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Rudder and Skeg

blueachilles 8:39pm, 10 August 2010
The previous owner of Blue told me that he had a few problems with her rudder and skeg, during his ownership from 1985-98. I reproduce his comments below in case others may have similar problems:-

"The rudder stock is a stainless steel tube with lugs welded on inside the rudder. The welds failed so the rudder could rotate on the stock, not badly but clearly not a good scenario. I took off the rudder, cut it open around the lugs and got them welded up by an engineer. Then I filled and made good with WEST epoxy and microfibre. It was probably as good as new afterwards.

The skeg issue was more difficult to resolve. It is a separate moulding and originally was sealed on the hull with filler, not a structural joint. The strength came from a galvanised steel box section running from just below deck level to the bottom of the skeg. I think the idea is that the skeg, which is quite thin, could be broken off without compromising the watertight integrity of the hull. Well the problem was that it leaked into the skeg around that join and also at the bottom I think, and there were rust stains so it was clearly rusting the box section. After a lot of thought ( and possibly advice from Chris Butler the builder who I used to phone up about technical stuff like that) I did the following: inserted a smaller section box section inside the existing one and poured WEST in so it was strengthened and sealed from water getting inside the box section. Then I did a proper job of glassing the skeg onto the hull. I’m sure its fine but you might want to keep an eye on it."

As far as I am aware, the problems have been cured, because there are no rust stains around the skeg and no visible signs of the skeg not being part of the hull. I will probably take the antifouling off round the join when she comes out in October, though, to check that all is well.

The rudder seems to be solidly attached.

I do have one concern about the rudder though; there is a grease nipple on the rudder shaft in the lazarette, but it is so rusted that you can barely tell what it is. It certainly hasn't seen any grease for a while!

Any thoughts on how to get grease into the tube, or better still, how feasible is it to drill and tap a hole for a new nipple? I doubt whether the existing one is removeable.

What does the team think?
songeur2010 8 years ago
This is very interesting, the bottom of the skeg on Songeur where the rudder bracket is fixed is very rusty looking. I sanded it back a bit to reveal the fixings for the bracket and now after a bit of rain the rust stains are worse. It seems the problem may be coming from the inside of the skeg.
Daddsie 8 years ago
The grease nipple on Rumrunner had rusted away so after dropping the rudder the old nipple was ground off, a nut welded on then new nipple fitted. Good as new.
Tranquillity1 8 years ago
What the tube made of that the grease nipple is attached to? The reason I ask is I have pumped a tub of grease in and it has not come out the tube at either end!
busy home [deleted] Posted 8 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 8 years ago
We think its a tube ,, the shaft, jnside another tube ....
In which case not a lot of grease can get in,
Ihe shaft has plugs of s/s in the top end to attach the head stock to '
some have square section stocks some round ,
The lower section has rod tangs welded on to secure the rudder ,
as far as I can tell not many people have succesfully greased the assembly !! ( we failed on chille and goskar)
This is re 24s Ive just seen your a 9 .. may not be the same
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