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Thread: rudder discussions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Santa Cruz, California
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    444

    rudder discussions

    I just acquired a 1965 outboard model Pearson Ariel. After spending a couple of weeks getting to know the boat, taking inventory, and doing some interior rehabilitation and work on the running rigging, I am preparing tackle the rudder and motor issues. I would greatly appreciate any advice from members of this forum or others who happen along. My e-mail address is scottg@solopublications.com

    1. The rudder issue: I did not have the opportunity to haul the boat before I purchased it. Although highly desireable, this was just not possible. I did however hire a surveyor tp conduct an in water assessment. He will finish the survey when we haul. From the surveyor's (in water) assessment, it is likely that there are problems at the top and bottom of the rudder, so I assume that the rudder bearing (top) nd shoe (bottom)need work and or replacement. I have joined the Ariel Association, and purchased and read the operating and maintenance manual, so I am now somewhat familiar with the rudder design and parts.

    Since I am aware of another boat at this same dock that recently had rudder shaft electrolysis problems, shaft electrolysis is also a possibility. I don't think that this boat has been hauled in some time, and I want to do all that is necessary in a single haul-out when I haul the boat later this month. That means ordering parts or having them made in advance if possible. Has anyone out there recently completed a rudder rehabiliation project on a Pearson Ariel? I am interested in knowing what to expect, where to order parts, or to whom I might go to to have them fabricated, and whether the actual condition of the rudder might be determined in advance of haul-out by a diver at least to some degree.

    2. Motor issues: The outboard well on this boat has been enlarged to accomodate a 7.5 hp Honda that is likely near the end of it's useful life. The motor is not currently on the boat. I have lifting limitations due to a back injury. I am looking for two pieces of advice. I am sailing in Monterey Bay and in the open ocean. I have three questions.

    a. What size motor is the minimum necessary to power this boat into and out of a harbor, and

    b. What size is the minimum to power the boat into the wind on a flat day or into a swell on a windy day. From the recent post on this site it appears that a 6 hp 2 cycle motor might suffice in this regard.

    3. I have read in the ops and maint manual of the Gauhauer lifting davit installation. Has anyone out there actually seen this lifting davit in action, or has anyone used similar (forespar or other)or dissimilar devices to lift the outboard from the well and from the well to dock?

    Again I will be grateful for any responses I receive.

    Regards,

    Scott
    Last edited by Bill; 08-20-2006 at 01:14 AM.
    Scott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
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    A little more info?

    1) Why are rudder problems suspected? Does it just feel a little sloppy? Is the tiller bolted on tight? Are the O rings OK?

    2) What's wrong with the Honda?

    I think the purpose of the engine lifting mechanism is to lift the engine out of the well after each sail so that it does not stay in the water all the time. While this may be the preferred method, I can't imagine doing it. I'm sure most people just leave it in the water. My 10 year old 8hp Yamaha seems quite happy that way.

    If you only install/remove the engine once a year, a friend or the boatyard can do it for you.

    As far as the rudder goes, I wouldn't get into trying to have parts fabricated until you're quite sure there is a real problem.

    Not trying to curb your enthusiasm, just trying to save you alot of money.

    Several times I thought my boat had problems that needed major repair or improvement, when it turned out everything was fine or just needed a little fix.

    Now I tend to spend alot of time thinking about a project before I actually do it. Some people have the nerve to call this procrastination.

    :B>

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz
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    Scott, I agree with Pete on thinking out the issues and making sure the work needs to be done. These are stout little yachts and often don't need as much work as you might think. That being said I will offer you a couple insights from my experience. As a long time tenant of SC Harbor I can say with a great deal of confidence that a 6 hp long shaft is the ideal size motor for the Monterey Bay. As far as leaving it in the water I do disagree with Pete on that. Between the salt water and being in a hot harbor a motor left in the water will not last one year. There is a gentleman in SF (Gene Roberts) that has the Gauhauer lifting davit and he has all positive things to say about it. I also know of others that have rigged a small block and tackle lifting system that they hook on to the back stay that works well also. I can give you more info on that if you want it.

