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Date Posted: - Thursday - 03/29/07 - 6:05pm
Author: Randall
Subject: Confused.
In reply to: Steve B 's message, "M31 Rudder Repair or Replace ?" on - Thursday - 03/29/07 - 10:59am

Steve B,

I made an informal study of glassed-over wooden rudders while Murre was on the hard last year. Many had developed blistering problems or the glass had pealed off in large chunks altogether (I assume due to moister in the wood effecting glass adhesion).

And on the other side of the coin, some of the old wooden boats in the yard had quite sever cracking in the wood of the rudder or in other parts of the hull where large sections of solid timer were used. The old wooden boat guys just seem to paint and go.

On Murre the wood of the rudder is close grained and very hard. Interesting you say yours is soft.

I’d love to hear more about the “anatomy” of our rudders. Have never had mine out or apart. I think I know that the wood fastens to the bronze post via fore and aft rods extending from the post aft and into the rudder, but if these rods have nuts on them, how are they got at? I can’t visualize what, on your boat, has corroded.

You got pictures?


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[> [> Rudders -- Steve B, - Friday - 03/30/07 - 11:25am

I'll take some pictures this week and send them to you.

Until then I'll try and explain what I found on mine. You're right, the bronze bolts extend throught the rudder post and penetrate the entire length of the rudder, horizontally. There were 4 or 5 wooden plugs in the aft edge of the rudder, covering the nuts, the plugs are about an inch in diameter, the nut was a 9/16 or 5/8 inch, can't remember. The glue that was used on the plugs wasn't very durable as all of the plugs were either loose or missing. Every nut was either broken off, missing altogether or corroded beyond practical use. I'm a little nervous about this original design, but I may have the only Mariner with this problem. As you know, rudders have to work right all the time. I don't see any other posts about problems with rudders. I plan on sanding and painting the original rudder and re-installing it. I may fill the cracks with some epoxy after sanding and before painting it. I lost a rudder on a Santana once, had to drag an anchor off the port or starboard side to steer it back to the marina. No fun. I'll try and get some pics to you when I install it.

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[> [> [> Makes sense, thanks. -- Randall, - Friday - 03/30/07 - 1:52pm

That makes perfect sense. I've never taken the after edge of the rudder down to bare wood; thus, missed the plugs. Thanks much for the description.

Odd re the nuts at the end. Wonder what it implies? Extreme pressure on the rods at the bitter end? For boats of our size, the rudder is massive, but that’s counter intuitive. Electrolysis? Seems this would have attacked the lower gudgeon first.

Curious to know what you think as you keep working thru. How is the weld where the rod contacts the post holding up?

Do you have the rudder entirely apart? i.e. could you take snaps of the bronze skeleton itself?

Not sure I'd bother with the fill. I've tried to fair the leading edge of Murre’s rudder with epoxy, but after a few months it blows off from all the water pressure there.

Thanks again.


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[> [> [> [> RudderTalk -- Steve B, - Friday - 03/30/07 - 2:55pm

I have an annode bolted to the prop shaft, which has nearly disentgrated, looks like it's doing it's job. Unless the rudder is grounded to the boat, you may be right, it could be electrolysis. The thru bolts aren't welded to the rudder frame tubing. They have a beveled head on the fore side and sit into a tapered recess in the rudder frame. I had to drive them out from the aft side of the rudder using a long drift punch. I'll get you some pictures this week.


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