Author Topic: rudder post is worn  (Read 441 times)

MimiRyan

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rudder post is worn
« on: April 14, 2021, 10:09:42 AM »
My Pearson 25 has a worn rudder post (see photos). For some reason the rudder has always hung about an inch lower than it should-you can see the dirty unworn part below the shiny metal post wear. (The rudder has been dropped down a few inches in these photos) Maybe the tiller should be shimmed up where it attaches to the rudder post up in the cockpit-right now it is metal on fiberglass up there, with no shim of any kind. (see photos of tiller in cockpit also)
My questions for Pearson owners are-
 1) Is the rudder supposed to hang an inch lower from the hull? Or more like 3/8ths of an inch?
 2) Do Pearsons usually have a gasket up top in cockpit between metal tiller joint and fiberglass of boat?
 3) Most importantly-does this much rudder post wear make it unsafe to sail the boat this season?  Is the post going to break? I would say the wear on the post is 1/3rd to 1/2 of the way through the metal. The picture from up top with my finger in it shows the thickness of the rudder post walls for comparison. Is this something we could get another summer of sailing on or do we need to address this before sailing this year? Could I put graphite on worn metal post part to lessen wear if I leave as is?
  4) If immediate repair is needed can you replace the post in the old rudder or do you buy a whole new or used rudder and post assembly?

One thing I thought I could do is shim the tiller up in the cockpit up 1/2" or 3/4", thereby pulling the rudder up closer to the hull. That would put some of the wear on the part of the post nearest to the rudder, the part that is dirty and unworn now.

We sail on Lake Champlain in VT, freshwater, just afternoon outings within sight of land of course.

I realize its a lot to ask but appreciate any knowledge Pearson owners and savants have on this!!
   
Thanks, Gus

Dolce_Vita

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Re: rudder post is worn
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2021, 10:06:39 AM »
Wow!  That is some seroius wear!  I know I wouldn't sail on it!

The bending forces on a spade rudder can be enormous. When (not if) that snaps, the rudder is going to sink and likely be lost.  It will be difficult (and expensive) to replace.

Do it now and cry once.  Don't forget to replace the bushing/cutless-bearing as well.  It's probably the cause of the wear..
@(^.^)@  Ed
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with rebuilt Atomic-4

MimiRyan

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Re: rudder post is worn
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2021, 01:14:00 PM »
Thanks for your reply.  One of the problems is that this is a Pearson 25 and they did not make very many so there are not a lot of parts kicking around.  In your opinion, would we have to replace the entire rudder and shaft or is it possible to replace the shaft only?  We have bushings on order but that is only part of the issue.

Would a metal shop be able to make a shaft or would we be able to purchase the same size (doubtful) from a marine dealer?

Can we just purchase a shaft and put it back into the old rudder?

I am a newbie at this sort of thing,

Mimi Ryan

Dolce_Vita

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Re: rudder post is worn
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2021, 12:27:39 PM »
Thanks for your reply.  One of the problems is that this is a Pearson 25 and they did not make very many so there are not a lot of parts kicking around.

As is the case for all of our 40+ year old Pearsons!

In your opinion, would we have to replace the entire rudder and shaft or is it possible to replace the shaft only?  We have bushings on order but that is only part of the issue.

Depending on where your skills lie, both paths are possible.  The rudders are usually built around a web of metal welded to the rudder post.  Replacing the post would require cutting into the rudder far enough to have a good place to make the splice.  TIG welding (for stainless steel) and fiberglassing skills would be required (or have to be paid for).

Would a metal shop be able to make a shaft or would we be able to purchase the same size (doubtful) from a marine dealer?

Can we just purchase a shaft and put it back into the old rudder?

Certainly doable, but any parts will have to be custom fabricated.  There are any number of metals suppliers that can fabricate shafts to your specification.
One repair possibility is to fit a solid shaft inside of the  hollow one to increase strength at the splice.  I have a friend who did something like this on his Islander 37. But you have to be able to position the splice to avoid the bushings.

Or just split the rudder open, dig out and replace the old post, and redo the foam and fiberglass.

A last possibility is to troll boatyards, particularly ones in hurricane prone areas, to find a storm damaged boat of your model that you can get the whole rudder from.


@(^.^)@  Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4