    Three years ago I did a rudder shaft replacement job on Pathfinder. I tied this together with a regular bottom maintenance job. I did not need to touch the rudder shoe though. What I ended up doing is hauled the boat and removed the rudder. I had the metal shop at Svens in Alameda make up the new half shaft at a cost of appx $250 and about a four day wait. In the meantime I got to work on doing the bottom and stripping the rudder. The rudder work was done at home.

    After getting the new shaft and mounting it on the rudder I chose to fiberglass the rudder. I worked with the guys at the glass shop on Capitola Road and 7th ave. They were very helpful in talking me through the whole project and getting me the materials that best fit the job. My cost for this was less than $100 and a lot of time sanding.

    The end result was all the work done and the boat back in the water in two weeks time. You might be able to save a little time if you could have someone remove the rudder while the boat is still in the water. Not the easiest thing to do but an experienced diver can do it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Richmond VA
    Posts
    16
    I have done both a re-power and a rudder repair. I chose a 9.9hp 2-stroke. I leave mine in the water. I sail on the Chesapeake and hve not had too much problems with motor deterioration in the past, but I did just replace a 1993 motor with a brand new one (not as a result of corrosion). If 8-10 years of life is all I can get out of an outboard that is left in the well, it is still worth it to me to avoid having to pull the motor up every time I sail, besides I have remote throttle and start cable hooked up and don't want to connect/disconnect them every time I go out.

    I was surprised at the hefty biece of bronze that comprised the rudder shaft. When I first bought the boat there was some play in the rudder that I attributed to shaft deterioration, but I realized that this was not the cause when I took my rudder off. I did have some loosening of the rudder boards, and I solved this with filler and glass (directly over the teak rudder boards) The looseness that I spoke of was caused by the tiller end fitting and a larger than necessary clearence around the rudder post head. I was able to have the fitting pressed, which gave it a snug feel, but has also introduced some stress ( I've since noticed a tiny crack begining to form in this piece, and will probably need to get myself a new one in the near future)

    I also recomend that you don't go buying the shaft until you know that you need it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
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    What do you do with the engine after you lift it up?

    Leave it hanging there as an invitation to criminal elements?

    Carry it off the boat to your car and take it home?

    Carry it down into the cabin?

    I suppose the lift could swing over the cockpit locker and you could lower it into there. But, the prop would surely ding something eventually.

    If you do buy a new engine, keep in mind that some brands will not fit into the motor well. You definitely want to make sure the engine can swivel to make docking easier. Some types of engines will not fit because of their throttle arm configuration.

    The throttle arm is removed if you have a remote control throttle/shift mechanism. I second the vote for that. It's a real neat feature.

    Unfortunately, during a recent wild party on my boat, the shift arm on the remote control got broke off. But, that's another story altogether.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz
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    The vast majority of the boats that I have seen in the SF area do one of two things with the motor. It is either stowed in the lazarette or placed below decks. Those of us that race will remove the motor and stow it below directly under the mast.

    I have to admit that the motor seems to be getting bigger and heavier every year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    444

    Smile Rudder and motor issues

    Thank you to commanderpete, Ed Eskers, and bkeegel2 for your thoughtful responses to my questions.

    Regarding the motor. It is helpful to know that a six horsepower long shaft will power another Ariel around Monterey Bay. I am not yet sure that I need to buy a new motor. The Honda 7.5 is about to head for the shop for an inspection and overhaul, but I wanted to know the range of options and alternatives before I authorize what could be a major overhaul. The repair folks tell me there is some evident corrosion damage. Frankly as a result of my lifting limitation, I want the lightest weight motor that will safely power this boat.

    My previous small boat sailing experience has always presented me with an easily liftable transom mounted outboard. Although leaving the motor in the water is certainly a possibility, I have not considered it seriously in the past because of the strong recommendations against doing so by the manufacturers. On my last boat, I raised and lowered the transom-mounted motor every time I sailed. A padlock and chain was sufficient to discourage any would be motor pirates.

