Looking for some insight re the urgency of repair for a cracked rudder collar.
The rudder was last serviced and the bearing inspected in the '16 - '17 off-season. This was done at an excellent shop (IMC in Bristol, RI), and all was well. When the boat was hauled this past fall, though, I noticed that fore and aft sections of the rudder collar had broken away (pics). The rudder had functioned well all season, including during a trip to Bermuda and back. No leakage, no play.
For me boat maintenance is a solitary affair, and I know that dropping the rudder is a 2-man job. Unfortunately I don't feel I can trust the boat yard where I am now to take care of this. In mid-season 2020 I was hoping to sail to a better yard up the bay (in Marion, MA) and have them fix it. What I don't know is just how safe this plan would be - I'd like to avoid a nasty failure!
Appreciate any advice -
Rocinante, J/109 #146
- starboard view showing aft gap
- rudder bearing stbd.jpg (659.45 KiB) Viewed 1058 times
- port view showing forward gap
- rudder bearing port.jpg (705.81 KiB) Viewed 1058 times
Very awkward to discover something like this after hauling at a yard not prepared to deal with it!
The collar doesn't have any structural purpose as you note, it's just to stop water flow. The area is flooded around the bearing, so extra clearance around the collar won't hurt.
If the rudder push / pull shows movement, you should have George Borges take a look and see if he needs to fix it right.
If still normal, how should the space between the outer surface of the bearing and the hull be filled? In another thread you included a pic of the rudder re-install on Vento Solare (reproduced here without your permission!) which shows that space, but no mention of how you managed it. Fairing compound + putty knife?
- vento solare rudder bearing.jpg (138.81 KiB) Viewed 1024 times
In effecting a temporary repair I got up close, and discovered to my surprise that there was a ridge of barnacles on the very top of the rudder, in the centerline, on the parts both fore and aft of the shaft! It was not visible to a 5' 11" guy standing beside the rudder. The missing pieces of the plastic ring corresponded exactly to the port-stbd swing of this ridge, and I'm quite sure it was simply abraded away.
The temporary repair was simply to spray a small amount of polyurethane foam into the the depths (alongside the outer surface of the bearing), trim it, and apply fairing compound
Next time the rudder is dropped I'll get a proper repair
Thanks again to Bill K for the suggestion