Author Topic: Replacing A32 Rudder  (Read 363 times)

Bostonbill

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Replacing A32 Rudder
« on: January 04, 2019, 04:46:36 PM »
Hi everyone - It looks like I need to replace my rudder on my A32. I realized too late that it was taking on water and I had a number of dime sized blisters and some delamination. I've contacted one of the rudder manufacturers that I used for a previous boat (Ericson 26) and he'll make me a new one.

Back with my previous boat, it was easy to take the rudder out. I dug a hole and it slid out easily enough.

With the A32, I've read the forums and detailed descriptions here on the site about the work done to fix the slop in the bearings. Sounds like quite a job.

I think I'm lucky in that regard, I haven't felt any slop in the post and the quadrant looks good.  My question is how hard should I expect the post to be to pull out?  Last week, I called the surveyor who inspected my boat (a few years ago). He said that on his own boat he had to take a hammer to get the post out and a car jack to put it back in.

And an overarching question - if the bearings, quadrant, and all are in good shape, how complex a job is it to remove the rudder? A matter of pulling the retaining pin and putting the new rudder & post back in? Or more to it than that? The folks at my yard are good mechanics, but more powerboaters  than sailors. It would be less expensive to have  them do the job over the winter and before the spring launch. But if it's a complicated job, I can always bring the boat to another marina that's more  knowledgeable of sailboats. Means hauling it again, so certainly more expensive.

I'd appreciate any insights.

Best,

Bill

Bruce

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  • sailing Georgian Bay, on our A32 "OKAGA"
Re: Replacing A32 Rudder
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 10:39:40 AM »
A rudder story.      Many years ago, I had to replace my rudder too.  Originally, with a shoal draft keel, the rudder actually hung an inch lower than the keel!  I snagged it and bent the post.  I tracked down the molds from the bankrupt factory to a guy in Montreal who did custom one offs for a few years. He had the original rudder mold.  He build me a new one, 3 inches shorter, and most importantly, with a solid steel post, not the tube steel that was original.   My marina did the installation, and with the boat up in the travel lift, once the lock pin at the top of the post and the clamps at the quadrant were removed, I think the rudder pretty much just dropped out.  He certainly did not have any problems.   Bruce
Bruce,  OKAGA, A32

Bostonbill

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Re: Replacing A32 Rudder
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 08:54:07 PM »
 Thanks Bruce – that’s good news to hear. Am I understanding correctly that Your boat had a shoal draft shorter than the standard 4’9” keel?  If so I didn’t know there was such a keel available.  Best, Bill

Bruce

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Re: Replacing A32 Rudder
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 11:42:32 AM »
Yes, my "Scheel" keel gave me 3' 11" , but it turned out to be a couple of inches lower at the stern, I think do to a slight imbalance for the short keel.  It is a bulb shape with the lead very low down, and the performance of the boat under sail is great.  However, the factory did not shorten the rudder to account for the shorter keel, so I had to do that.   I had the bottom sand blasted to remove blisters and I raised the antifowling line by 3" to keep the painted stern quarters above water.  Boat works well with the changes.  Bruce
Bruce,  OKAGA, A32

jjokee

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Re: Replacing A32 Rudder
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2019, 07:38:56 PM »
Last spring I attempted to drop the rudder on my aloha 32 to inspect the rudder post, the rudder is in good shape, no blisters, etc. I dug the hole then attempted to remove the bolts from the quadrant. After soaking the hardware in PB Blaster penetrant oil, I could not get a socket on the head of the quadrant bolts as the socket hits the quadrant.
Anyone have any luck with this, maybe a modified socket?

It's not broke and I didn't want to end up braking something like the quadrant, so I let sleeping dogs lie.

S/V Panacea
John

Bruce

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Re: Replacing A32 Rudder
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 10:22:22 AM »
One further point.  If you do replace your rudder using a solid steel stock as I did.  I suggest that you have the top end hollowed out by a couple of inches to accommodate both the locking pin and the emergency tiller which must fit into the top of the stock over the locking pin.  I have never had to use it but it is important to be able to do so.  Bruce
Bruce,  OKAGA, A32

Holdech

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Re: Replacing A32 Rudder
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 03:56:49 PM »
That's an important point Bruce brings up.
The previous owner of our A32 had the steering cables break and confirmed that the emergency tiller does in fact work.
Be sure not to find out that it doesn't fit when you really need it...

The idea of a solid rudder post is excellent as I've heard of several folks bending theirs. I plan on sleeving mine with stainless tubing as a preventative measure.
Although I'm worried about "crevice corrosion" when we're in salt water. Sleeving might not be a good option. Thoughts?
Chris, Teliki, A32

Andiamo

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Re: Replacing A32 Rudder
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 04:33:36 PM »
My rudder has a slight bend in it as well. The previous owner was struck by a large Sunfish while approaching a mooring. Now I have a decision to make, replace the rudder entirely, or try to bend the tube straight, which doesn't seem to be a viable option? Anyway, I am interested in who will build the rudder for you.
Wayne - SV Andiamo A32, Holyrood, NL

Bruce

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Re: Replacing A32 Rudder
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2019, 01:52:16 PM »
25 years ago, when I skidded over a rock and snagged my rudder, it bent sufficiently to impair, although not stop, the wheel from turning.  I tried first to have them straighten the shaft but as it is tube, that was almost impossible and in any case, the bending simply dislodged the fiberglass of the rudder around the post webbing inside it creating many cracks.  A new rudder was required and I took the opportunity to use solid steel for the post instead of tube and also to shorten the rudder by 3" so it would clearly be shorter than my shoal draft keel.
As to the builder; I found a company in Montreal that had bought up the boat molds from the Bankrupt Aloha factory and they used the original rudder mold to fashion me a new one.  I did not keep a record of this Montreal shop but I assume that they are no longer around, although you may be able to trace the ownership of those original molds unless they were destroyed all these years later.   I think any good builder could make you a new rudder (since you have the original) as I have heard others with different boats have had rudders manufactured.    Good luck,   Bruce
Bruce,  OKAGA, A32

Jackrabbit

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Re: Replacing A32 Rudder
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 05:52:55 PM »
If you were ever interested in casting a mold from the original for a new rudder, check out the recent episodes on the Sail Life Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IjN9Sgm2qs).

Burton
S.V. "Escapade"