August 18, 2014 at 11:51 am #1992
I did some searching of our forum and read a bit about this topic, but something still has me scratching my head and that is just how much play in the bottom of the rudder post is acceptable. Mine (which I just discovered yesterday after a 120 mile offshore trip) wiggles about 1.5-2 mm. Is that healthy? One thing that has bothered me a bit since owning this boat is the squeek in the upper part of the post, but I’ve learned to live with it- I don’t believe there is an effective lubricant for fiberglass, but it’s no big deal. Doing all of the offshore stuff that I like to do, the play in this post is the most concerning. Can someone shed any light on this matter?
RayAugust 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm #3471
Zero Play. Buy new upper and lower bearings. If still squeaking…graphite powder, no oil.August 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm #3475
Thanks, Bruce- where do I buy new bearings and graphite powder?August 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm #3476
Oh- also- is it safe to sail with that amount of wiggle? It’s not bad, but I was zipping along at 7 kts this weekend and there is an interesting humm coming from down there… I’m guessing it’s rudder vibration. I can’t imagine that it’s enough to wiggle anything apart, but I’m racing this weekend from here to Savannah, GA and back (about 150 nm total).August 18, 2014 at 3:18 pm #3477
Just found out that Buzz has a bunch of new bearings in stock… I can google where to buy graphite powder. I asked him about sailing with the rudder post knocking around a bit, and he said there may a groove in the post that I might need to build back up with thickened epoxy, so that’s what I’ll do.August 18, 2014 at 3:51 pm #3478
hardware store has graphite. Look in the lock section. Just don’t get the oil version..you want powder only. It will only work on new bearings, yours are too loose.
Hum on my boat is usually the tight dyneema backstay. Sounds like it is coming from below, but most likely the backstay. Grab it next time you hear a hum.
The rudder won’t break, but the shaft might eventually rub the tube????? More a nuisance than necessity, but you are putting off the inevitable.August 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm #3479
I’ve ordered the new bearings and will get them installed maybe in a week or so. I didn’t think about the backstay– it was on maybe half-way– snug, but not for honkin’ conditions.. I’ll ck this weekend.August 21, 2014 at 9:44 am #3485
Hey, one question I forgot to ask- Buzz thinks there will probably be some grooves in the rudder post from normal wear and they’ll need to be repaired. I forgot to ask, but I’m guessing I can simply sand with 60 grit and apply some West Systems epoxy thickened with one of the structural fillers (not the softer fairing filler, but the high-density 404 stuff). I’m assuming I wouldn’t need to take an angle grinder to that thing, would I?August 27, 2014 at 11:44 am #3487
Does anyone know how to deal with rudder post grooves? Am I on the right track above?August 28, 2014 at 11:52 am #3488
Using West Epoxy and the high density filler is used to fill the worn rudder shaft. Use a hand or palm sander and take your time, only use enough epoxy to fill the grooves. Do not use a grinder, you won’t have enough control and could do more harm.August 28, 2014 at 1:36 pm #3489
Where are these ‘grooves’? If at the bearing, then yes it needs to baby butt smooth and a relatively tight fit. If they are on the shaft between the bearing surfaces…nothing needs to be done!!!
Have you removed the rudder yet? You will know if you need to work on the bearing surfaces when you test fit the new bearings. If you have to tap them on to get them in place, you are done. No work needed. If they new ones go on easily, you have wear and need to slightly increase the diameter. A coat of epoxy after light sanding and you are good. Check the shaft for gaps between the new bearing and shaft. You may only need to add epoxy to make the shaft round again.August 28, 2014 at 9:41 pm #3490
Hey, Bruce- I have not yet removed the rudder and post. I haven’t received the new bearings yet, so I’m going to wait a while and may be doing that after we move to Tampa (we’re in Charleston for another 5 weeks or so). I’ll look back at these notes when starting, so thanks you guys for the info. It’s a little crazy now with this upcoming move, so boatwork is a bit behind schedule until we get settled in down there.
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