    The Gauhauer lifting davit looks interesting to me, and the price of the unit at $200 seems reasonable given the fact that it can be used to move the motor from the dock to the well, and from the well to the cockpit, and I can't do either one by myself. Since the Association Maintenance Manual has documented Gene Roberts' installation of this lift in a Pearson Ariel, we know that they can be adapted for use in an Ariel. I was merely hoping that someone else out there had actually used one and might offer some advice in this regard. The information in the Association Maintenance and Operating Manual is very helpful and easy to understand. I have written to Gauhauer, but have not yet received a response.

    Regarding the rudder issues, I have no idea at this point what is wrong with the rudder if anything. I feel a clunk when I move the rudder from side to side, and I do not have the expertise to know what that means. Frankly I wasn't too worried about it, until I spoke with the prior owners. My surveyor (in water only to-date) told me that from the feel of the rudder, he suspects that there is a problem at both the top and bottom of the shaft. The prior owners have more or less advised me against taking the boat out in the ocean with the current condition of the rudder, but I have no way of evaluating what that means since they did not define that condition. I don't think that this boat has been hauled for some time, so it is likely that no one will know the condition of the rudder until haulout.

    I can't haul the boat until I get the existing motor or a new motor back on the boat, since I have to duck under a bridge with my tabernacled mast lowered to get to the yard. My desire is to haul once and not twice if possible. I read up on the rudder design in the Association Maintenance and Operating Manual, and noted that no manufacturers of replacement parts are listed for the rudder bearing, shoe or shaft. It is very good to know that Svendsen's yard can make up a half shaft (I assume that was the top half for Pathfinder) if necessary. My desire is to locate suppliers prior to hauling rather than spend my lay days running about, so that reference is very helpful.

    I will probably rehabilitate the existing engine, drop it in the well, add a removable Gauhauer lifting davit, haul the boat, and take a good look at the rudder. It is helpful to see what other have experienced before I go to the yard for the first time. Overall I really like my new Ariel. I have spent a bit of time working below and on the running rigging. I also have a lot of deck work to do before the winter rains start.

    Anyway I appreciate the advice to an Ariel-newby from you long term Ariel owners. Any additional comments or suggestions will be appreciated.

    Scott
    Scott

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz
    Posts
    182
    Scott a couple local knowledge points I might offer you. There is a yard in Alameda that has done at least one rudder shoe. The people at Grand Marina yard had a mold made and poured a new shoe. Additionally the fellow ebb inquired about a shoe and may have had one made as well. You might want to check with him.

    In terms of your motor unless you have a personal relationship with Dave and his motor shop (off Seabright) I would encourage you to find some other shop to work on the motor. I have used the local shop Dave's Motor two times in recent years and both times after paying bills I ended up having to take the motor in to another shop and spending twice as much to have the same repairs done again and more. One shop that seems to be very trustworthy is the Outboard Motor Shop in Alameda near Svens. Good Luck.......ed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    444

    Smile Rudder Isues

    Ed,

    Thanks for the additional advice regarding rudder shoes and outboard motors. I plan on having Honda dealer go through my 7.5 Honda. I have used that shop before to perform repairs on a Honda 9.9 on a boat that I take care of for a friend here locally in Santa Cruz, and with good results. They were nice enough to check my 7.5 out superficially for me, and although they noticed that there is some evident corrosion damage, they indicated that the motor appeared to have been well cared for. It is however a 1986 motor, and it has been used in salt water (when it was being used) for that entire period, so I am guardedly optimistic, but I do not anticipate that the motor will have a long remaining useful life. However the thing is a four cycle, and it weighs a ton, so in the long run I would probably be happier with a newer and lighter 6hp motor. If the repair estimate is too high, I will be shopping for a used 6hp motor.

    I will track down that rudder shoe so that if I need it I will be able to obtain one quickly. Since I am in the midst of a rather extensive overhaul on this boat, I am trying to be careful about my priorities, so that I do not exceed my budget.

