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Thread: rudder discussions

  1. #271
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    It's much worse than it looks in these pictures (good from far far from good!). The wood has eroded away along all the margins and yes it is loose on the shaft. The wood has a mossy texture and you can peel strips off with no effort at all. I have been reading about rudders and am trying to decide what to do?

    1) replace with new (would have to be a dyi job)

    2) encapsulate in glass as per Bill

    If the wood that would make up the "core" of the glassed rudder is punky would this mean that this option is unwise to follow?

    I don't worry about doing stuff I know but have not really built a rudder before.


    Andrew

  2. #272
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    San Rafael, CA
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    Andrew,
    There's probably enough material in these forums for you to find out everything about each style of rudder.

    The wood plank style you have on your boat is classic wood working. You could take that rudder apart and rebuild using it as pattern. It depends on what you find whether you go ahead with a wood plank rudder or a wood core, or a plywood, or an all plastic composite.

    You have to find out how the bronze shaft is doing. Depending on the rod alloy you may or may not have corrosion inside the rudder tube - at the connection points of rudder shaft and the long plank bolts - and the end of the shaft at the shoe.. If this is all good, why not go with the traditional rudder?
    You have to have some basic wood skills imco. And basic tools. This rudder uses NO glue. The pieces are finely fitted together. Which adds to its overall strength. You have a couple relatively long holes to drill sideways through the width of the plank, The plank at the bronze shaft(s) have to be coved along the edge. And you have to shape and curve the mahogany.
    However, when you mount your own made rudder nothing else on the boat will faze you!
    And I think putting a mahogany plank rudder together will give the most satisfaction of all the methods. Wood smells good, bronze works good and there's no sticky goop.
    AND it'll last another 40 years - under water!!!

    I would research these pages and look for the how-I-did-it accounts that have photos, or at least good descriptions.
    And some owners here have email access, and may be willing to go brow-to-brow on the specifics of their mahogany plank rudders.


    ON_LINE MANUAL* addition:
    I know it's too much to ask. A step by step pictorial tutorial on how to rebuild the original rudder would be a great addition to this Forum. Could be posted in the Gallery pages. It is the only evidence of oldtime high-end wood craftsmanship on our snotty Ariel/Commanders.





    If you are going with a glass over woodcore blade, the core has to be sound and well connected to the shaft. If it is wobbley you can NOT end up with a strong rudder.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________
    *Nope, doesn't exist.
    Last edited by ebb; 03-07-2008 at 01:24 PM.

  3. #273
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    Still thinking about rudders.......

    What is the advantage of having the drift pins end up in cut-outs in the middle of the second plank (like Tim built) vs having them go all the way through both planks and be secured externally (like c'pete's barndoor)?

    Maybe this is obvious but I'm not a carpenter.

  4. #274
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    Andrew,
    Tim's photos on page 13 of this thread is a good how-to.
    If you planned the curvature of the rudder, some of those bolts would not necessarily line up like that and might be longer.
    I might have wanted a few longer ones going further into the outer plank. Length of bolt depends on the outline of the rudder.
    Lining bolts up like that could conceivably create a 'zipper' effect.
    If the rudder wanted to crack, it might chose the easiest way, which might be right up that line of nut holes.
    [These 'bolts', of course, are cut to length silicone rod with custom threaded ends.]

    What this method does is allow you to have no fastenings in the outer edge of the blade. It would allow some judicious blade tapering, which is a good thing. While the barn door style, where the bolts (and washers and nuts) go clear through, you can hardly round the trailing edge at all. But it ain't coming apart, or if it does, it'll still hang together.

    I don't think one is better than the other. Probably have heated arguments with cold beers.

    A rudder with a prop cutout like yours the situation is more complicated. Here the plan may call for actual drift pins which are blind pins you make to length that are put in matching holes in opposing planks that hold the joint in line.
    The two planks with their different fasteners, bolts and pins would be drawn together with pipe clamps or the like. The drift pins would disappear completely. After drawn together the rudder is cut to shape.
    When the rudder swells in the water the pins will also be holding the planks together even though there are no heads or nuts on the ends. Pins like this could be placed where no bolt could go or between widely placed bolts.

    Tim screwed his long bolts into the shaft/rod in tapped holes. I would supposed the holes did not go through the the rod but were bottom tapped in about 1/2" deep. Where the shape of the rudder makes radical angles of plank, a drift pin could also be screwed into the shaft and enter blind into an appropriate hole in the wood - still doing a job of positioning and holding - but not clamping.
    Makes for a strong rudder shaft - and well attached blade.

