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  C&C Rudder Rebuild? (whippet)
Posted: 3:06:52 pm on 10/31/2011 Modified: Never
 
We are in final steps of purchasing 1981 MkIII but survey has come back for rudder:   "moisture meter readings were “high” (26 +) and soundings were “dull”. Indications are the core is saturated and the blade is turning “punky”.   survey recommended rebuild in next year or so.

Otherwise we love boat, so not anxious to walk away.    Please comment:
1) what are potential costs to rebuild?
2) dont worry, this is normal?  
3) if we drill holes and drain, and repair in spring, we should be ok?

thanks  Steve Still
TS&CC
Toronto ON
  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (davidww1)
Posted: 3:51:46 pm on 10/31/2011 Modified: 10:04:52 am on 11/2/2011
 
1) About two grand if you go my route (the alternative, described in "Hyperion's new rudder" in Black Arts would be much less).
2) I ignored the first warning for about ten years. On my second insurance survey at the ten-year mark, I was told, "Fix it."
3) Drilling a drain hole is a stop-gap measure that most people adopt to prevent further damage from water freezing in the laminate. You will probably be surprised at how much water comes out. Read Black Arts > New Rudder for what I did as a permanent solution and what I think I could have happily gotten away with.


David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (clanning)
Posted: 11:59:32 am on 11/2/2011 Modified: Never
 
Steve,

1) Assuming you are on a cradle now, be careful how you remove the rudder.  I have seen the back of the cradle jacked-up (in order to get clearance to remove the rudder), causing undue stress on the forward hull.  Better to dig a hole in the ground to get the rudder out before the ground freezes!

2) Contact Competition Composites (Phil's Foils) here in Ottawa for a quote to rebuild using your existing rudder stock.

3) Try to negotiate a portion of the rudder cost into the boat price, or factor it into your budget, whichever.

A rudder need not be a show-stopper.
Chuck Lanning
NSC, Ottawa
  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (whippet)
Posted: 11:11:36 am on 11/3/2011 Modified: Never
 
Really appreciate the advice.   Seems pretty unanimous on this site that Phil Foils (CCI) way to go, rather than having the local mechanic try his luck.   I see they have a new carbon fibre post option.  May be tempted if it proves a bear to extract current post.   I see in "black arts" an extraction using sledge and wedge, so assume with enough brute force, we will get there.  
  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (davidww1)
Posted: 12:41:07 pm on 11/3/2011 Modified: 12:45:16 pm on 11/3/2011
 
Phil's Foils is not the way to go, it's one way to go and I'm not convinced it's the best way to go. Moreover, if you do go the Phil's route, you have to make it really clear to them where the rudder top lies on the post, or you're going to have the same problem I had (I wrote the "New Rudder" page).

After the experience I had in removing the outer shell, I'm convinced that the void problem isn't as serious as surveyors make out. My preferred solution,if I were doing it again, would be the "drill, dry, re-bond with epoxy" method that I appended to my description of the process I went through. If you successfully re-establish the bond between the shells and the foam, you will have re-established the integrity of the rudder at or beyond the original level. It will cost you about $150 for materials, plus a couple of Saturday afternoons to do the work versus $2,000, plus all the work of stripping down the old post, for the Phil's Foils option. Get the vendor to knock $1,000 or $1,500 off the price to account for your time spent on the "drill, dry, re-bond with epoxy" method and you're ahead of the game.

Carbon fibre is an engaging wouldn't-that-be-cool dream, but it's not a sensible option for these boats. First, the cost difference is significant (a cost-is-no-object acquaintance put a carbon pole on a 29, and that set him back $3,500 versus the $500 I spent on my latest alloy one). Second, the rudder tube and bearings in these boats are solid fibreglass and the rudder stock bears directly on the tube. Not good. Carbon stocks are intended for mounting with Harken roller bearings, so add another $10-$20k for hardware and all the modifications required to mount the bearings. Finally, even if you did overcome the barriers to installing a carbon stock, the boat would never be allowed to race in a 27 Association event with a carbon stock and PHRF-LO would probably penalize it heavily, so you'd never be able to sell it to anyone with any interest in racing. You'd be like the guy here in Toronto who optimized his Shark so thoroughly, it's no longer class-legal. So, forget carbon. If you really must replace the stock, ask Phil's to do you one in aluminum alloy. It's much more appropriate, a lot cheaper and they're feather-light compared to stainless.


