Rudder Replacement

When I pulled Happy Ours to do the repower project, I found the original rudder to be in sad condition. The rudder had become detached from tholdrudder2.jpg (47684 bytes)e rudder oldrudder1.jpg (34352 bytes) post and had dropped a few inches on the
rudder post. The first two photos show how much the rudder had dropped on the post and the normal location of the rudder. A larger version of the photos can be seen by clicking on the pic.

I clearly could have opened up the rudder and rebuilt it, but did not want to invest the time to do so considering the repower project I was facing. I made the decision to send my rudder post to Port Gardner Marine and have Gene Adams build me a new rudder on my post. Using my rudder post saved $150 and my rudder post was drilled for the radial drive wheel of my pedestal steering system.

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The photos above and right show my destruction of the rudder and the oldrudder5.jpg (24100 bytes)shipping crate I built to ship the rudder stock to Port Gardner Marine. Unfortunately, Port Gardner's packaging of the new rudder was not as robust as my packing crate.

As you can see in this next photo, it arrived with damage. It was packaged in cardboard only and you can see damage to the cardboard at the same location as the rudder damage. It clearly got dropped. The top of the rudder had separated from

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the sides starting at the leading edge and extending back almost to the rudder post. Gene Adams of Port Gardner stated that he had never experienced shipping damage before and he passed on to me a small adjustment made by the shipping company. I did an epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth repair to the rudder and moved on.


The next surprnewrudder2.jpg (34344 bytes)ise came when I attempted to install the rudder. Wnewrudder3.jpg (31636 bytes)hen I slid the rudder post up through the rudder tube, the rudder top interfered with the hull. As shown in the left photo, the rudder only lacked about 1/4 inch going into position, but this prohibited installation of the tiller hardware on the top of the rudder post. I had to pull the rudder and modify it as shown in the right photo. After grinding as shown in the photo, I reglassed this area to seal it and then repainted.

The surprises weren't over. When I reinstalled the rudder, I was unable to reassemble the newrudder4.jpg (12036 bytes)hardware on the top of the rudder post as originally configured. This last photo shows the final assembly. What you can't see is that I had to leave out a one inch thick spacer that was originally positioned between the cockpit sole and the hardware shown. The rudder fit perfectly with the one inch spacer removed. I discussed this with Gene Adams at Port Gardner Marine, but he had no explanation on how this could happen. Gene said that he used the original factory jig to position the rudder post relative to the rudder. But my new rudder definitely had the rudder post buried exactly one inch deeper in the rudder than my original rudder. I think there was an undocumented design change as some point of the production run.

The last glitch was related to the previous issue. The drilled hole in my rudder stock that pinned the radial drive wheel of my pedestal steering system was exactly one inch too low. I had to redrill the rudder stock to relocate the radial drive wheel properly.

All of these bumps and glitches were relatively easy to overcome and the new rudder is properly installed and works well. For additional details please email me (use link in upper left corner).