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Thread: rudder discussions

  1. #241
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hollywood, FL
    Posts
    12
    Hi Ed,

    I can weigh in with some personal experience as to laying the boat on it's side. I'm embarrassed to admit but one time that I went aground, the water level went down to about 1.5" at low tide. My boat was over the 45 degree angle as depicted in the above diagram. The water was over the toe rail almost to the coaming for hours. I was 100% sure that due to the heavy weight of the boat that as the tide came back, it would flood the boat before enough bouyancy was acheived to raise the boat off of it's side. I'm happy and amazed to report that this wasn't the case as the boat rose like an angel. Bless Carl Albergs design. BTW, it lay on the starboard side (galley side on my boat) and no water came in from the sink, but I did have some water in the bilge probably from the hull-deck joint being submerged for hours.
    As to your question of removing the rudder at this angle, don't forget that the rudder has to drop down a few feet to clear the rudder post, you would have to dig a trench which might be difficult. I recently removed mine at anchor with a mask and snorkel which was easy. I was able to source a take-off rudder from someone who is parting out a commander. At this point I now have to replace the new rudder at anchor. I would love to have the boat hauled at this point to replace it, paint the bottom, remove the toilet and sink and glass the through hulls, but I can't move the boat till the rudder's back on. I dropped the rudder alone, but will need some help to raise the new one. I'll let you know how it goes.
    Good luck,
    Barry

  2. #242
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,543
    bill, as usual, has great informative stuff. This is a great diagram!
    What it shows me is that putting an Ariel over on its side would NOT make it any easier to remove the rudder.

    Well, maybe a bit easier to get at the gudgeon, but you'd still have a time of it digging a hole (in MUD, no way) to squirrel the rudder out. It would be better on a slope. You got big tides up there down east. I dunknow, all that water coming in all at once! No rudder in the boat....

    I'd sure like to hear how it wortks out......you first, Ed

  3. #243
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South Portland, Maine
    Posts
    16
    The mud is a good part of this scheme if we try it. I'm not too sure why we are even thinking about this as I won't be able to fix it until the fall when the boat will be on the hard. I think we may try to jury rig something on the runt that is left of the rudder for the rest of the season. I always wondered if you could beach her on her side.

    Using the same dock, we once winched the boat onto its side using the halyard at high tide to replace a through hull . . .so dangerous acts have been committed in the past. I think we have 11 feet on big tides but I don't recall. This is a dead calm spot so no waves are involved.

    Any thoughts about oak?

    Best, Ed

    BTW I was a member of the board about 10 years ago. I'm very impressed with a lot of the boat pictures etc. I was pretty sure that my manual had the offsets for a new rudder but I don't see them. Am I mistaken or did I loose that page over the years?

  4. #244
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
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    3,543
    Ed, I believe
    your boat builder friend is correct - you can rebuild your rudder using WHITE OAK
    if you use the same method as the original. The original rudder uses all silicone bronze rod and screws. No glue is used. White Oak don't like no glue anyway.

    You'd be using quartersawn to avoid tendancy to warp. That's also the cut that will shrink and swell. My feeling would be to go with the biggest oldest tightest grain white oak available. Might be too mean to ever open up! The Ariel rudder is a BLADE. Rather thin, requires nice wood.

    Black Locust is another, probably more rot resistant wood and stronger if that's what you want. You guys consider this a weed, don't you? Best damn boat building wood in the world,
    next to teak, and yellow pine, and honduras, and.......
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________
    Let me ask you guys something:
    IF you didn't let the fastenings corrode on the tiller fitting, and you could take it off easy - and the same thing with the gudgeon - why not take the rudder off when you haul out. Keep it in brine, Nothing crazy - just so the water don't freeze. Make a ply box - line it black plastic - and balance the rudder shaft across the top with the wood in the liquid. Why not?

    The fiberglass/foam rudder guys think you're nuts.

    The arguement for doing something like this is that seasonal shrinking and swelling is going to loosen the bolts eventually,
    so you'll end up having to put plates on the sides of the blade in an attempt to keep it straight. We West Coasters NEVER haul our boats in the winter (YUP, the rudder stays wet forever) because it's too bloody expensive.
    Last edited by ebb; 07-20-2007 at 05:29 PM.

  5. #245
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Havre de Grace, MD
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    207
    Can we revisit the rudder/neutral byoancy thought for a bit? But I want to throw a twist in the mix. In that post it's said that if the rudder is boyant then it'll tend to float when healed over, and addeing weather helm.

