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post #11 of 69 Old 07-27-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Rudder Post

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Originally Posted by SV Siren View Post
I would wait till the end of the season to check...with the usual disclaimer...

What I did with my new to me boat was to do a sounding with a hammer, checked with a borrowed moisture meter, which did not show anything. Then just to be certain I drilled two holes into the rudder, one on each side at different heights to see what happened. Caution on drilling a hole with an electric drill, the water is under pressure, and water and drills don't play well together. I used a shallow plastic clear container, and drilled a hole through that, and then into the rudder, just to be sure the drill did not get sprayed. I was lucky, no water, then I just epoxied the holes to seal them. I will barrier coat them just to be sure they are water tight.
Thanks for the suggestion. I think I will wait. I have no other reason to believe that it is serious or that it will get that much worse in the intervening months. I'll use a cordless drill, and I hope that it isn't that flooded. At least I don't think it is.


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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
At purchase survey in 2004 Irish Eyes had water leaking from a crack at the bottom of the rudder. The surveyor (both SAMS and NAMS) said not to worry; it hit the something at some time and get it fixed at the next haul out. I did. The fiberglass fellow working on it said that every rudder of every old boat he had ever drilled into had water on the inside. He said that it was impossible to reliably stick polyester resin to stainless steel, and that there was always water leakage at the fiberglass to stainless steel junction at the rudder shaft, even if the fibeglass joint between the rudder halves was perfect and if the fiberglass shell of the rudder had never been violated. The damage he had seen from the water ingress into the rudder was either corrosion of the welds in the metal parts of the rudder or freeze damage to rudders of boats stored ashore in freezing conditions. He repaired the crack. I do not haul the boat in the winter. So far, so good.

My rudder shaft is a tube also. For equal weight, a tube is stronger than solid rod. I'm not worried.

Bill Murdoch
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That makes sense. I'll do some exploration with a hammer, but as of the survey, there was no apparent delimitation. Even though it's been through two winters since then, I'm hopeful that I don't have any major damage. Did he have to remove the rudder for the repair? Maybe I should remove the rudder just for good measure, I don't know when it was last removed and inspected. It seems like it might be easier to do whatever glass work I need with the rudder out of the boat. Or is that a major ordeal?

-- Bill
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post #12 of 69 Old 07-27-2017
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Re: Rudder Post

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
At purchase survey in 2004 Irish Eyes had water leaking from a crack at the bottom of the rudder. The surveyor (both SAMS and NAMS) said not to worry; it hit the something at some time and get it fixed at the next haul out. I did. The fiberglass fellow working on it said that every rudder of every old boat he had ever drilled into had water on the inside. He said that it was impossible to reliably stick polyester resin to stainless steel, and that there was always water leakage at the fiberglass to stainless steel junction at the rudder shaft, even if the fibeglass joint between the rudder halves was perfect and if the fiberglass shell of the rudder had never been violated. The damage he had seen from the water ingress into the rudder was either corrosion of the welds in the metal parts of the rudder or freeze damage to rudders of boats stored ashore in freezing conditions. He repaired the crack. I do not haul the boat in the winter. So far, so good.

My rudder shaft is a tube also. For equal weight, a tube is stronger than solid rod. I'm not worried.

Bill Murdoch
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While everything you say is true ..... you have forgotten that water inside a rudder be comes stagnant i.e. de-oxygenated and therefore deprives the stainless steel inside the rudder of the oxygen needed to maintain it's resistance to corrosion.
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post #13 of 69 Old 07-27-2017
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Re: Rudder Post

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Originally Posted by elliowb View Post
Even though it's been through two winters since then, I'm hopeful that I don't have any major damage. Did he have to remove the rudder for the repair? Maybe I should remove the rudder just for good measure, I don't know when it was last removed and inspected. It seems like it might be easier to do whatever glass work I need with the rudder out of the boat. Or is that a major ordeal?
The crack, which was at the aft bottom corner of the rudder, was repaired at our usual November/December haul out with the rudder in place. The fiberglass was ground back, some interior foam was removed and replaced, and the repair was done with vinyl resin rather than epoxy because of the low temperature at the time.

The rudder was years later removed to replace the propeller shaft. My boat is a factory tiller steered boat, and it is no big thing to remove the rudder. I do not have to deal with the quadrant and the rudder shaft seal that the wheel steered boats have. This forum has tales of the work required to pull the rudder on a wheel steered boat. It can apparently be a bit of work with tight access.

Bill Murdoch
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post #14 of 69 Old 07-27-2017
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Re: Rudder Post

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
While everything you say is true ..... you have forgotten that water inside a rudder be comes stagnant i.e. de-oxygenated and therefore deprives the stainless steel inside the rudder of the oxygen needed to maintain it's resistance to corrosion.
As I said, one of the possible problems that the fibeglass man reported was corrosion of the welds in the rudder's interior metal parts. I have no way of inspecting or repairing them without destroying the rudder. And as I said, "So far, so good". It has been 13 years and maybe 25,000 miles.

