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Old 04-08-2012
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Plug for my rudder

Need some good advice.
I drilled a 3/8 inch hole in the bottom of the rudder to drain the water.
Someone in the yard told me to put a lag bolt in the hole so I can drain it everytime I haul out for the winter.

Any suggestions on the best way to do that?
1985 31 Oday
Bridgeport, CT
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Old 04-08-2012
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Re: Plug for my rudder

I wouldn't use a lag bolt. I would use a machine screw after tapping the hole for the proper thread. Use some SikaFlex on the threads before inserting the bolt.

Also keep in mind that if there is water in a rudder it can damage the stainless framework that is its strength. Many rudders are rebuilt for this reason.
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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Old 04-09-2012
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Re: Plug for my rudder

Rich, make it easy. Buy some PC7, a thick epoxy that comes in two little cans, or something similar. It is something like a peanut butter consistency, very easy to work with. Or, buya tube of 5200 or 4200, a good adhesive caulk.

Once the rudder is dry, plug the hole, let it set up for 24 hours before you splash the boat. Next year, just drill another hole in the same spot.

A bolt, any kinf of bolt, may or may not seal completely and will add some srag to the rudder on the one side. So...Make it simple, plug the hole flush, skip the bolt.

FWIW once you have water in the rudder, it is never dry, and it is on the road to failure. Nothing short of a rebuild or replacement will stop that, and the only question is whether that failure is going to be inconvenient, or a real problem. Next week in calm waters, or ten years from now offshore. Either way, it is coming, sorry to say.
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