    If a rudder (mahogany) is left uncovered and took on water I imagine that it comes close to neutral (right?) if its covered like #97 and a few others it is less likely to take on that water making it forever boyant (right?)

    Here's the question: Those ariels out there that "sail them selves" are your rudders covered or not? And those out there with hard handed weather helm are yours covered? #97 falls into the latter catagory.
    #97 "Absum!"

  6. #246
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Narragansett Bay, R.I.
    Posts
    597
    If we are taking a poll on glassed / non-glassed rudders..

    A-231's rudder is 'glassed. I set the amount of lee or weather helm i want with the sail trim (mainsheet traveler and jib). Just for amusement of visitors, Alyce and I occasionally steer the boat with sail trim alone.

    even though my rudder is 'glassed it will not float. one layer of 24oz mat and 6oz cloth each side more than make up for a dry rudder.

    ps... the new production Ensign class boats (our little sisters) are using a foam and fiberglass now instead of the wood original. A friend of mine refit one of those new rudders to her 40yr old ensign. the boat is faster and the rudder is tough as nails.
    Last edited by bill@ariel231; 07-21-2007 at 07:26 AM.

  7. #247
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
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    3,543

    wet rudders

    For what it's worth, my opinion.
    It is my understanding that the fudge yacht designers use for figuring "neutral buoyancy" for a rudder does not include the shaft.
    It's obvious then that if the rudder blade on an Ariel or Commander were AIR,
    the rudder would still not float.

    Only wood rudders on dinghys float.

    It would be interesting to find out who makes the Ensign rudder. Foss Foam rudders of Stainless steel and urethane foam are accidents waiting to happen. Neither one of these materials are meant to stay any time under water. My opinion is that even when brand new, the way the foam rudders I've seen are constructed, a shock from a rock, grounding, or a bang from anything will loosen the construction and render the blade useless. There is no way to keep water out of a urethane foam rudder - when it gets in you got trouble. And you will have to buy a whole new rudder because the stainless steel inside will be rusting.

    Here's some thoughts on wood used for rudders such as ours.
    The first thing to observe is that the bronze and wood (mahogany) rudders have been hanging around, in and out of the water for decades. Since day one for some.

    When wood gets wet the fiberous cell walls get soaked first, then the cell cavities, that is saturation. Some woods sink in water when soaked, some don't. It is my personal opinion that wood will always remain wood and not revert to lead - in terms of weight. At what percentage of water in wood a rudder looses its 'neutral buoyancy' I don't know. A rudder blade made from mahogany or teak will be lighter than one made from white oak. In an A/C rudder I don't think it's a hell of a lot of difference given its size and skinnyness.

    When drying out, the wood rudder will loose its cell cavity water first. There won't be any shrinking until the cell walls start loosing water. Shrinking will start in earnest when the wet wood in the rudder has lost about 2/3s of its weight. Nobody around the yard remmbers ever seeing saturated wood - unless it was rotten. I wonder if healthy wood can ever get to a saturated state?

    The problem with seasonal drying and soaking is that the cell walls will get distorted and will not entirely return to dimension. Air dried lumber is always prefered by craftsmen for boats because the wood has not been case hardened and distorted by oven drying.

    Water will always get into wood under water. Even encapsulated wood will be wet - tho, like the plastic rudder above, it is a matter of methodology and materials. Good close grain, old growth, air dry, quartersawn lumber will make a stronger longer lasting rudder. I've never heard that water logged wood looses any strength compared to dry.

    Salt is hydroscopic. A rudder drying out from salt water will have salt crystals inside. There will always be moisture in a salt water rudder. BUT if it gets below 30% it'll shrink.

    Epoxy is synthetic (wood) resin. I think it is a 'natural' wood preservative.
    Any new rudder should be soaked in the stuff. I would soak the predrilled individual planks of a rudder in thinned epoxy befor assembly. It won't ecapsulate but will slow the effects of oxidation and time. Repeated drying and soaking a wood rudder accelerates the aging process. A mistreated rudder made with airdry will last longer. Mike Goodwin told me that.*
    All IMCO
    __________________________________________________ _________________________________________
    *no, he didn't. Where the hell is Mike when you need him.....?
    Last edited by ebb; 07-21-2007 at 04:07 PM.

