Loose Rudder

Wheel, tiller and autopilots
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liberty

Loose Rudder

Post by liberty » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:00 am

My wife and I are the happy owners of Liberty - Peter & Ann's first model of their 10.5m Easy design. Liberty is now 12 years old and going strong. We are currently cruising in the Whitsundays. The port rudder has developed a rattle and I suspect the bottom shaft bearing has either worn or broken. I am looking for advice from whose who know the construction of the Easy as to whether this is something I must fix immediately or whether I am good to sail back to Cairns before hauling out. If I must fix now I will need a little guidance as to what is the process. I am assuming that if I beach liberty I should be able to drop the rudder out if I remove the tiller off the top of the shaft - the top bearing appears to be a simple nylon block screwed to the deck at the top of the rudder shaft - just under the tiller. Look forward to any suggestions / advice that might assist us. cheers - keith

madaz
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Loose Rudder

Post by madaz » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:33 pm

I reckon you would be best ringing the builder if you can, you could also inspect the shaft from underneath in shallow water if you had a mask and snorkel and see if you can see any worn part.



Most easys seem to have stainless pipe for shafts so there may not be any major rush to do an instant repair, it would be best to ascertain if there is any of the bottom bearing left and ensure it is not rubbing on the tube glassed into the boat though.

Jim
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 8:25 am
Location: Cairns

Loose Rudder

Post by Jim » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:24 am

Hi Keith, the rudder setup is as you imagine. If you can see if there is any bush left from underneath, I would leave it until you get back to Cairns. If there is no bush left then it will need to be repaired. If you get into some calm shallow water you can just undo the tiller and drop the rudder and shaft out through the bottom, remove what's left of the old bush, measure the ID of the tube to get new bushes made, might as well do both while you are at it. If you can contact Peter Snell he may know the dimensions.

Jim.

puremajek
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Loose Rudder

Post by puremajek » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:26 am

Hi Keith and welcome,



I echo the sentiments above from Jim. If mine is anything to go by there are two bushes (one at the top and one at the base of the shaft). I was always perplexed as to how they stayed in place.



The bushes are made mostly from Teflon (or similar) that can be easily made from a solid piece of 10mm teflon scrap plate. (Don't get wound up in the teflon water-expansion argument, it will only confuse the issue). We got ours from a steel fabricator who had some scrap teflon left over, managed to get 6 lathed-out of a scrap piece (two being spares).



It could be that the lower bush has moved up the shaft???? :roll: :roll: ... just a thought in which case moving it down solves all problems. Peter Snell should be able to help you here though. If not, let us all know and the 'admirals/gurus' here will have an answer.



I too would leave it until getting back to Cairns. Pipe sizes do vary even by the smallest amounts (as we found out). Spend a few bucks on a Digital Caliper (from Jaycar or similar) and get the exact measurements as mentioned by Jim. Any lathe mob should be able to help you out with making the components. Please let us know how you go.
James
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Smooth Cruiser
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Loose Rudder

Post by Smooth Cruiser » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:15 pm

Welcome,



As Jim and James say - If you undo the tiller from the top of the rudder stock then it will drop out. On mine the rudder shaft is stainless and the housing is glassed conduit. The housing is glassed to the bottom of the boat and extends all the way up to the step, hence even if the lower bearing fails completely no water should enter the boat. Worst case you end up cracking the top nylon bearing if it wobbles too much, but these probably need replaced at the same time anyway (on mine the original ones were bits of nylon breadboard, these cracked and I have replaced them with a heavier duty wear resistant sheet).



One thing to consider is that if you beach the boat you can't drop the rudder anyway, as there isn't enough clearance. If you are going to drop the rudder out and do the bearing you need to be either high above the ground on a hard stand or in shallow water with clearance below the boat. Another thing to consider is that there are plenty of nice patches of shallow water around the whitsundays with clear water and a nice clean sand bottom, and not many around Cairns where you wouyld want to be swimming around the back of the boat for a while! Hence I would have a look at it there rather than wait, unless you have plans to take the boat out of the water soon in Cairns anyway.



If you tie a rope under the bottom of the rudder and up around the hull it will hold it up, make sure this rope is tight and close to the leading edge of the rudder so it can't drop at all. Then tie the wheel so the rudders can't move. You can then take the tiller off the top of the rudder shaft and measure the diameter of the shaft. This may help you work out the size of the bush. I would do this in shallow water just in case something goes wrong and the rudder drops!



But if you don't have the time or want the worry of this - it should last to Cairns with no real issues.



Hope your trip is going well otherwise. I met the previous owner of Liberty in Townsvile several years ago, it is a nice looking boat. Good to see it out and about again as it didn't move for a long time back then!

liberty

Loose Rudder

Post by liberty » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:57 am

Well thank you all for the welcome and the helpful advice.



I had tried to contact Peter & Ann for their advice (especially as they were the buildera of Liberty) but have had no response yet - I heard they were somewhere in the Pacific



I plan to haul Liberty out shortly after returning to Cairns at the end of the month so I expect to leave the fix till then.



Happy sailing



Keith

puremajek
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Loose Rudder

Post by puremajek » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:25 pm

The flotilla arrived back in Bundaberg 8-days ago. All went very well (apparently) with the exception of a Raymarine autopilot failure. Raymarine shipped a new component to New Cal within a few hours and they were up and running two days later.



They are contactable most evenings on their mobiles. Let me know if you don't have their numbers.
James
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http://www.puremajek.com
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