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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Early this fall I found out I had to replace my rudder. I considered doing it myself, but opted to hire the work out. Based on a reference from a major boat yard in Annapolis I hired a boat service company for the job. They ordered the rudder from Catalina, drilled the shaft as needed, and installed the rudder. The first time on the water I noticed a problem. While motoring or sailing the boat constantly pulls to starboard. If I let go of the wheel it spins over and the boat quickly turns. I reported the problem to the service company who got in contact with Catalina. Catalina is saying the problem can't be with the new rudder and is refusing to help in any way. The boat never did this before the rudder was replaced. Does anyone know what might be going on? Does anyone have a contact at Catalina? I can't believe they are completely unwilling to help. The only thing that has changed on the boat is the rudder and it never did this before. The situation is, to say the least, extremely frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Perhaps I do need a surveyor and a lawyer.

The sleeve through the boat has not changed, so there is no way to misalign the rudder. There are no bearings on a Catalina 42, just a fiberglass sleeve that the rudder post slides into. If the rudder was not built symmetrically I guess you could consider it misaligned, but that would be Catalina's fault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Ron. The rudders look the same to me. The boat pulls to starboard under power and sail so it's not just a propwash effect. I guess the ultimate test would be to have another boat tow me so there is no propwash and no sail influence on the helm. I'm pretty sure I know what the results would be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, a 1994 MK1 Catalina 42 has no rudder bearings. Newer boats have them.

Since my original post I've spoken to a surveyor who has seen this exact problem before. The solution is to have a new rudder made, but correctly this time - one that is symmetrical on both sides, as it should be.
 
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