    Once again thanks to all for the helpful advice. It is wonderful to have this sort of support system for a 35 year old boat....but what a boat!
    Scott

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Olalla, WA
    Posts
    71

    motors, etc

    I use a 1989 6hp Johnson long shaft and it works wonderfully. Gets me in and out of moorages easily and will push the boat against wind and chop to get to them if needed. I will say if you are going up against a stiff current, 4-5 knots or greater, you're probably better off waiting for the tide to turn. The motor is also pretty easy to hoist by hand and when not in use will lay flat in the lazarette. ( I'm not a big believer in leaving a motor in electrically hot salt water unneccessarily) I even built a little cradle to secure it in so I can eliminate the drag of having it in the water when I'm travelling long distances.
    As to the rudder, I agree with everyone else about not fixing it if it ain't really broke. There was some play in mine when I bought the boat and I decided to keep a close eye on it and wait and fix it if it got worse. Five years later I'm still waiting. It hasn't gotten any worse and I have used the boat a lot in that time. I have found it helps a bit to make sure the upper bearing is properly seated since it seems to work up away from the rudder shaft tube a little over time.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    444

    Smile Rudder rehabilitation

    Thanks to tcoolidge for your response on the rudder and motor issues I raised. It looks like quite a few Ariel skippers use 6 hp motors. Knowing that is helpful, sicn my 7.9 Honda may or may not be on it's lasty legs. I received my Gauhauer catalog today. In a conversation with Gauhauer, I have learned that they have an upgrade to their lifting davit that makes the davit easier to use than it was before by a single hander. It sis not curently reflected in th catalog. I am heading in that direction, and will post my impression when I reach that point. As far as the rudder goes, I do not intend to fix what is not broken, but my surveyor and the prior owner both indicate that I have some work to do on this rudder, and I want to be as informed as possible before I haul out for the first time to minimize yard time, and running around while my boat is out of the water. So thanks to all for the valuable info on this subject. I am finding the Association Maintenance manual, this forum, and the frinedly community of Ariel owners to be valuable respources. This makes me very glad that I decided to buy an Ariel.
    Scott

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
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    Scott,

    If your boat has had galvanic activity sufficient to corrode the engine, and possibly the rudder shaft, make sure your surveyor takes a good look at the thru-hulls and sea cocks.

    You also mentioned you have a "tabernacled mast." Maybe someday you could post some pictures of that custom feature. It sounds like a prior owner knew what they were doing.

    Cheers,

    Peter

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    444

    Wink rudder rehabilitation

    Peter,

    Yes we are going to take a look at thru hulls etc when I haul. I already had the in water survey at the dock, but it wasn't possible to move the boat under the bridge here to the marine yard before I took the plunge by buying the boat. My surveyor was very positive about everything with the exception of some corrosion in the rigging near the top of the mast, the obvious and plentiful impact related deck cracks, and also those in the cockpit, and the rudder issues. He felt pretty good about the thru hulls from his inside inspection, but of course we haven't looked at the hull below waterline yet or the rudder. The outflow thru hull for the head has been relocated, and the cockpit thu hulls are also newer, so I am hopeful that all is well.

    Regarding the tabernacle and rigging, someone did a great job on the rigging and spent some money at one point. I have Norseman fittings all around and beefy pelican hooks and a very nice backstay adjusters, but the rigging is now older. The backstay chainplate is original and has not been upgraded, ansd some of the boom attachment points show considerable stress from the lowering process used in the tabernacle. I do want to rerig some things before I move the boat, so I am not yet happy with the tabernacle arrangement. At present it is more or less a two person operation that exceeds my lifting limitation.

    One thing to watch out for in a tabernacle is that the mast base should be elevated so that the mast will fully lower without hitting the forward hatch. This is not the case on my boat, so I can not lower the mast far enough to do work on the mast head. You might be surprised how that forward hatch interfers with lowering the mast. On my last boat, I could stand on a short step ladder on the dock and wpork on the mast head. That is very desireable since you don't have to climb the mast to do rigging work or paint the mast.