  8. #248
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Scarborough, Maine
    Posts
    1,432
    Quote Originally Posted by tha3rdman View Post
    Here's the question: Those ariels out there that "sail them selves" are your rudders covered or not?
    A-414's rudder was 'glassed'. It's been delaminating since I've owned it and the glass is peeling off in big slabs. But - she sails like a dream with full genny (150) and main in 5-15 mph winds. When it pipes up and I switch to the smaller head sail (100), I get a LOT of weather helm because I have yet to reef the main...

    Quote Originally Posted by bill@ariel231 View Post
    I set the amount of lee or weather helm i want with the sail trim (mainsheet traveler and jib). Just for amusement of visitors, Alyce and I occasionally steer the boat with sail trim alone.
    Hey Bill, I want sailing / rigging lessons!
    Mike
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  9. #249
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    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
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    Never Glass A Plank Rudder

  10. #250
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    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
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    Arrow Quick fix

    If the rudder is more or less holding together or if you have all blade parts,
    BETTER THAN GLASSING would be to thrubolt strips of some fairly stiff material to patch it together. Rudder can be wet.

    Metal strips are criminally expensive these days, but since the fix is to keep the boat sailing, almost anything would do. If you have a salvage place nearby you're in luck.

    Sheet plastic would do: 1/4"-3/8" polypropylene or polyethylene. Polycarbonate, maybe acrylic. Fair the fronts at the rudder post if you have time.
    Or if you have the material, make strips up of matt and epoxy.
    You won't get any rubber or adhesive to stick to a wet, bottom-painted rudder.
    Well sealed marine ply strips might be a temporary fix if soaked in epoxy to help keep it from delaminating.

    I would arrange the strips on the rudder parallel to the waterline. Tilted UP about 35degrees from the rudder post. I would thru bolt the strips to each other because you can't trust the wood of a tired rudder.

    A damaged traditional rudder may have issues with the plank bolts at the ruddershaft.

    The only wood you can successfully cover with glass for underwater is plywood. Even then you are asking for trouble. You'd have to build the rudder with the best marine ply you can afford (marine meranti BS1088) and you would have to use epoxy. Vinylester maybe.
    IMCO
    Last edited by ebb; 07-22-2007 at 08:00 AM.

  11. #251
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Narragansett Bay, R.I.
    Posts
    597
    "Never Glass A Plank Rudder - ebb" ... hmm.. maybe i'm lucky. A-231's is still going strong after 10 years. This wasn't necessarily my first choice but it appeared to be the best plan forward after the previous owners bungled repairs. for me the trick was (1) a very dry rudder core, (2) use of epoxy (vice polyester) with mat and cloth, (3) I sealed the bronze/fiberglass joint with '5200. no sign of delamination or water entry (i checked with a drill this year).

    If A-231's rudder had been in one piece when I got it, I agree paint alone would have been the right answer.

    as for sail trim.. once the rig is balanced with larger or small head sails and a a reef in the main as needed. try this when there is lots of room, light seas, don't try this in traffic...

    to fall off.. (1) over sheet the jib, (2) slack the main (in really light air, backwind the main on the leeward side), (3) re-trim the sails on the new heading.

    to come up... (1) slack the jib, (2) over sheet the main (in light air, pull the boom above the centerline and backwind the main), (3) re-trim to the new heading.

    These sound like parlor tricks but in really light air my friends and I have used them on the race course to round the leeward mark in really light air ('cause the rudder alone will slow us down)....


    cheers,
    bill@ariel231

  12. #252
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Havre de Grace, MD
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    207
    I've emntioned this before as far as sail trim, and 97's weather helm even with the main slacked luffing (and everthing in between) with the 160 there is always weather helm. I've used the sails to steer before but only short short distances since she'll never fall off. Even with just the genny, she still tends to come up.

    Anti Highjack mauver - Which is why I was wondering about the rudder tending to float.
    #97 "Absum!"

  13. #253
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,543

    plank rudder encapsulation.

    bill,
    you are one in a hundred,
    I believe the odds even greater,
    of anybody else making a good job of it.

    It is definitely the method and the materials.
    If the subject comes up again - or if you have the time,
    a short treatise on the subject would be appreaciated by 100s
    if not thousands of avid rudder sheathers to be.

    If you were successful, please tell us how you did it.
    I would not recommend it to the unanointed.
    Last edited by ebb; 07-25-2007 at 05:42 AM.

  14. #254
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Narragansett Bay, R.I.
    Posts
    597
    Ebb

    will do when i get a moment...

    Bill

  15. #255
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    230

    Temporary rudder repair...

    Here is a link to the repair that I did to my rudder for those trolling this thread in the future.

    http://pearsonariel.org/discussion/s...&postcount=167

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