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Thread: rudder discussions

  1. #31
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    Sep 2001
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    Orinda, California
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    Scott, the tiller head fitting can be difficult to remove. Forcing the tangs apart and using a hammer from below worked for me. The gudgeon is strong enough to take the abuse. [When all else fails, get a bigger hammer ]

    With the tiller head fitting removed, removing the gudgeon and then lifting the shaft out of the shoe is how you remove the rudder assembly from the boat. The R&R description in the manual it not very detailed because the process is simple and straight forward.

    There is a bit of "slack" in the shaft that results from the less than precision fitting of the gudgeon and shaft. Usually, it's the size of the notch in the rudder board around the area where the gudgeon and shaft meet that accounts for the upward movement. Not a problem since the tiller head fitting holds things in place.

    It would be my opionion that your sailing difficulties had to do with sail trim and rig tune.

  2. #32
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    Even if you had NO bearing under the tillerhead you could still steer - because the rudder is captured by the rudder tube. It would make you very unhappy.

    A new top bearing is a topic you can find on the history channel HERE I hope. Mike used a piece of cutlass bearing with success. 338 will have machined delrin in a copy of the original black micarta (because the r. tube is crooked requireing the short bearing.) If I remember there was no concensus on what actually to do for a spec replacement.

    If you have a normal shoe, there is a 3/4" diameter hole 3/4" deep in the heel. Your 1" shaft is turned at the bottom to fit. It actually rides on that bit of a flange on the shoe. If you raise the rudder an actual inch you have cleared the hole and only the copper strap is containing the rudder shaft.

    It's probably too bloody esoteric but I think there should be a bearing in the form of a washer between the ruddershaft flange and the bearing surface of the shoe. Any ideas? (deathly silence)

    Make sure you do separate what the bolt has squeezed together. It's all a single casting that part. You may want to use a chisel the width of the metal to force it open. More surface to evenly open the split than a screwdriver blade. The bronze is a bit soft. And only you know how long it's been on there.
    Last edited by ebb; 09-06-2002 at 12:26 PM.

  3. #33
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    Sep 2001
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    Hampton Roads Va.
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    I was out single handing yesterday 8 hrs ( celebrating no chemo needed )in a fair breeze , full main and working jib ( should have had 1st reef in main ) , I was able to balance out the boat and walk to the foredeck to clear a sheet , my cutlass bearing adaption works just fine . Was able to steer with my butt when tacking so both hands were free to handle the sheets .
    I was rail down and tiller was centered in the cockpit , main traveler was eased all the way down .
    I agree with Bill , I think your rig is out or you were overtrimmed .

  4. #34
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    Sep 2001
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    Santa Cruz
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    Scott,
    I want to offer a couple of thoughts just to make sure the trip to the yard is safe for you. First I agree with everything being said already. The one point that I did not hear from you or your diver is if there even is a gudgeon/ copper strap. Ebb is right on, if you can raise the shaft one inch there is something wrong. If the shaft lifts that much and the head does come off the next thing to happen is the rudder could end up in the mud.

    The second point I might offer is if you had to pull as hard as you say you did and there was no response to the helm other than heavy pressure you might have smoothed off the key in the tiller head. This might be some of the problem in getting the head off. On Pathfinder the key way is hard metal but the key is very soft brass. I have not seen this potential key problem occur but I could see a way it could happen.

    My last point/tip is from some years ago. I recall the first time I attempt to remove the tiller head it was a bear to get off. After doing all the spreading and tapping I ended up using blocks and pry bars while someone else tapped. It took some time and switching back and forth but it finally did pop. As a added note I often add a little brass shim paper to the key now that helps take up some of the sloop in the key way......ed

  5. #35
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    Sep 2001
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    Santa Cruz, California
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    Thanks for all the responses.

    My diver returned on Friday morning and did full bottom cleaning for me. I lifted the rudder, and although it does lift one full inch, the diver advised me that the bottom of the post remains in the shoe. The diver reaffirmed that my rudder shaft is one part from hull to shoe, and therfore is other than original. He feels that the rudder and shaft is sound. My bottom paint is even in good condition. Therefore I must conclude that the rudder shaft that I have is slightly different than "as built" designs on other Ariels. Since significant changes were also mae in the rigging, I assume that someone devoted some time and money to upgrading this boat at some time in the past.

    I retensioned my stays and took the boat out on Friday afternoon in about 20 knots of wind and a building swell. We sailed with the rail down for about two and a half very wet hours on all points of sail, and had absolutely no trouble steering. This time, we kept the main centered on the traveler the whole day. I had a very experienced friend aboard, and we both concluded that the boat sails well, and that the rudder works as intended. Also, with a clean bottom, Augustine sails wonderfully.

    So the suggestions on tuning and mainsail trim seem to have been good ones. My original impressions of lack of rudder control were gathered on the mainden voyage, with a basically untuned rig, poorly trimmed sails and with the understanding from the prior owner that the rudder has some structural problems.

    Since my diver has now inspected the rudder, and I tested the rudder at the dock with the diver and under sea conditions and the rudder seems to be to be sound, I feel that I can proceed to sail away to haulout. I will probably dive down there and take a look at it myself before I sail off to haulout just to make sure that there is a gudgeon based on the last comments from Ed.