    With the prop cutout rudder we have to carefully plan exactly where the fastenings go. That is why careful deconstruction of your present rudder will tell the tail. Guys who made those rudders in the 60s were pros and never missed a lick. I would essentially copy what they did. in remaking THAT rudder. Evidently all Ariel and Commander rudders were built to the same pattern, whether OB or inboard. So original rudders all have the two part bent shaft.

    That said, there are probably a hundred other ways to make a rudder. Most of them almost as good.
    Last edited by ebb; 03-07-2008 at 05:02 PM.

  5. #275
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    Thanks ebb! Your advice, as usual, is spot on. Going to the boat this weekend to start in on renos. My dilemma is every day she is out increases the overall cost of the haulout ($25/day for time on the hard adds up fast!). After much thought I have decided to focus on the hull so I can get her back in the water ASAP. Once she is back in I can order the materials and do the rudder rebuild rather than being hurried along worried about boat yard costs. The rudder will have to be fixed before she sails again for sure. I figure I'll just do an install like Tim M using the carriage bolts to attach the gungy gungeon. This I'm sure I can do using scuba (I'm a forgetting something???). With a brand new rudder in hand the install should be easy esp if I do all the prep beforehand. I figure I'll hang the old one on the wall in the dining room as a conversation piece. Hell it's almost as old as I am!

    I'm sure I'll have more questions come Monday........

    PS Discussions (I don't get into heated arguements!) over cold beers in a pub near your boat yard sounds very appealling. Although I must admit I would prefer a nice Meritage!

  6. #276
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    .....days become weeks, weeks become months, months turn into years......

    That rudder don't LOOK all that bad.
    What you do to the hull to get back into the water,
    do the same to the rudder. Scraping, sanding, bottom paint.
    It'll be fine. Until next time....

    How are things at the bottom of the rudder. How is the rudder shoe?
    Use a flashlight and try to look into the rudder tube where the shaft enters.
    You are looking for news here. Scrape a little. Knock that paint off the gudgeon just to see what's there. Check where the strap goes round the shaft. Give the rudder a shake. A pleasant fix is a new sleeve bearing, amazing what a tight rudder feels like under the skipper's arm.

    Don't recall the beer, I'll see if it's at the market right now, CHEERS!
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

    [My favorite these days is an 8% ale called Eye of the Hawk, Mendocino Brewing, CA. Best balance of hops and sugar of any micro in this area. No taste of alcohol, pours a nice controlled head - world class brew that comes in 12oz bottles, which I consider a big plus.]
    Imco, as always.
    Last edited by ebb; 03-08-2008 at 08:43 AM.

  7. #277
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    Ebb,

    Where can I purchase the manganese bronze strap that I am going to need for the new gungeon. I checked online metals but they don't seem to carry the strap just rod?


    Many thanks,

    Andrew

  8. #278
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    Dec 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    When I was replacing my rudder strap because the original one was spent, I too had trouble finding a source for what I needed. A prominent member of this board came to my rescue and through an act of kindness, sent me what I needed at no cost. I am very willing to return the favor with the stock I have left over. The width is 7/8" at one end and 1" at the other as I had trouble cutting it even, but I think that should be enough to work for you. If you are interested, feel free to PM or e-mail your address and I'll ship it to you.






  9. #279
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    Never asked you Tim how you managed using that 1/8" 655.

    I'll bet the original Ariel straps are pure soft copper, otherwise once you thread the bar through the rudder and attempt to bend it onto the keel, how would you do it?
    Probably have bent the bar into a smaller angle than 90degrees.
    Still, how did you get that hardass bronze bent the rest of the way?
    Did you anneal it first?
    Seems to me there would be no way to get it flat enough to drill the holes.

    You may have predrilled the holes on one side, but how could you be sure where the holes would come out on the other?
    If you had a wall nearby you could jack the strap closed with a two-by.
    And then hold it tight the same way with narrow bar - to finish that important drilling.

    What was the trick?


    Salvage and scrap yards used to be a place to spend Saturday mornings. 'Course you're never sure what bronze was brass and what stainless was really stainless. And copper bar is probably a junk yard's cash flow these days. Junk yards were fun.
    If you can explain to Andrew and me how you did it, I'll talk to the prominent bloody know-it-all about digging up another piece of strap.

  10. #280
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebb View Post
    how did you get that hardass bronze bent the rest of the way?...What was the trick?
    I bent the bar enough so that it could be threaded through the opening behind the shaft. Once in place I was able to get the bolt through one end and then fanagle the other in so that a little bit of thread was showing. I then screwed on the nut and that clamped it. What made the job really obnoxious was the copious amount of 5200 dripping all over me while doing this. On land was the easy part, when I took that strap off underwater I had a hell of a time getting it back on.

