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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there,
I am considering the purchase of a well kept (later model) Mirage 27 that looks great. Only concern is that the rudder is showing longitudinal cracks on the leading edge towards the bottom. Would be great to hear of other's experience with this.

Thanks,
ScottyF
 

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This has been discussed in a number of threads on here. Try searching in the search function here with terms like "Cracked rudder" or "Water infiltration in rudder" and "broken rudder".

People have talked about a process of ensuring that the rudder is completely dried out inside and then refinishing the crack with epoxy or reglassing it. I've not had any personal experience with it, but you already seem to be ahead of the game compared to the guy who recently posted on here that his rudder fell completely off in the bay just outside of the marina. He was going to have to start from scratch to build a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply "Midwesterner". Appreciate the comments.
Totally agree, cannot head-out with rudder risk. This said, was wondering if others had repair experience of this type with the Mirage 26/27. I've heard of folks drilling/draining followed by epoxy/glass. Incidentally, a company in Ont. will build you a spanking new rudder (with old rudder/post supplied) for ~$2800. Would like to hear from someone that has taken the repair on themselves.

Cheers,
Scotty
 

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If you are not intending to win any races, the repair is fairly simple: dry it out (by keeping rudder in dry, warm place for a few weeks), scrape clean the cracked area, apply one narrow strip of fiberglass fabric saturated with thickened epoxy to cover the cracked edge, wait for it to cure, sand it smooth, paint the rudder with good barrier paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello,
Anyone familiar with how to pull the rudder on a Mirage 27? (pedestal steering)

Thanks,
Scott
 

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All rudders are wet, or will be is my feeling on the topic. Most wheel steered rudders have a cable quadrant that has a split hub. If it's a cable type of steering helm. The rudder often has a tube with thrust/support bearings also.
 

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am in process of doing that this winter. Mine is wheel steering, does not have a emerg tiller connection. To drop rudder, disconnect quadrant, place support under rudder before unbolting rudder post at top near transom. Then unbolt at transom then drop rudder after removing supports. May have to dig hole under rudder to get it out if too short to the ground. Then i would dry for a couple of weeks, then drill and fill, then glass several layers over crack, see youtube videos. Small layer first, make wider layers, extend to about 4" down either side to reinforce, let dry and sand and paint. Good to go for next summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the pictures Koinonia,
This boat is a 1986... one of the later ones. As mentioned earlier, she looks well kept. Looks like water may have frozen in the core and cracked leading edge (per picture). I really like the boat but, I'm evaluating the repair. Look forward to the rudder post pictures if available. A company in Ontario (CCI Composites) quoted me ~$2800 CAD for a new rudder (but must ship old rudder c/w post). Preferable to repair (winter project) on own with local resources if possible. Worried about how hard it is to get this rudder out.

Cheers,
Scotty
 

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worried.....oh... you don't own the boat :| You were given very good advice it's pretty low on skill requirements. I dropped the rudder on my boat because I was the only one that could fit in dark dirty greasy area under the cockpit.
 

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Has anyone tried to drop the rudder with an emergency tiller attachment at the top of the shaft? I have to straighten my shaft and repair some cracks this winter and need to take it off the boat for the first time. i have wheel steering too, so I guess the process would be

1. support rudder
2. Loosen steering wires ( not sure if there are any tricks for this)
3. Disconnect Quadrant ( I think this is just screwed together, correct?)
4. Take off the Emergency tiller adaptor (not sure where the bolts/screws are for this)
5. remove support and drop rudder

If anyone has any tips details they could share, I would surely appreciate them.

I'll try to remember to take photos and post them after I have done this

Cheers

J

am in process of doing that this winter. Mine is wheel steering, does not have a emerg tiller connection. To drop rudder, disconnect quadrant, place support under rudder before unbolting rudder post at top near transom. Then unbolt at transom then drop rudder after removing supports. May have to dig hole under rudder to get it out if too short to the ground. Then i would dry for a couple of weeks, then drill and fill, then glass several layers over crack, see youtube videos. Small layer first, make wider layers, extend to about 4" down either side to reinforce, let dry and sand and paint. Good to go for next summer.
 

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I started to remove the rudder today.

Rudder is supported on blocks

I have managed to remove all the bolts on the Quadrant, except the through bolt which will allow the rudder to drop eventually. The picture shows the through bolt. The nut is freed, but the bolt will not move.

Has anyone else had an issue with this? I have tried using a hammer both on the end of the bolt and the wrench to loosen.

I am tempted to heat it with a propane torch, but I'm worried about flames in the enclosed cramped space (i'm 6'4" and there is not a lot of extra room :)

J
 

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You might try running in some PB Blaster or Release-It or similar penetrant. May have to use some tape or putty to make a trough so that the penetrant will run in. Leave it overnight and try again to first turn the hex head. Maybe with a breaker bar or long handled ratchet. Give the head a few blows and try again. Probably some corrosion in there. Some heat on the rudder post may help. Maybe using one of those small butane pencil torches.

If all else fails, you may have to drill out the bolt.

Tough spot to work in!
 

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Thanks for all the advice, I did try all of those things, but didn't get around to thanks until now. In the end it was a combination of them all plus with an impact gun on my compressor that got it moving. Threads aren't in great shape, but thats what winter is for, repair time!
 

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I did end up Removing the rudder. Here are some pics for anyone else trying to do it

You Should see
5 - the Quadrant looking aft from the starboard locker
4 - a closer view of the quadrant
2+3 - Two pictures showing both sizes for reference
1 - The emergency steering bracket that has to be removed (wait until the rudder is supported from underneath as this is the only thing holding the rudder up after the quadrant is removed.

I had to remove all the bolts on the quadrant to get the bolt that goes through the shaft out. It may be possible to only loosen them rather than remove them entirely.
 

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Here you can see the rudder supported and dropped and a few pics of the repairs under way. Our club has a trailer that can lift the cradle a couple of feet which save me having to dig a hole to drop it into.

Note the copper sleeve that dropped with the rudder and needs to be put back into place on reinstall.

My post was bent 2 degrees and needed to be heated to bend it back. this caused a couple of hairline cracks in the rudder around the post. I sanded them out using an angle grinder with a sanding wheel and will be rebuilding as i finish off the rudder.

A few pics of the sanded rudder before i start to fill the voids.

All in all if i hadn't had the stuck bolts it was pretty easy to drop the rudder. Hopefully the reinstall goes smoothly. Sailing weather is just around the corner (if we can just get rid of the ice)
 

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