    Also a raised mast base would ease the process of running the halyards back to the cockpit. I am wondering how others have handled that issue, although that is probably a good topic for another post and not this thread. I don't much like drilling more holes near the base of my mast. Starboard and port deck organizer blocks have been installed on the top of th cabin, and there are some appropriate openings (oval shaped holes)for block attachment in the aluminium mast base plate, but there is at present no way to run fair lines from the mast base plate up to the organizer blocks on the cabin top, so I need an intermediate block somewhere to properly align the halyards into those fixed organizer blocks. I have an inelegant solution, but I am still looking for an elegant one. Perhaps I should post another question on the forum on this item.

    I will take photos of my tabernacle for anyone who wants them. I do maintain a sailing web page that is listed with my info on this forum's members page. I currently have feature pages on the Marieholm IF Boat, the Marieholm 26, the Lapworth 24 Gladiator. I am currently developing an Ariel page, and hope to post some useful info there including photos in time.

    As of this time I have not taken a single photo of my boat, since the work I have been doing is primarily cleaning, painting, electrical, and some cosmetic stuff. When I get into technical modifications, I intend to post those to my site in hopes that they wil be useful to others. I have a lot to do on this boat. I plan to spend some time thinking out tabernacle modifications; installation of a motor lifting davit ( I am in contact with an Ariel Association member who has installed a Gauhauer davit sucessfully; a unique removeable lifeline system (its' about half designed at present); and I also want to deal with the lack of an ice box (I have a spiffy good looking chart table instead); and a head (my boat has none).

    Thanks for your comments. This thread has been very helpful to me.
    Scott

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orinda, California
    Posts
    2,242
    Scott,

    The manual has an alternative mast step design in the appendix. It was for a boat located in Klamath Falls, OR that was trailered extensively.

    As for lines eminating from the mast, come to the ISR on October 20. Most of the boats participating lead their sail control lines to the cockpit. Although similar, you will see some different approaches.

    Bill

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    444

    Wink Rudder Rehabilitation

    Bill,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I will be at the event on the 20th. However I have a prior commitment here, So I will probably not arrive in Alameda until about 5:00 PM. I look forward to meeting you then, and seeing how others have handled running their halyards back to the cockpit.

    Since on my boat two very nice deck organizer blocks have been installed on the topmost portion of the cabin, back from the front edge, my options are limited. The blocks were installed by the previous owner, but the project was never completed. The location of those blocks is the determining factor in designing the rest of the system. I do not intent to move those blocks. A further factor is the tabernacle arrangement, since the mast with its halyards, downhaul reefing lines etc. need to move forward. Therefore I presume that all lines that have been run to the cockpit from the mast mast be uncleated and left to run free before the mast is lowered, and then secured again once it is raised. Motoring beneath a bridge with the intent of sailing on the other side immediately afterwards by a single hander should be an interestiung drill.

    Regarding the taberbacle. The metal portions of mine seem just fine in general, with the exception of the conflict between the forward hatch and the lower portion of the mast. This is not a problem for slipping under the bridge here, which is the major objective of the tabernacle,but it does make working on the top portion of the mast at the dock impossible, since the mast cannot be lowered sufficiently to reach the uper portion of the mast in a reasonable manner from the dock. There would be little point in modifying the mast step to solve this problem unless one wanted to replace the standing rigging. In designing a tabernacle system however the mast/forward hatch conflict is an important consideration.

    My issue with tabernaclke involves the mast raising and lowering process, which is now accomplished with the main halyard, a six foot length of line to permit the halyard to be attached to the end of the boom, the purchase on the mainsheet tackle, some issues with the traveler, which is not in it's original location, and the current boom guy system.

    I intend to modify the back stay to permit it to be detached in the vicinity of the end of the boom, and reattached to the boom to permit lowering of the mast using the backstay and a modified mainsheet system. A new boom guy arrangement is still under study. It will involve some other systems. The current set-up is pretty much a two person operation, but it seems to work fine in that application. For a single hander, it would be tough to do all the stuff you have to do to get the mast down and up again while the boat is moving down a crowded yacht harbor channel.

    Thanks again for your comments. See you on the 20th, and for this great forum.
    Scott

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