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ramminjammin 07-21-2009 07:47 AM

Tartan 30 rudder removal
My rudder is not responding to the tiller . I believe that the post inside has the metal that is attached corroded .
I need to drop the rudder and repair it,
To save $800 i would like to drop it while the boat is in the water. I dont know how to remove the rudder.
I think i have to chip away some fairing compound and back out some screws to release the shoe.
Are the screws located on the skeg or on the rudder ?
Is it possible to do this while still in the water ?


tommays 07-21-2009 11:11 AM

I think its a really BAD idea as it tends to be a PITA on land

Fstbttms 07-21-2009 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by ramminjammin (Post 507179)
Is it possible to do this while still in the water ?

I have never dropped the rudder on a Tartan 30 but I have on plenty of other boats while they were in the water.

ramminjammin 07-22-2009 08:44 AM

i will take a little crack at it in the water
i am in an ideal place at a dock with rhe ability to tie her
with stern into the land with it just off the bottom
i am going to try to have someone on the dock with a foot pump to pump air to me through a hose and snorkle
i want to learn to be self sufficient on the water]
if it is too hard i am looking at a 12 hour sail back to my
club where i can haul the boat for free
appreciate any help

kandkharris 07-22-2009 09:04 AM

I have dropped the rudder on our Tartan 30 a couple times while in the water. The shoe on the bottom of the skeg is held on with two screws. All you need to do is remove those screws, and wiggle the shoe loose. It might take some gentle prying with a flat blade screw driver to get it started. The shoe will slide down while you lower the rudder.

A couple of cautions: The rudder is heavy. When removing the rudder in deeper water I secure it with some line to keep it from plummeting to the bottom. Also I think that if your keel is resting on the bottom, you will not be able to get the rudder completely out. It has to go lower than the keel to clear the lower end of the tube.

Kyle Harris
s/v Stap Isi
Madang, Papua New Guinea

ramminjammin 07-22-2009 10:17 AM

Thanks Kyle
I am getting some confidence i can do it !!!
does the whole end of the skeg come free or just a section ?
are the screws located on the skeg a few inches in from the bearing that protrudes into the rudder ? Is there one screw on each side ?
do i have to scrape away fairing compound on each side ?
do i remove the brass top piece ,that is held by a pin on the top of the rudder post where the tiller bolts on ?

will it be alright to sail for 2 more months without re fairing the skeg section ?
thanks , sure appreciate the help !!!!!
i am trying to attach a picture

Fstbttms 07-22-2009 11:16 AM


Originally Posted by ramminjammin (Post 507496)
i am going to try to have someone on the dock with a foot pump to pump air to me through a hose and snorkle

OK, now THIS is a bad idea.

kandkharris 07-22-2009 11:36 AM

1 Attachment(s)
On mine the two screws were easily visible. It looks like on yours someone has covered them with fairing compound. The screw heads should be on the starboard side about 1/2 to 3/4 inch below the top of the shoe. (It has been awhile since I did this last so I am relying on memory for the positioning.) It looks like you are going to have to gently chip away at the fairing compound to find them. The top of the shoe is even with the top of the bearing.

I use a ratchet wrench with a large flat-blade screw socket to remove the screws. That is much easier than trying to use a screwdriver under water.

The shoe slides over a flange on the bottom of the skeg. I give the shoe a few gentle taps with a mallet to loosen it up on the flange. Then like I say, you can just wiggle it off as you drop the rudder. Both times I have done this with the boat in the water, I had another guy helping and both of us used dive gear. Having two people to help lower and raise the rudder made it easier. You might be able to accomplish the same thing by having someone topside with a rope on the rudder to take some of the weight off it as you lower and raise it.

Should you have to remove the shoe entirely from the rudder after you take the rudder off, that will require removal of the fairing compound from the rudder below the bearing. That area below the bearing is not an integral part of the rudder. It is just fairing compound and can be removed fairly easily. Then the shoe will slide off the post. Of course the idea is then to put it the compound back when you put the shoe back on. I just left it off on mine and it does not seem to make any difference. I also did not cover the screw heads with fairing compound to make it easier to take the shoe off again if need be.

I am attempting to put a picture with this to show where, approximately, you should find the screw heads and what part of the rudder is just fairing compound should you ever need to completely remove the shoe.


kandkharris 07-22-2009 11:43 AM

P.S. I agree with fstbttms that the foot pump and hose is not a great idea. Dive gear would be the only safe way to do this in the water.


ramminjammin 07-22-2009 12:00 PM

Thanks alot that is really a great help !!!
With the hookah setup i am uncertain how much difference the safety is versus a scuba setup ?
I am only in 5 feet of water with several helpers standing by
I suppose the worst thing would be to get pinned down by the rudder or knocked out by an impact . I realize you can drown in a couple of inches of water !
with several helpers i would hope to be able to escape
we also need to reattach a moring line that is just off the wharf in 20 feet of water , so if we get some dive gear for that then we could do both together, or use the hookah setup to do both ?
they use surface supplied air for lots of river mining stuff in 5 feet of water and it seems to work ok in that application
i think some people use the foot pump method to clean their hulls too.
i'll post some pictures of the whole operation we will attempt this weekend
thanks again Kyle, and others too !!!

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