Pearson 31-2 Rudder's Loose
My Pearson 31-2 rudder was jammed against the underside of the boat when I grounded it with following seas. The rudder top rear is cracked/split from hitting the underside of the boat. When I pulled it, there were spots across the reach of the rudder on the hull where it had hit and scratched the bottom.
The rudder appears loose, tube may be loose at top and saltwater is leaching where the rudder stock enters the boat.
Any advice on things to consider in repairing the boat would be appreciated. Are delrin bushings the product of choice?
My rudder post was slipping inside the rudder so I had it rebuild professionally. I DO know what they did though. In my case, the rudder was solid fiberglass - very heavily built, given its vintage: 1972 Hughes/Northstar 38.
The boatyard ground away the leading edge of the rudder to expose the rudder stock and the splines that run aft from welds on the stock into the blade of the rudder...buried in the fiberglass. The slop in the rudder was caused by failure of these weld points. They rewelded, glassed, fared and reinstalled the rudder at a cost of about $3K.
I've also heard on newer boats, rudders are not solid fiberglass, but foam filled. In these cases, repair requires you split the rudder open like a clam shell. I do not have details on this procedure but have seen this explained online. Goolge may yield some results.
I had the upper rudder tube on my Pearson 30 replaced with a stainless steel tube. No joke. We were sitting there overthinking the heck out of how we were going to re-glass it to the cockpit sole (may be different on the 31-2) until he decided to customize a new, heavy-duty stainless steel tube bolted through the cockpit sole. That thing is now a tank, stronger and took much less time to make rather than re-fashioning a new tube. And, the bushings fit perfectly in it.
Delrin bushings and some additional epoxy around the tube resolved the problems. Thanks for the advice
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