    Thanks again for all the advice on how to get this pesky tiller head fitting off the shaft. By the way, Augustine is looking good and reflecting the hard above waterline work of the past year. I hope to add some photos to my Ariel web site soon.
    Scott

  6. #36
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    Sep 2001
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    Question

    OK, so forget what I said.

    Thanks to all the advice from this site, and plastic hammer, and a mess of anti-corrosion stuff, I was able to get my the tiller head fitting off today...and surprise: I discoverd that the reason the tiller head fitting had been so pesky to remove was that a cylinder made from an aluminum Pepsi can had been used as a shim so that the "jaws" on the tiller head fitting would not clamp shut before the tiller head fitting was clamped tightly to the bronze shaft.

    So, we have a chromed-bronze tiller head fitting secured with stainless steel bolts and an aluminum shim to a bronze rudder shaft.

    Has anyone encountered this before?

    By the way; there is still play in my upper rudder, but the Delrin bearing (white plastic bushing) and its O rings look as if they are nearly new.
    Scott

  7. #37
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    Sep 2001
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    Hampton Roads Va.
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    To get rid of the upper play , my cutlass bearing fix took out 100% of mine . There is a bearing that fits perfectly and is easy to install .

  8. #38
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    San Rafael, CA
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    Wouldn't mind seeing what this white plastic and O-ring bearing looks like. IMCO the top of the rudder tube is too funky for hi-tech. The lop-sided micarta bearing on 338 was there 35 year. The chrome top held it on with set screws in the frp! Not vey well.

    Aren't O-rings for compression aaapplications? They wouldn't be worth a damn in the turning of the shaft against a stationary bearing surface. Course if you had a zertz fitting on the tube you give it a shot of grease every Sunday. Might work.

    Go cutlass. Or have the original remade. Ref the Mighty Manual.

  9. #39
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    The white plastic piece with the O rings looks exactly like the one in the technical drawing in the appendix of the Ariel Association Maintenance Manual. I have two of them. One is in use at the top of the rudder tube. It fits very snuggly over the bronze shaft inside the rudder tube, and the outside diameter of the top rim (flange) of the "bearing" is the same as that of the outside diameter of the rudder tube.

    That "bearing" has been on the boat for some time apparently, but there is very little if any wear. The second "bearing" that I have is a nearly identical spare. The only diffeence is that the O rings on the spare bearing seem to be a little smaller in width, but of the same diameter as the bearing in active service.

    I am still interested to know if if I am the only person out there with a Pepsi can wrapped around his rudder shaft inside of the tiller head fitting.

    It seems that one could use a plastic shim instead of the Pepsi can, or even better file a small amount of bronze from the inside of the jaws of the tiller head fitting to permit the fitting to formly grasp the shaft without fully closing its jaws.
    Scott

  10. #40
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    IMHO, you are the winner of the Pepsi can contest

  11. #41
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    Sep 2001
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    Yes Bill, I probably am the winner of the Ariel Pepsicola Classic, however the aluminum shim in my tiller head fitting does raise a question:

    Are shims commonly used in the Ariel tiller head fitting to insure a tight fit of the fitting onto the rudder shaft, or is this just not a problem on other boats. Pehaps my shaft, which is probably a replacement of the original, is slightly smaller than standard. The shaft, keyway and key appear to be in fine condition.

    Is it best to replace the aluminum shim with a plastic shim? I am currently considering using the thin plastic sheet from a "No Hunting" sign.

    Or would it be better to file off some of the the non threaded side of the tiller head fitting jaws so that the tiller head fitting will clamp tightly onto the shaft.

    This is not a bearing problem, nor is it related to play in the tiller head. This issue relates solely to the fact that on my boat, without a shim, the tiller head fitting jaws will close totally before the fitting is tightly clamped onto the shaft, and therefore the prior owner used an aluminum shim made from a Pespi can to solve the problem. In short has anyone else out there shimmed the top of their shaft, or is my boat unique?
    Scott

  12. #42
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    Sounds as though the relacement shaft is undersized making it necessary to shim it to hold the tiller head fitting. To the best of my knowledge, yours is the only boat to have this situation. Have you measured the shaft diameter?

  13. #43
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    Wouldn't be surprised if you took it to a machinist or you could do it yourself: hacksaw into the closed parts to make a little space to be squeezed. You'll probably just be cleaning out the crud in the crack anyway.

    ......well, well well. Just looked closely at 338s tiller head, and it does have a liner or shim around the inside of the hole. It could be brass. But I intend on using it again so I will make an effort to find bronze sheet. Might be hard to find. Ihe crack on it has had some bangs which makes it impossible to be drawn closed!

    Edson makes a similar smaller/lighter tiller fitting for 1" shaft for around $100. The crack in it is 3/32". What makes this fitting interesting is that it has tangs for attaching to the tiller rather than the channel (on 338s) that limits the attachment to the top 1" of the tiller wood. It's a better design but not near as hefty. IMCO

    [be advised that the keyway in the Edson is on the front of the shaft - the cockpit side]
    Last edited by ebb; 09-13-2002 at 06:16 PM.

  14. #44
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    Interesting. Maybe Pearson started using slightly thinner stock for the rudder shafts in the higher boat numbers. When I replaced the tiller head fitting on #76 (in the early '80's), there was no need to shim up the hole to get a grip on the rudder stock.

  15. #45
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    shim sham

    see below
    Last edited by ebb; 09-13-2002 at 04:12 PM.

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