Irish Eyes to the Bahamas



If the water is just in the tube, is it coming in from the bottom of the tube where it rests in the lower gudgeon?

Bill Murdoch
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Last edited by wsmurdoch; 07-27-2017 at 08:54 PM.
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post #15 of 69 Old 07-27-2017
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Re: Rudder Post

I don't think this has anything to do with delamination of the rudder. Almost all rudders built like yours end up having water inside the rudder itself. Water in the stock is something else. I'd take a look at the bottom of the tube. I'd also drain it out and see how long it took to fill back up. Possible rain water as suggested. Did you taste it?
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Re: Rudder Post

Does anyone know if the shaft is open at the bottom? If so, water could easily enter through the gudgeon without harm to the rudder itself.
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post #17 of 69 Old 07-28-2017
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Re: Rudder Post

There is a PSC lower gudgeon for sale on ebay. The photo shows a hole in the bottom of its socket. I sort of remember that that mine has a hole as well although I can't remember if the disk that rests in hole has a hole in its center. If yours has a hole, you could go for a swim and run a piece of wire up the hole and see if it comes out the top.

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post #18 of 69 Old 07-28-2017
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Re: Rudder Post

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
The crack, which was at the aft bottom corner of the rudder, was repaired at our usual November/December haul out with the rudder in place. The fiberglass was ground back, some interior foam was removed and replaced, and the repair was done with vinyl resin rather than epoxy because of the low temperature at the time.

The rudder was years later removed to replace the propeller shaft. My boat is a factory tiller steered boat, and it is no big thing to remove the rudder. I do not have to deal with the quadrant and the rudder shaft seal that the wheel steered boats have. This forum has tales of the work required to pull the rudder on a wheel steered boat. It can apparently be a bit of work with tight access.

Bill Murdoch
Oh indeed it can be a job. Had to have rudder dropped to replace cutlass bearing as nothing exposed to pull, so needed to pull the prop shaft. While we were at it replaced the rudder shaft stuffing box and housing for the rudder post and indeed they had wear. 1989 PSC31.
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post #19 of 69 Old 07-29-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Rudder Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
While everything you say is true ..... you have forgotten that water inside a rudder be comes stagnant i.e. de-oxygenated and therefore deprives the stainless steel inside the rudder of the oxygen needed to maintain it's resistance to corrosion.
As a first measure to explore this further, I'm going to take a small hose and my shop vac and suck out as much of the water as I can. Even if it fills back up rather quickly, at least it will be with oxygenated water. Maybe that will help, don't know though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
As I said, one of the possible problems that the fibeglass man reported was corrosion of the welds in the rudder's interior metal parts. I have no way of inspecting or repairing them without destroying the rudder. And as I said, "So far, so good". It has been 13 years and maybe 25,000 miles.

Irish Eyes to the Bahamas



If the water is just in the tube, is it coming in from the bottom of the tube where it rests in the lower gudgeon?

Bill Murdoch
I hope that I have as much luck as you have. I know that PSCs are well built to begin with, so at least I have a head start. As you mention in your later post, maybe the hole in the bottom of the gudgeon is allowing water into the shaft. However, I would be puzzled as to the reason for designing it this way. I can't imagine the purpose that it serves. I can see why there's a hole in the gudgeon, but not why one would leave the rudder shaft open to the sea.

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I don't think this has anything to do with delamination of the rudder. Almost all rudders built like yours end up having water inside the rudder itself. Water in the stock is something else. I'd take a look at the bottom of the tube. I'd also drain it out and see how long it took to fill back up. Possible rain water as suggested. Did you taste it?
I haven't tasted it, but she's on Lake Erie, so that wouldn't help. It's unlikely to be rain water because the deck plate was very tight and is located under the helmsman's seat, so it's protected from direct rain. However, I will empty it as much as possible and see how long it takes to fill back up. I hope that you're right about the delamination.

I'll keep you posted on what I discover. Thank you to everyone for all the great suggestions.

-- Bill
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post #20 of 69 Old 08-04-2017
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Re: Rudder Post

If the boat is at rest, water cannot travel above the rudder post and into the boat, that is, unless you have your spare 100lb anvils stored aft. The only time the rudder post packing keeps water out of the boat is when you are under power and the aft squats. The post, itself, is hollow at the top. Rainwater could get past the emergency rudder cover and fill the post. Look at the rudder packing, the thingy magig made of hose and clamped with hose clamps. Is there signs of water intuition there? If not the problem is the access cover. If there is, you will need to drop the rudder to repair unless you have some adjustment left in the top of the packing.
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