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Thread: Rudder Repair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default Rudder Repair

    Hello all,
    Some help with repairing the transom hung rudder on my Westerly Griffon please.
    The bottom edge has picked up a few scrapes and general wear from sitting on my drying mooring. Nothing major and it seems sound. I just want to tidy it up and give a bit of reinforcement.
    Two methods I'm thinking of: some filler to fair it then polyester resin and csm or cloth? Not sure what to finish this with, if anything?
    Epoxy (west) thickened as a filler, then a few coats of epoxy as a surface layer.
    Both followed by antifouling as usual.
    I've never used epoxy before, can someone help with the West product numbers?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    39,084

    Default Re: Rudder Repair

    I would get it as dry as possible, then coat and fair with epoxy and glass.Glass tape, or tape chopped into 5 to 10mm strands as a filler paste.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Rudder Repair

    Should have said, the rudder is off the boat and in my nice dry garage!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,807

    Default Re: Rudder Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by alla_breve View Post
    Hello all,
    Some help with repairing the transom hung rudder on my Westerly Griffon please.
    The bottom edge has picked up a few scrapes and general wear from sitting on my drying mooring. Nothing major and it seems sound. I just want to tidy it up and give a bit of reinforcement.
    Two methods I'm thinking of: some filler to fair it then polyester resin and csm or cloth? Not sure what to finish this with, if anything?
    Epoxy (west) thickened as a filler, then a few coats of epoxy as a surface layer.
    Both followed by antifouling as usual.
    I've never used epoxy before, can someone help with the West product numbers?
    Thanks
    Best see the West System website https://www.westsystem.com/products/ If you are intending to use epoxy Personally I would use polyester for a job like this. Epoxy for any jobs that require a structural strength bond with the original.

    If damage to the rudder is likely to be a continuing problem consider making a sacrificial shoe with polyester and CSM that can be fitted to the rudder. If you make and keep a male mould you can make replacement shoes whenever needed in the future.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    West Australia
    Posts
    11,719

    Default Re: Rudder Repair

    Polyester may be OK but I would go for epoxy. It just adheres better to old grp. You might consider using kevlar instead of glass being incredibly tough to abrasion and damage. It is very flexible follow contours. You will find however that it is tough when you come to cut it with scissors. (needs very sharp scissors). ol'will

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Wirral
    Posts
    721

    Default Re: Rudder Repair

    I just use glass fibre tape and polyester resin never had any problems with it not sticking to existing grp.
    If its a high wear area just add more layers to allow for wear.
    Leisure Owners Association

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Aberaeron
    Posts
    1,848

    Default Re: Rudder Repair

    Most of the boats in our drying harbour have now fitted stainless steel ‘shoes’ to their rudders to prevent further damage. Our local blacksmith made one up for my boats rudder (Sadler 25) a couple of years ago, he only charged £60 for the shoe which I bonded on with West flexible epoxy, it’s still fixed perfectly despite the troubles we had with Storm Callum in 2018 and has protected the rudder superbly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Gone cruising
    Posts
    2,428

    Default Re: Rudder Repair

    I'd use epoxy (and glass of course) too, followed by flowcoat to protect the layup. If it's a small area you can use the gelcoat filler kit instead of buying the flowcoat + MEKP and use it thickened as fairing in the same step. Then AF on top of that after sanding it smooth.

    Would also look at a solution to protect it from further damage. Oh, and before you do it, drill a hole upwards in the center of the damaged area and see if water comes out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Rudder Repair

    Highly likely that water will emerge, giving cause for concern at the state of tangs in the rudder structure. But bear in mind that many rudders carry water - the seal between blade and stock at the top is the weakness. It's not fatal and, apart from splitting the blade and drying out / restoring the structure - very time consuming. it also ensures further weakness on resealing the blade, so you will have achieved nothing worthwhile.

    PWG

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    39,084

    Default Re: Rudder Repair

    Is the rudder grp, wood, wood sheathed in epoxy/glass or what?

    Being transom hung I was basically assuming a wood rudder, maybe GRP sheathed.
    A metal shoe on the bottom is an alternative to a sacrifixial alyer of epoxy/glass, whether it's easy to do depends on whether the tip of the rudder is flat and how the rudder is made.

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