray or brush on gelcoat after epoxying, or a 2-part paint, or something else?

My rudders are kick-up rudders. I am thinking of having them bottom painted as well afterwards, so I can leave them down in the water (I'm on a mooring, it saves a few bucks by reducing length of the boat, but more importantly I'm thinking it's less chance someone will hit and break them if they're down). Is that a good idea?
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Old 06-06-2009
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YOu can use either gelcoat or barrier coating, like Interprotect 2000E, to protect the epoxy from UV exposure. Don't use a paint on parts that are going to be submersed.

Yes, leave them down provided you've got plenty of depth at your mooring. it will reduce the amount of growth on them slightly too. You'll want to put bottom paint on them.
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Old 06-06-2009
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I'ld leave them up, well secured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingForCruiser View Post
I'm heading down to the yard this afternoon to pull the rudders off my catamaran (they're transom-mounted, very easy to remove). They are some sort of wood (marine ply? not sure) covered with epoxy. There doesn't appear to be any fiberglass, just thick epoxy over wood. There are a couple of chips and dings exposing the wood that I was going to re-epoxy.

Now, overall the appearance is a bit rough. I'm wondering if that's from UV exposure degrading the epoxy? There's no paint or anything on them. Should I spray or brush on gelcoat after epoxying, or a 2-part paint, or something else?

My rudders are kick-up rudders. I am thinking of having them bottom painted as well afterwards, so I can leave them down in the water (I'm on a mooring, it saves a few bucks by reducing length of the boat, but more importantly I'm thinking it's less chance someone will hit and break them if they're down). Is that a good idea?
The boards are your foils and they will stay MUCH cleaner up. Better steering response. Just secure the tiller so they don't flop. Also, if they are wood, why keep them in the water 24/7?

Epoxy can't take UV. Epoxy, then paint over. Just brush on a good 1-part topsides paint, since they will not be in the water full-time and you will want to re-finish them (because of hitting small stuff) every time you do the bottom, anyway.

SD comments on paint are correct IF you leave them down.

As for length, rudders, bowsprits, and booms aren't generally counted. Just the length on your registration. Don't open the subject.

That was the way I managed my Stiletto 27 for 15 years.
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Old 06-06-2009
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I'm thinking I will leave them up, mostly because then I can have gleaming rudders to look at as I approach the boat.

Anyway which color should I paint them? I heard hot pink is the best at resisting UV rays...

I'll have more questions tomorrow after I take some photos...
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Old 06-07-2009
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So I have removed the rudders and have them in my basement, and went to West Marine and paid a small fortune for West System epoxy and some thickened epoxy to repair the rudders, and a small can of "boot stripe" Interlux white paint. They didn't have hot pink on the shelves.

The previous owner(s) had epoxied the rudders without removing them, and had gotten epoxy on the lines, so while I could unknot them, the braid around the lines was completely inflexible at the holes in the rudder and I couldn't pull them out. So I just cut them, I'll buy some new lines later. Not sure exactly how I'll get the knotted line out yet...

Anyhow, the rudder is delaminated near the top where it rests in the top part of the kick-up system. There doesn't appear to be any rot, but whatever glue was between the boards must be disappearing. See the pictures below.

On the port rudder you can only see the delamination on one side, the starboard you can see it on both sides. There is no flexing though, I can't move the delaminated portion at all, so things aren't too bad.

The port rudder actally had a chunk cut out and replaced, as you can see in the photo.

So I'm wondering if I need to cut these portions off and re-laminate them (with epoxy?), or if re-coating with epoxy is sufficient. The section that's delaminating doesn't appear to do anything except make sure that the knotted end of the rope doesn't yank out. That knotted end doesn't really serve much purpose, except to keep the end of the line out of the water - the wood around the holes where the rudder is actually lifted up is in perfect condition, as is the wood around the pins.

Starboard rudder, pic #1


Starboard rudder, pic #2


Port rudder
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If you're going to go through the trouble of epoxying the rudders, I would highly recommend glassing over them with a couple layers of glass if at all possible. I don't know if you've got the clearance in the rudder trunks to do that... but that would add a lot of strength to them and make them more damage resistant.

BTW, I would recommend that you not use West System epoxy in the future. Progressive Epoxy in NH is as good, but blush free, and far less expensive.
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 06-08-2009
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The knotted portion, as it turns out after thinking further, is used to secure the rudder in the "down" position. Duh... should have thought of that earlier.

In any case, the trunk the rudder slips into is very narrow, there's no room for a layer of fiberglass unfortunately. I'm nervous about just brushing on epoxy in fact...
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Old 06-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
If you're going to go through the trouble of epoxying the rudders, I would highly recommend glassing over them with a couple layers of glass if at all possible. I don't know if you've got the clearance in the rudder trunks to do that... but that would add a lot of strength to them and make them more damage resistant.

BTW, I would recommend that you not use West System epoxy in the future. Progressive Epoxy in NH is as good, but blush free, and far less expensive.
That website is a maze nightmare. A good example of how NOT to make a website if you want to sell something. I found this one: King-Cart.com that is a third-party site where Progressive sells their product and is very straight forward.

I'm following this thread with interest because I have a solid mahogany rudder that is clear coated with West Systems epoxy and I want to pull it to recoat with anti-fouling at least below the water line.
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Old 06-09-2009
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OK, I returned the West System and bought some 1.5 gallons of no-blush from the Progressive web site, and a bunch of fiberglass cloth, and some thickener. Should be enough for the rudder project, deck recoring, and tabbing after replacing 2 bulkheads.
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