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I'm only speculating that it was freezing. If the rudder is hollow, I don't think delamination would show up like that - would it? Nor would rust "jacking". I suppose it someone foam filled it in the past as poatpoker suggests disintegrating wet foam would expand and do this.

When work gives me a break I'll go drill a drain hole and perhaps put a borescope to work. I'll let you know what I find.
Freezing rudders is a hazard of hauling out for the winter. Unavoidable in some areas. Boats kept in the water avoid this risk. Just a part of the trade off.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I finally got away from work long enough to visit and drill a drain hole in the bottom of the rudder. What I got was a nice clean stream of water, with a very weak smell of styrene. Like those airplane models some of us built as kids.

I did the paper towel trick that someone suggested - no stain, no odd looking goo, just a clear stream of water. Thanks for the suggestion CalebD

To some extent ignorance is bliss, but right now I'm feeling that there is no rusting going on - at least not enough to stain the drain water, and there is no indication that someone tried to fill the rudder with foam.

I'm feeling better about cleaning out the crack and repairing it with epoxy etc.

Thanks for all the feedback from all the members who contributed - its a great comfort having so much experience and knowledge to lean on.
 

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If this is a spade rudder, like the one in the video above, take a real good look at the junction of the post and rudder. I had a rudder break off from our Hunter at that junction. Not fun. Repair consisted of inserting a stainless steel tube inside the post then thru bolting.
 

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There is a series from Boatworks on repairing this type of problem.. have a look.

Rebuilding A Foam Cored Rudder Part 1 - YouTube
Sorry for taking so long to respond, we are cruising and just dropped the hook on the Fort George River enroute to the Bahamas. WiFi access is intermittent.

The rudder shown in this video bears no relation to the construction of a CS rudder.

There is no direct cause required to cause this type of fracture in a 30 or 40 year old CS (or any other mfg.) rudder other than the natural stresses of age (we all develop a few cracks along the way)

The 316 ss rudder stock in CS's were properly welded to an ss plate which in turn was heavily glassed to one side of the "clamshell" skin which is much more heavily built than any foam filled rudder. .... grind it out, re-glass with a couple of layers of biaxial cloth using epoxy and go sailing ..... it's an easy fix and not a big deaL I am not averse to the practice or drilling a 1/4" hole near the bottom of the rudder to permit drainage over the winter haulout period to prevent freeze damage although this type of damage is unlikely in a CS rudder as water only expands by 8% when frozen so the rudder would have to be almost full to sustain any freeze damage.

You can buy the biaxial and epoxy at Fiberglass Composites in Mississauga.

PS if anyone is interested, Sharon is runniing a blog of our cruise to southern climes at Marine Surveyor, Port Credit Marine Surveys, Toronto, Ontario
 

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We cruised on a CS 36 for a couple of years and several of them had their rudders peel apart when heavily loaded. Usually it started with a hairline crack where the 2 sides were bonded and in most cases it was due to freezing. We had a real tiny hairline crack in ours and removed the rudder and reinforced it by wrapping the edges with glass. Put thousands of miles offshore on that boat and never a problem, great boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thanks Robert Sailor. Did you use any particular techniques? How much material did you remove before wrapping? And, how much did you add?
 

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Too be honest I wasn't around when the glass folks did the work, I know they removed the gel coat and the fix was done in epoxy resin. They showed me pictures of the different stages but I think it was just one layer of glass cloth but that was close to 30 years ago and I just can't recall the small details. Sorry
 

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Sorry for taking so long to respond, we are cruising and just dropped the hook on the Fort George River enroute to the Bahamas. WiFi access is intermittent.

The rudder shown in this video bears no relation to the construction of a CS rudder.

There is no direct cause required to cause this type of fracture in a 30 or 40 year old CS (or any other mfg.) rudder other than the natural stresses of age (we all develop a few cracks along the way)

The 316 ss rudder stock in CS's were properly welded to an ss plate which in turn was heavily glassed to one side of the "clamshell" skin which is much more heavily built than any foam filled rudder. .... grind it out, re-glass with a couple of layers of biaxial cloth using epoxy and go sailing ..... it's an easy fix and not a big deaL I am not averse to the practice or drilling a 1/4" hole near the bottom of the rudder to permit drainage over the winter haulout period to prevent freeze damage although this type of damage is unlikely in a CS rudder as water only expands by 8% when frozen so the rudder would have to be almost full to sustain any freeze damage.

You can buy the biaxial and epoxy at Fiberglass Composites in Mississauga.

PS if anyone is interested, Sharon is runniing a blog of our cruise to southern climes at Marine Surveyor, Port Credit Marine Surveys, Toronto, Ontario
Thanks for the info I will be looking hard at this area on my CS30 this spring while hauled. When you say near the bottom how far up is safe, is it a flat plate framing from the tube up 2" or so about right.
Checking out your blog right now.
 

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I think it would be a good idea to drill holes as needed and then let it sit over the winter to dry out. Do the fix in the spring when you have made it as dry as possible. I would be happier doing it with the rudder in the basement if possible.
 

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There is a series from Boatworks on repairing this type of problem.. have a look.
That is a great channel for seeing fiberglass work in action. Highly recommended. I recall the rudder rebuild series didn't show large amounts of time spent shaping and sanding. That's the part that would get me, whether I properly recreated the shape on the side I removed.

I would be inclined to try to drill as many 2-3" hole saw openings as necessary, to determine grid integrity and water intrusion. Then I would still have much of the original skin to set the shape, as I re-glassed the holes. Of course, I've never done this repair and hope I never need to.
 

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There are some rudder build pictures on the CS owners site, might be worth joining and having a look. CSOA
Ninefingers is the site you refer to CSOA.com? I have heard about a CS owners site but have only found this one which from what I can tell has limited posts and nothing in at least 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Well - for what its worth here is my rudder a year after my original post.

To make the repair I ground out the original crack with my dremmel as deep as I could go, until I exposed good clean material. I then filled it with thickened epoxy in several layers. I let each layer get to tacky stage before adding the next. Once I built up to original surface I applied a layer of glass and then faired the whole thing as best I could.

There is no evidence (so far) of the crack returning. I did drill a drain at the bottom of the rudder - which I plugged with a self tapping screw set in epoxy. When I hauled out last fall, I pulled the screw and let it drain.

Not very technical I know. But so far so good.
 

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