Can anyone explain this rudder post?

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
I'm trying to understand the rudder post on my son's Tartan. It appears to me that the aluminum tube is through bolted to the rudder tube above the packing gland. What are the other screws doing?

I'm doing a delivery with him in a few weeks and I want to understand the boat.
 

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Alan Gomes

Sustaining Member
Did you mean to say that the aluminum tube is through bolted through the rudder post?

I'm not sure what that would be for. I guess it would serve to keep the rudder from dropping out of the bottom of the boat if the rudder head were removed.--though it seems to be a bit of overkill for that, and wouldn't explain the other two bolts.

Maybe some kind of artifact from a previous rudder position sensor for an autopilot? Not sure how that would work, though.

Really, I'm kinda stumped....
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
It looks like a thick 'nylon' bushing above the bronze gland. Maybe the two aluminum tubes are bolted together; the outside tube rotates on the bushing and keeps the rudder tube from sliding through the center?

On Ericson's, the steering quadrant performs this function.
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
Definitely a shaft stop to prevent the rudder from dropping down. I assume the one bolt we see bottomed out against the sleeve is a through bolt. Is that correct Tom? The additional bolts are a mystery. Perhaps related to the original method of installation. Could it be that they held the rudder post in position while the through bolt hole was drilled. I know for a fact that when the through bolt hole for the quadrant on my rudder was drilled manually, it was done slightly off center of the tube.
 

Gaviate

Member II
Through bolt keeps 2 part assembly assembled, set screws keep 2 part assembly in alignment, especially useful where rotational forces are encountered. The through bolt, left on its own, will eventually wear from resisting movement, or maybe the hole would wear first, in any case, the set screws are part of the plan. Hopefully creates an even wear pattern on bushing......I think:)
 

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
It's a Tartan 3500 which has never been tiller steered. Yes, rudder post. It was too late at night on the right coast for me to come up with appropriate jargon. ;)

The autopilot is below deck and can be seen in the picture I didn't post. The concern came up because the threads in the short tube are stripped, and he is anxious to keep water out of the boat while on a trip north when I'll be on board.
 

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Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
Emgee - I can't argue with you, but a second through bolt would be stronger - I would think.

This has also been posted on the Tartan user group he told me this morning so maybe they will have an answer. I also suggested a call to Tartan.
 

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
Son Keith, formally a PS/E-333 (E-32-200) owner, likes Al Frakes's answer. Just for assembly alignment in the factory.

I don't want Al to get a swelled head so please come up with something else. :oops:
 

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
Ok, from the Tartan user group just now: the set screws hold the rudder post so the through bolt can be removed without supporting the rudder.

Especially useful at sea, I suppose, where it is difficult to hold up the rudder. :>)

Thanx for the help guys. Keith also sends thanx.
 

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
If anyone is interested in how the competition does it. Note that the set screws don't appear.
 

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