Rudder installation - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Rudder installation

I learned a VERY hard lesson over the past two days. I was re-installing my rudder - long tubed spade. The hull had to be 9' up to gain the necessary clearance to start the shaft in the tube. The shaft is thick wall stainless pipe with a web and foam/glass over and it is VERY heavy - a heavy two man job to move it.

The tube is angled back at about 20 degrees and the bottom of the blade is a continuous curve so very difficult to block or position a jack.

Beforehand I figured - no problem - set up blocking right at hand, two guys pick it up and get the shaft started in the tube and block it. Once that's done, slide it in and block it again while connecting the quadrant - easy right?

NOT.

Due to the angled tube and the curved bottom on the rudder, the shaft had a tendency to c0ck in the tube and jam when trying to get the shaft to engage the top bearing - there's a gap between the top of the tube and the top bearing where the quadrant fits over the shaft. Lining that up was a bitch due to the fact that the top of the shaft was simply squarely cut off pipe. Even when it was partially engaged in the bearing it had a tendency to dig in and jam due to the unavoidable side forces caused by the angled tube.

Here's the hard learned tip: If you have to reinstall this type of rudder, before you do anything else, grind a tapered bevel on the top 1/4" or so of the shaft, round it over and sand it smooth. This will make a huge difference in how easily it engages and slides - it will eliminate the tendency for the leading edge to dig into the bearing from the side forces as you slide it up.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 04-05-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-02-2012
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Re: Rudder installation

How did you get the boat up that high?
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-02-2012
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Re: Rudder installation

I once tapped a 3/8th thread into the top of a spade rudder. Threaded in an eye bolt ,narrow enough to fit the stern tube. That let me run a rope thru it, then lower the rudder out, while I was in the water. Same for hoisting it back in.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-02-2012
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Re: Rudder installation

Nice tip, JonB... I can imagine the struggle that must have been.. not sure that a rope through the tube would have helped the issues you had on this one.. in the water or out...

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-02-2012
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Re: Rudder installation

The eye bolt is a good tip, I'll have to try it. Nothing else; it gives a backup if whatever else is holding the rudder gives way.

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Rudder installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
How did you get the boat up that high?
Hanging in the slings of a Travellift.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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