E35-3 Rudder Needs Help?

Hagar2sail

Member III
I was walking around our boat the other day checking the jackstands, as up here in Maine we are in mud season, and the frost plays games with the ground, and noticed these spots that look like rust on the rudder. Has anyone else seen something like this? When the boat was surveyed during purchase 2 years ago the surveyor said the moisture meter was high on the rudder, but then said they were "all like that". Now I am concerned that we might have a issue with the grid inside the rudder. Anyone else seen something like this?

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closeup, showing what looks like a round pattern and maybe a crack at the top?
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Afrakes

Sustaining Member
Very typical. If you drill some holes in the bottom water will weep out. Check to see how fair it is in the crack area. Also check the very bottom of the rudder to see if it is cracked. If the boat has been in salt water it's whole life then you can count on there being corrosion of the shaft and web in the rudder.
 

Hagar2sail

Member III
The rudder seems to be fairly fair, maybe a small bulge about 6” below the area where the rust is showing, but it is small and could have been an issue in the original layup, the bulge is not repeated on the starboard side of the rudder.

Went out and looked at the rudder just now, there is a crack about 3” long that does seem to have a very small bit of moisture coming out of it.
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Afrakes

Sustaining Member
Drill a series of small holes in the bottom to drain out as much water as possible. I used a shop vac to pull the water through the holes. Repeat as often as you can. You're never going to get all of the water out.
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
No I did not. I took the quick and dirty route. Just sucked whatever water I could out of the rudder and proceeded. Taking the "if it looks good on the outside then it must be good on the inside" approach. When I first stripped it I discovered that it had already been repaired before. Much of the original fiberglass skin was gone. Here's how it looked after the grounding.PICT0016.JPG
 

Hagar2sail

Member III
Oh man!

I drilled a bunch of 1/4” holes in the bottom today and one in the side. I would say the fiberglass was thinner than I expected.
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water didn’t pour out, just kind of dripped as you can see.
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
If you leave it open it will continue to drip for the next year. The foam doesn't give up the moisture readily. Let it weep until launch time and then plug it and go sailing. Don't open the can of worms until you absolutely have to. As the surveyor said, this is to be expected. Folks who don't live in the "freeze and thaw" zone will never have a clue of what is in their rudder.
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
Do a number (4-5) in the very bottom of the rudder and let gravity do the work. About 3/4"-1" deep should do.
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
Just be aware it is not a quick process. A shop vac can help but you have to do it over and over again.
 

RCsailfast

Member II
Mine was dripping when I first looked at it. Not a big concern as wet rudders are fairly common. I drill holes in the bottom every fall. This spring found a slight crack in the leading edge after sanding it down. Filled and faired. Also when we pull the rudder for bushing issues the top of the rudder will get dremeled around the post and filled with 5200. That is a week spot on rudders for water intrusion.
 
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