    Here is the post that showed the strap once I was done.
    http://www.pearsonariel.org/discussi...&postcount=132

  11. #281
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    Proposal for a simple take apart rudder gudgeon

    Tim, Nice work!!!
    The strap is bent perfectly. I still don't know how you did it.

    I had a couple fanagles. One of them was at least six feet long. Coming across Country one March in my pickup some SOB in Ohio stole them both.


    Have an idea that would make life easier to get the rudder shaft free from the grudgeon.
    OK, take that 1/8" stuff, or better something thicker like 3/16" or 1/4" 655, and bend that perfect 'U' loop Tim has there. Then, right in the center of the loop, cut it in half. Cut it in half into equal 'J' pieces.

    With the rudder in place, position and mount one J piece. It's OK here to use fully threaded carriage bolts. Where the bolts come through the KEEL make holes in the fiberglass for a washer and nut (the keel SHOULD be solid in this area) so that when the bolts are cinched the nuts end up FLUSH with the keel surface with the bolt ends sticking out. If you are using 1/4" bolts the hole including a split washer won't need to be more than 1/2" deep.

    Then take the other half gudgeon slip it on the bolts and cinch it up with more nuts. You have clamped the midway rudder shaft in place.

    To remove the rudder unscrew the nuts, take off the 'J' half gudgeon and (after preparing the shaft in the cockpit) move the shaft UP and sideways out of the shoe.

    You do have a slit down the middle of the gudgeon.
    My thinking on this is that the fitting itself does little work, It's there as a keeper. Most rudders are able to rise a little when lifted from below. The purpose of the gudgeon is to make sure the rudder drops back down into the recess in the shoe. The six feet of rudder shaft is held at the top with the sleeve-bearing and at the bottom where 3/4" of it is buried in the shoe. The rudder blade keeps the shaft straight - SO it could be said that the gudgeon is essentially a backup. An essential backup.
    But you see what I"m getting at: there is little action by the rudder that could bend the split gudgeon apart.

    And if the 'J's did get bent a little, bang them back in place. It's impossible to see how they could get bent.

    [YES, well, it could happen that you go aground, the rudder is jambed up against the hull no longer in the shoe. Then some sideways action with the weight of the boat bends the rudder where it enters the tube. OK, there's is an argument for a full strap. Therefor 1/4" bronze for extra beef in a split version]
    There are probably some fancy hydrodynamic fastener options. But this should work good enough. With carriage bolts, you always will have a clue which side the nuts are on. I would put all nuts on with nevah-seize and try sculpting small mounds of putty or rubber on the exposed nuts for protection.

    It's not unreasonable to make our rudder removable, correct?
    You boats with plank rudder blades in the North East who winter on the hard could remove and keep them plumped up and happy until spring in a cozy salt water tub. No shrinkage, hey what!

    There you go,
    is it not a simple method to take the rudder off without removing the gudgeon?
    This is only an idea at this point
    and imco as always.

    Thing about working under water is that nobody can hear you cussing
    And it WAS you Tim, wasn't it, who invented the in water method of rudder removal....? Did you use the boom?
    This is a real option that avoids the expense of yard hoisting the boat.
    It's also a viable cruiser option, a way of getting a damaged rudder off a floating boat.
    Last edited by ebb; 03-10-2008 at 12:03 AM.

  12. #282
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    Ebb,
    You got yerself a deal. I'll PM you details!

    ANdrew

  13. #283
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    Andrew, I'm the one with the extra bronze stock. PM me!

  14. #284
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    Jan 2007
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    Of course you are. Just got back from my first reno weekend (see new thread) and I'm a bit out of it! Sorry about that!


    And thanks for your great offer!

    Andrew

  15. #285
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    Rudder saga continues.

    Worked on the rudder this weekend. Decided to remove it from the boat. Easier said than done. Had to dig the old slit trench w/o a shovel. Used my trustly wonder bar (gotta love that tool!). Cleaned up the rudder and reshaped it after the digging project. Removed alot of old bad wood. Some epiphytic damage on the lower margin. Overall came out loking pretty good. I believe it still needs replacement but will suffice for the next month or so. Thanks to Tim for the replacement metal for my grundy grundeon!

    Shoe looks good as far as I can tell.

    Tighened up all the screws/bolts and the rudder feels better. Repreened the heads as they were out of sorts after the adjustment. Shaft is very red (and blurry!) in parts.......replacement looming.

    Also followed Tim's example and added some thickened to the exit point of the rudder tube. Will sand it down when I do the hull. Sorry about the crappy picture. I just can't see that damn camera screen in the sunshine!

    Andrew
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