Repair 1969 AMFLITE 14 "project" boat


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I got a great deal on this AMFLITE 14 and I'm starting to realize why.. ha

Is this rudder fixable ? I'm thinking not.

You thoughts are welcome.


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I got inspired when I accidently enlarged your pictures.

For those who face a similar repair, I'd like to suggest a "working" solution--where others can chime in.

Take a "Sawzall" with a wood-cutting blade, cut two slices (along the flat plane of the rudder) crossing the damaged area, while cutting down below the hole about ½-inch (13mm).

Drop in two 6-inch pieces of a strong sheet metal (including aluminum diamond-plate). You're about to make a reinforcing "sandwich" of metal and fiberglass.

Clamp two pieces of plastic cutting board (or maybe, plexiglass?) to contain the area. Buy some "matt" fiberglass material, wet it thoroughly with your choice of resin using a slow-set catalyst. With wooden stir-sticks and dowels, drive the wetted "matt" into the voids. Matt is designed to fill large areas--which this is--so be generous. Let it "set" overnight.

Next day, remove the clamps, fill the expected hollow areas--trim to remove excess metal and fiberglass. Sand and fair to final shape.

Since you previously traced the location of the tiller bolt location, you'll know where to drill the new bolt hole. ;)

I'd suggest using large washers and the largest bolt that will work with the tiller. Aluminum bolts are available for avoiding galvanizing issues with diamond-plate.
From a "dead start" , the costs involved in a repair may exceed the price of a replacement rudder. I just happen to have everything I need "at hand" for that kind of repair.

A couple of things to add:

1) The metal used should be "roughened-up" to hold the bond better. "Expanded" metal would work, if it is "tough" enough, or drill a lot of quarter-inch holes through the inserted metal pieces.

2) The metal part can be left out, but holes should be drilled into the fractured wood parts to more securely hold that fiberglass "lump" better.

3) If you start your sailing day in shallow water, by using a longer hinge bolt, you can manually "pop" the springs to an "over-center" position. Once reaching deeper water, this modification makes lowering the rudder easier. (One of my unmodified rudders can be dropped by pushing aft firmly on the tiller--not generally recommended). The head of the bolt would need a sleeve to bring it in reach of the second spring. Right now, I have only one modified rudder bolt but think only a quarter-inch longer bolt will bring one spring in reach--which already helps.

4) Speaking of cold water, Nova Scotians probably already know of the three U.S. Navy warships that ran aground at Newfoundland, but here's that grim story:

It's time to do some fiberglass repairs on my boat.

The first job is an 18 inch series of cracks along the keel (see picture on right). I plan to get a fiberglass boat repair kit for this.

The second is to remove a patch job made by someone and seal it afterwards. Any ideas on how to remove this 32 inch section of fiberglass would be appreciated. Perhaps a heat gun ? It's already starting to lift off the boat.


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