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Procedure for rudder dropping

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:45 pm
by chicagocat
Hey y'all. I'm going to drop the rudders when I haul next week, so I can inspect the bearings and fiberglass.

I have managed to loosen and re-tighten the 4 bolts on each side that hold the quadrant parts to the rudder. That wasn't too bad, since the boat has only seen fresh water.

Simon Slater mentioned that there is a "safety bolt" that goes through the quadrant parts, to keep the rudder from falling in the water if all else fails.
That bolt is narrower and dead center between the 4 bolts that hold the quadrant on the rudder. It's head is covered with what seems like 4200. I used a razor blade and cut away the 4200 and it's a Phillips head which I can get to turn on the port side (starboard side is too tight). When I turn the Phillips head nothing happens.

This is not completely surprising, since Simon said that the bolt goes through a larger diameter hold in the rudder and doesn't thread on anything. It's really just acting as a pin.

So next week, I intend to get the boat on the crane. Then while it's in the slings, loosen the 4 bolts on each side. Hopefully I can then push the "pin" (which is really a bolt) out and drop the rudders from the crane (with help from below).

Does that make sense?


Re: Procedure for rudder dropping

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:09 am
by SecondWind
You pretty much have the procedure. If you cannot unscrew the safety bolt you may have to cut it with a grinder and tap it out.

Re: Procedure for rudder dropping

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:47 pm
by chicagocat
OK, everyone. I hauled the boat and dropped both rudders while the boat was in the crane sling...

Here's the procedure and a couple pics:
1. There should be a bolt (and nut) through the rudder near the very top of the post (maybe 2 inches down from the top ) for the emergency tiller.
Temporarily remove this bolt. Then drop a dock line eye loop down into the hollow rudder post. Now put the bolt back in and attach the nut. This creates a safety line so you don't drop the rudder into the water or on the ground. Cleat off this line, so that when everything else is detached, the line will hold the rudder from falling.
2. Loosen the 4 bolts which hold the steering to the rudder on each side. These 4 Bolts are what ordinarily hold up the rudder. These may be very difficult, especially if you're in salt water. Anne Z. has always been in fresh water, and these weren't too difficult. But be prepared to use the usual methods (alternating heat and ice, etc.).
3. There is a center bolt with a Phillips head dead center between the 4 bolts. This is held in place by 5200 and does NOT have to be removed. It only goes halfway through the rudder post and simply acts as a pin that's a safety mechanism to keep the rudder from falling if all else fails. The port and starboard semicircular pieces are slightly different, but function in the same way. See pictures.
4. Once the 4 bolts are off, slowly remove the half circle shaped aluminum piece using a flathead screwdriver or chisel to push it away from the rudder. Again, see pics.
5. Now the rudder is only being held up by the safety line created in step 1. Have the crane lift the boat out of the water. Lower boat until the bottom is about 6 feet off the ground. One guy gets a ladder and gets on the boat, 2 guys below to hold up the rudder. Push the rudder up a couple inches, so the guy on top can remove the bolt that holds the safety line. Then the weight if the rudder (maybe 40 pounds) is held by the guys below, who slowly let it drop to the ground. Repeat for other side.

Put boat on stands and enjoy cold beer.