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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-31-2009
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Question Bent Rudder post

Hey all,

happy Hallows' Eve.... Day...

with a bent rudder post, replacement or straightening ? Looks like stainless, about 2.5 inches diameter (possibly hollow?), and I'm not sure of the best method to fix; it's bent about 5-10 degrees- noticeable, however sails well still but I would like her fixed.
am not interested in cheapest, but the best way to repair...and that which will not leave me rudderless in high seas.

Thanks for feedback.

M.
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Old 10-31-2009
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Sounds like you need a new one. Straightening stainless will not make it any stronger.
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I had a 30' Catalina that I hit something and bent the post. New rudder quote was like $2K! My wife sewed a "rudder catch bag" with two dock lines attached. I dropped the rudder at the dock into the bag , but I forgot to put drain holes in the bag and had a very hard time getting it onto the dock! LOL!

Took it to a machine shop and they blocked the shaft and with a hydraulic press, slowly broght it back true. Had a slight bulge where the bend had been (maybe .020 or so) so they polished that out. Charged me $60. Did it while I waited.

Worked just fine.
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Body shops that do frame straightening can also fix it.
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Old 10-31-2009
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I saw one repaired by straightening and then filling with epoxy---home job--- otherwise I would replace with heavier gauge tube.
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Why was it bent? Was this something from a previous owner, did you hit something or did it just happen out of the blue? The reason I ask is that if you can't explain why it happened, it might have been too weak before it got bent.
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Old 10-31-2009
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What boat is it (length, model and make)?

Rik
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I watched some people bend the rudder back into position on a C30 with the boat out of the water and the rudder still on the boat! Come alongs, ropes, lots of sweat and discussion they got it back into position! I've no idea how much damage or stress they put on the rudder tube however. (one doesn't ask such questions when people are doing such things)

bottle, do you think a shop could do that with bent at the base stanchions?
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Thanks

Hey fella,

thanks for the advice/suggestions. The boat was run aground and pulle off, somehow either during the grounding, or offing, she was bent.


Cheers.

M.
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I would hazard a guess that is is not a solid post (ie 2.5" thick) unless it's a very large, sturdy boat.

As Rik asked.. What year, manufacturer, model is it, as that would give us (or others who own similar boats) something to go by?

I would likely ask someone, like an engineer, or machine shop, how much they feel it will be weakened, by bending it back. I am no engineer, but I would expect to find that the more it was bent, and the more it needs to be bent back, the weaker it would become. I know from trying to break / bend copper/ metal bar or pipe for example... you can bend it a bit each way and it takes many, many cycles before it will break. But, if you put a few 30 - 45 degree bends on it, it will break easily.

If it's a slight bend, (ie <10 degrees or so) I would think it would still be plenty strong after straightening. Of course, if you ground again, or hit a semi-submerged container, all best are off, but even a new one would likely break then!
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