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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think I will run this by everyone...seems no one is familiar with this at the Irwin owners site. I am looking for information with regards to replacing the bottom rudder bushing in my Irwin 30...I have consulted the Irwin Yachts site, got some helpful info from Gene Gammon with regards to materials used and fit, but have yet to find anyone who produces this item. There is about 1/2" play at bottom bushing, and a bit more then that at the brass bushing in cockpit deck where the rudder shaft fits to the tiller. If anyone has any information regarding this issue, would appreciate any help. Thanks, all insights appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is an option...I had sent out a request to several local plastics fabricators, could also cast it...the few that replied declined the service, so that is why I am putting this out there as with the amount of older boats still around, someone has to be fabricating these bushings, which I am guessing are not unique to just Irwin's...Have not tried the machine shops...that is another approach, thanks for the suggestion...
 

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Delrin is a machinable plastic so you need an ordinary machine shop, not a plastic fabricator. It would be made on an ordinary lathe.

You need to make a drawing or sketch of what you want, and take it to a machine shop. I doubt if anyone is mass-producing these bushings, as everyone will have different degrees of wear.

I just found a load of slop in my lower bushing on haulout.

There are two ways to fix it : have a custom bushing made, probably in Delrin, or remove the pintle and install a new one that matches the dimension of the worn gudgeon. Ideally you would remove the gudgeon and have that machined out slightly too, just take a hair off to make sure the hole is round.

The latter is what the yard did on my boat. You need a solid bronze rod of the right diameter for the new pintle.

Looks like your rudder will just lower off the gudgeon, you are lucky - my gudgeon and pintle are a third of the way up the rudder so the rudder had to be cut.
 

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Here is another idea and I'm not sure where I read of it. Inject graphite loaded epoxy into holes drilled around the circumference. Of course you'd have to keep the rudder moving as it set to keep it from adhering to the stock. Maybe you could slip some thin plastic shim down alongside it before injecting the epoxy. Use regular West epoxy filled with graphite from Mcmaster-Carr.
 

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West system also sells the graphite powder to make a low friction surface.

I'd wipe a thin layer of vaseline on only the rudder shaft before pouring the epoxy; this will act as a mold release once the epoxy has set.
Use duct tape and some creativity to make the rest of your mold. Your mold will keep the epoxy where you want it to be - hopefully.
I'd bet that this is the easier option than using a machine shop and getting the dimensions right.
 

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Sorry to disappoint you guys:

1. delrin was used in the 70-ties and 80-ties. Not used for rudder bushes any more, doesn't last, and absorbs water.
2. There are other, modern plastic materials. Many boatyards have, or have access. Again, avoid delrin.
3. Epoxy with graphite ... no, sorry, the preassure is to high for epoxy. As an emergency reparation, on the way home from holiday cruise, yes. But not something that lasts.
4. ... ok, it have not yet been mentioned, but avoid the plastics ending with ... ix or simililar, ie plasic mixes that are claimed to be superior, but very secret.

Rudder bearing failure is rather common. As fixing it does require some efforts, do spend both time and money to get it right, not having to repeat again in two years.

/J
 

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Here is another idea and I'm not sure where I read of it. Inject graphite loaded epoxy into holes drilled around the circumference. Of course you'd have to keep the rudder moving as it set to keep it from adhering to the stock. Maybe you could slip some thin plastic shim down alongside it before injecting the epoxy. Use regular West epoxy filled with graphite from Mcmaster-Carr.
Funny you should suggest that. I was not going to mention it because of fear of being jump all over...I did just that to my lower shoe two days ago and it came out great. My shoe is much like MarkSF's. I formed it with tape, (I have pictures, but left camera on boat today), jacked the rudder up, got about 3/8" lift out of it, mixed the resin and injected with a syringe. Dropped the rudder back down. Waited one hour then turned the wheel once right then left. Next day tried the wheel and it was so easy to turn that I am thinking the rudder was binding on me with the loose shoe. Now it is nice!!!

I replaced the cutlas 8 years ago without removing the rudder, but that's a story for another day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
All good pointers, the epoxy fix may work, not sure if mine is really to far gone, so will continue with the research and call a few machine shops get an idea from them on cost...I should have enough info and a plan 'A' & plan 'B' by the time I pull her out. I think getting the rudder shaft hole just right is the key in the delrin (micrometer) . All this is much simpler then the Bristol...but on the high side that looks like a very reliable well protected design. Thanks for all the info all.
 

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Benmerc - you were looking at the wrong place - there are bunch of us that have replaced that lower bushing. And, it is the same bushing on quite a few sized Irwins. Here is one set of information.

I have more than 120 photos of me doing it on my Irwin. What exactly do you want to know?

Message me or ask here.

Rik
 

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If you give me the measurements and a scetch, I can machine the bits you want out of bronze for you. I probably have the bar stock on board

ATB

Michael
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry to disappoint you guys:

1. delrin was used in the 70-ties and 80-ties. Not used for rudder bushes any more, doesn't last, and absorbs water.
2. There are other, modern plastic materials. Many boatyards have, or have access. Again, avoid delrin.
3. Epoxy with graphite ... no, sorry, the preassure is to high for epoxy. As an emergency reparation, on the way home from holiday cruise, yes. But not something that lasts.
4. ... ok, it have not yet been mentioned, but avoid the plastics ending with ... ix or simililar, ie plasic mixes that are claimed to be superior, but very secret.

Rudder bearing failure is rather common. As fixing it does require some efforts, do spend both time and money to get it right, not having to repeat again in two years.

/J
I have heard this before about delrin...so what have people been using?
 
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