Making the rudder easier to lift & more likely to stay up

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by bernardd, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. bernardd

    bernardd Member

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    I've been wondering about modifying the rudder on my 2006 Expo 14.2 to make it easier to lift up as I'm coming to a dock, and making it more likely to stay up and wondered if anyone has done any mods in this area?

    The problem I find is I have to reach over the back of the boat, undo the wing nut a lot more than I expect, pull the rudder up with my other hand and re-tighten the wing nut to stop it falling down. And all of this while the boat is under way if I'm unsure of the depth of the water by t he dock.

    One of the things I'm thinking of is drilling an extra set of holes in the aluminum brackets for the ball ident (?) so that it helps hold the rudder horizontal.

    The thing that's puzzling me at present is the wing nut. I'm fearful of loosening this too far in case it drops in the water, but there isn't enough length of thread on the bolt to add an extra anti-vibration nut outside the wing nut which was my first thought. I'm wondering about replacing the bolt with a longer one, but it has a crude anti-rotation pin welded(?) to it and I don't have access to a welder.

    The other idea I have is to totally rebuild the rudder and mountings so it's like the Hobiecat design where you can pull the tiller forwards to lift the rudder and latch it up, though that's a much bigger change.

    Does anyone have any experience of doing this?

    Thanks,

    Bernard
     
  2. kdub

    kdub Member

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    I usually don't make the effort to reach over and lift it. I just loosen the wing nut and if I run aground the sand will push the rudder up as needed. Sometimes we run the boat with the rudder partly extended, especially when maneuvering around the docks and stuff because you can kind of use it like a flipper back there to push the boat or steer to get around with the tiller.
     
  3. Vic Roy

    Vic Roy Member

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    I noticed right away when I got my 14.2 last summer tht the wing nut would be real easy to back off too far and lose, so I took a small punch and "boogered up" a couple of threads at the very end of the bolt so it can't come off. I could easily use a thread die to clean it up if I ever needed to take it off.

    Consider some thin Teflon washers - similar to the ones they use on fishing reel drags - to make the pivot point operate smoother. I'm in deep water all the time so have had no need to go there, yet. I did add a safety line to the rudder with a Witchard snap on the end that I keep snapped to the transom ring in case I decide to drop the whole rudder in the drink when mounting & dismounting it. Or "turtle" the boat in a senior moment..... The boat stays in the water all the time so I take the rudder off and stow it in the boat when not in use, keeps grass from from growing on it.

    Vic
     
  4. kentth

    kentth Member

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    I normally just loosen it enough, so there is still a little resistance and pull it up. Once I pull it up I tighten it back, but not completely, unless I need to drop it quickly.

    Kent
     
  5. bernardd

    bernardd Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. In hindsight I think my problem is being made worse because the rudder is sticking somewhere in the aluminum frame so I think I'll try to ease that and get some teflon washers in the the gap, then see how much of a problem I have left, though I certainly like the idea of "fixing" the end of the thread so the wing nut won't come off.

    FYI : Vic - my rudder has a spring arrangement below the upper pintle so that it shouldn't come out if the boat capsizes. If yours doesn't have that let me know and I'll try and post a photo because it's a neat idea.
     
  6. Vic Roy

    Vic Roy Member

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    Mine has he flat spring arrangement too, but maybe its gotten weak over the years - I doubt it would hold the pin in the hole if the boat was upside down and slamming around. Anyway, the safety line gives me a little extra comfort.

    Hint on the teflon washers - my local hardware store has a selection in the same area as the goofy fasteners that are in the stacking metal divider boxes - where the allen scress, retaining rings, shoulder bolts, etc are.

    Vic
     
  7. Charley Sheets

    Charley Sheets Member

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    rudder sticking/ not moving easily

    I am in the process of re-covering my rudder and swing keel. I found grooves in the area where it pivots from rough aluminum inside the casting. I sanded this area smooth and spray painted the whole casting to prevent corrosion or discoloration of the aluminum. On other boats i have seen people cut a piece of plastic from a plastic bottle about three inches in diameter with a hole in the center for the bolt to pass through. This acts like lubrication and allows easier movement and protects the finish. I will be doing this myself next week. My rudder has the flat spring also. More bend will give more security. Charley
     
  8. bernardd

    bernardd Member

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    I think I have pretty much the same problem. I've been able to "spread" the two sides of the aluminum frame a little to ease the movement bit and was about to head to the hardware store to look for the PTFE washers Vic suggested which are probably doing the same job as the plastic bottle solution.

    The other idea I'm toying with is a pull rod connecting a point a few inches down the back edge of the rudder blade to a lever on top of the tiller so that I can pull up & latch the rudder without reaching over the back of the boat. If that works I might be able to use the rod / lever arrangement to hold the rudder down and then dispense with the awkward wing nut arrangement. Trouble is, the season is upon us and whether I'll get to this before next winter remains to be seen....
     
  9. Vic Roy

    Vic Roy Member

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