Marine Surveyor, USCG Lic
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Re: Pearson Ensign rudder rebuild! Insight needed...
I know this is an old string and you've solved your "problem" in your own way by now, but I write this for the others who will use this string for reference: The truth is: Your rudder looks great and the wood is in the same condition in which the boat was delivered. In other words, there is nothing wrong with it! The wood boards are held together by threaded bronze pins that are brazed to the rudder shaft and those white "spots" are filler that covers the pockets that contain the nuts turned onto these pins. Here's what happens: Out of the water, the wood dries out and shrinks, and you could look right through the spaces between the wood. By spring, when we're doing our bottom work, it looks like hell cosmetically, and we suspect, weakened. We're just not used to seeing bare wood, or movement like this in our other modern materials. We try all manner of techniques to make wood behave like plastic.
But, after 2 or 3 days in the water...the wood swells, closing the gaps. It would look great if we could only see it underwater!
Your solution: Just paint it with bottom paint. Launch your boat and enjoy it.
Let wood be wood...go with it.