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post #1 of 4 Old 11-23-2014 Thread Starter
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Rudder bent

Sucky way to end the season! My I-30 sits in a slip that has a notoriously low tide. I can't enter or leave 1-2 hours on either side of low tide. A couple of weeks ago I was preparing to leave when I realized the rudder seemed like it was stuck when steering the wheel across the center even though it was high tide. When I returned at low tide to check things, I realized that my rudder had been bent to starboard! Probably due to a combination being stuck in the mud at low tide and a passing storm or two with high winds. So now I have another unscheduled spring project.

Any advice on what steps to take to straighten it out? Is that even possible? I'm pretty good at DIY so I would prefer advice in that direction vs. "have the marina do it".
Thanks in advance!
Nestor
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-23-2014
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Re: Rudder bent

I'll assume this is a freestanding spade rudder rather than a skeg or keel hung rudder? I'll further assume it's not the rudder that's bent, but rather the rudder post between the rudder and lower bearing? If these assumptions are true, I had the exact same problem on my Columbia 26. Here's how I fixed it:

Remove the rudder

Set up a sturdy table to support the rudder surfaces and hold it firm

Apply a long pole (we used a 25' mast) to the rudder shaft and bend it back straight

Measure the shaft diameter to see if it crimped at all (mine was crimped ~.20")

If crimped, squeeze it back to shape with a hydraulic press and/or grind it round again (I had to do a little of both)

Get another stainless tube or shaft that just fits inside the rudder shaft and is long enough to extend well past the unbent area

Drop the new shaft into the rudder shaft and fill it with epoxy to secure it in place. This is to make sure that any strength lost from bending or crimping is restored

Reinstall rudder, sail your boat!
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-24-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Rudder bent

Well that all sounds simple enough!

Just need to find a spare 25 foot mast and see if Harbor Freight has a sale on hydraulic presses...

Thanks for the detailed description. Gives me lots to ponder over the winter!
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-24-2014
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Re: Rudder bent

Yeah, I guess I should have mentioned I did all that at a boat yard with the help of one of their guys, and they had this stuff available. Cost me a couple hundred bucks for their time, but well worth it.
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