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rbyham 01-17-2013 09:56 PM

Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
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Well I took the plunge today. My offer on a 1966 HH 28 was accepted and I am a new owner. I am excited to get going fitting her out to go back in the water. The only potentially serious problem to be addressed is a frozen rudder. Using the wheel above and putting pressure on rudder below because she is on the hard, the rudder refuses to move at all. Even after dousing the shaft from above with WD40 overnight. Any ideas on how to approach a repair? The boat has been stored for a number of years so no doubt something has seized up over time. The seller says he had previously exercised the rudder regularly. He appeared as surprised as I that my third visit to see the boat revealed the frozen rudder. See pic but I am looking for ways to approach a fix. The rudder neither turns nor can it be dropped. Thanks.

Lake Superior Sailor 01-17-2013 10:18 PM

Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
I would check the linkage Between the wheel and the rudder, as depending what's there might be a real simple fix! You may be working on the wrong end, check the wheel..Dale

rbyham 01-17-2013 10:22 PM

Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
I can double check that but we started at the top. All pieces between wheel and rudder appear to be freely moving.

CalebD 01-17-2013 10:24 PM

Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
HINTERHOELLER 28 sailboat specifications and details on

Wow! Congrats! You really like classic plastic boats, don't you?

Regarding the immobile rudder: are you sure that the quadrant and associated pulleys are cleanly rigged and working? I'd check the steering mechanism first as it may be holding the shaft stuck in one position.

If the rudder shaft/tube is the culprit you could try pouring a little vinegar down the tube and see if leaks out the bottom. If that is truly crudded up you may need to employ a coat hangar (or similar) to poke into the tube to try to break up an obstruction.

Some rudder shafts have a stuffing box fitting. I'd check for this as well. The packing in the stuffing box could also be responsible for immobilizing the shaft.

In any event, I hope it is an easy fix, for your sake.

rbyham 01-17-2013 10:29 PM

Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
The top end appears to be working properly. But it does have a stuffing box. Vinegar eh? Can try that. ill work on it a bit this weekend. Probably just a matter of being persistent. I was considering getting two 2x4x8s and bolt them together sandwiching the rudder. That would give me 8' of leverage to see if I could break it loose. What do you think?

rbyham 01-17-2013 10:29 PM

Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
Why vinegar?

Faster 01-17-2013 10:44 PM

Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
I expect vinegar (a mild acid) is hoped to dissolve any corrosion that might be seizing the rudder.. I'd be cautious about applying too much leverage to the blade.. Is it truly, rigidly stuck or does it have some wiggle?

Try easing off the stuffing box and see what you find.. Did the WD40 run through? Repeated soakings of a better penetrant like PB blaster is worth a shot before you get too physical.

There may well be an upper AND/OR a lower bushing that could be the culprit...

PorFin 01-17-2013 10:47 PM

Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
Since it has a stuffing box, I'd belay the vinegar for now.

Try loosening the stuffing box packing nut first.

rbyham 01-17-2013 11:08 PM

Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
We did not see the wd40 come through. This may end up being one for a boatyard. Purchase price left plenty of room to let the pros have at it.

sailortjk1 01-17-2013 11:16 PM

Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28
I would not use brute force, you will most likely make matters worse.

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