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Discussion Starter #1
The tiller action on my Pearson 26 is suddenly very stiff. I'm not sure what would cause this. I replaced the upper and lower Delrin bushings about 3 years ago when I installed the new rudder, which has a stainless steel post. It's been fine until now. Any ideas what would cause this? Thanks
 

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I thought this post may have conincided with the lastest issue of sports illustrated. Guess not.

Have you stressed the rudder in any way? IE run aground
 

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Sounds like you may have picked up some debris, wrapped around the rudder. Might want to dive in, or feel around the rudder with a boat hook.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds like you may have picked up some debris, wrapped around the rudder. Might want to dive in, or feel around the rudder with a boat hook.
I suppose I could have gotten something wrapped. Not sure what could get wrapped though...fresh water etc.
 

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In the fresh water around here there is more long and fine leaf grass and weeds that like to tangle themselves in the rudder then what I find in the fresh water around here. That would also be my first guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If I had a GoPro I could stick it on a poll and get a good look without going into the water. I digress...
 

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In clear water a mechanic's mirror on a stick does a pretty good job for checking prop/zincs/rudder issues..

Wheel or tiller?? If wheel look into the lazarette or wherever the quadrant is located.. soemthing fallen into the mechanism??

Also possible might be some debris between top of rudder and counter partially 'jamming' the rudder against the hull??
 

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My friend bought an old boat that had a rudder so stiff that you could barely turn it. A marina poured copious quantities of 2-3 different lubricants down the rudder shaft and it finally loosened up. We never discovered what caused it. Probably some growth or dirt somewhere. I suspect the boat hadn't been used for a long time, and, after my friend started using it, it loosened up.
 

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growth, kelp, barnacles, paint buildup, bad bushings...crap, poo, crabs, dead mussels andything can stiffen up a rudder

if ITS SUDDEN

you can rule out bushings but not bent rudder

if it was gradual all of the above related to growth...

a quick dive to check is the first thing to do...
 

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Are you certain the 'new' bushings are Delrin? Is the lower one always submerged? Many plastics absorb water and can 'swell', if the lower bushing is constantly wet and this has occurred since replacement, in the absence of any other causes I'd be looking at that.
 
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