David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (whippet)
Posted: 1:53:32 pm on 11/3/2011 Modified: Never
 
Thanks again. I have reviewed your Black Art post as well.  Just to make sure I understand the theory of  "Wish I had done Plan B".
1) drilling just reaches the foam core -- and given time, the foam will dry.
2) epoxy will adequately re-bond the shell to the core and preserve original foil shape


Have a view on how water-tight the final product is?   Not the sort of thing want to attempt every 2 years.

Appreciate all of your time
  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (davidww1)
Posted: 2:31:55 pm on 11/3/2011 Modified: 2:44:02 pm on 11/3/2011
 
1) I'd use a small hole-saw - maybe 3/4" instead of the 1/2" I suggested in Black Arts - in a pattern over the delaminated area. Do both sides at once and then prop the rudder up to dry in the basement, near the furnace or in some other warm spot. Turn it over once a month so all the water has a chance to drain. The foam in my rudder was structural, non-porous foam so only the surface was wet. Incidentally, your use of the word 'punky' in your first post suggests that you or your surveyor believe that the core of the rudder is rotting. It's structural foam - it doesn't rot, so there's probably nothing wrong with it.

2) The inside of the fibreglass shell is rough and the surface of the foam is rough, so epoxy should bond well. I'd thicken it to the consistency of thin ketchup and pour it in, then clamp or weight that side until some squelches out. Once the epoxy cures, turn the rudder over and do it again. You could either fill the holes with thickened epoxy or make fully faired glass patches. Filling the void will make an awful mess. Plastic on the floor and overalls or disposable clothing. Sanding or grinding should be done outside with good-quality dust masks at all times.

3) Water entry is probably through the join between the rudder post and the fibreglass shell. I'd dig out a nice little channel between the two, rough up the surfaces and fill it with West G-Flex flexible epoxy. Any water that might get in is probably entering from pinholes in the mating of the two shells of the rudder, so at the same time as you do the major repair, sand the join to bare glass and smooth out the surface with thickened epoxy. Use the extra G-Flex to fair the inevitable C&C Smile on the keel.

4) Take pictures. You could be New Rudder, Part II.


David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (clanning)
Posted: 8:49:52 pm on 11/4/2011 Modified: Never
 
I guess the over-riding message here is: DON'T PANIC.  There are several options available to you to deal with a wet rudder, depending on how handy you are.  The price from CCI will give you a read for determining how costly it could be -- there are less expensive options, depending on how bad it is, how skilled (or patient) you are and how much workshop space you have to work with.

To start, you might try drilling a drain hole in the bottom and vent hole in the top to give you a read on how much water is in there, without even removing the rudder from the boat.  That technique has been discussed elsewhere in this forum -- some people do that every year, and simply epoxy the holes closed each spring.

David's approach seems reasonable -- you need to dry the rudder out before trying to re-laminate it back together again.  If it's not effective, you can resort to more drastic measures.  Just remember that every hole is one you need to fix -- you will need to bevel the hole so that you can put a proper glass patch on when you are done.  Go get the basic West System booklet on fibreglass boat repair & maintenance, and count on a gallon of resin plus pumps and filler.  Cloth and epoxy is available at Noah's, among other places.

I agree, the likely leak point is the top, where dissimilar materials meet.  G/Flex or 5200.  Make a nice trough for it to lay in, and clean the shaft and glass up so you get a good bond.

And while I have trouble understanding a hit from PHRF-LO for a carbon rudder stock, given the crap that they will accept, I totally agree that its overkill for a 27.  (Not so sure about the aluminum stock however.)  I would keep yours, irrespective of whether you repair the rudder or have a new one made around it.

Let us know what you do!

Cheers,
Chuck Lanning
NSC, Ottawa
  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (davidww1)
Posted: 10:00:00 am on 11/4/2011 Modified: 3:53:00 pm on 11/4/2011
 
I don't think that 5200 is a good choice for cyclic loads, particularly on stainless steel, despite what 3M says. If the part is static, it is tenacious, but anywhere I've used it where there is a big difference between the load and no-load state, it has failed, often relatively quickly. G-Flex, on the other hand, has turned my C&C Smile into a poker face for two years now, which is why I suggested it for this application.

As to drilling a drain hole, yes, if the fix isn't to be done this year. And why should it? I think this is something that can be successfully ignored at least until the next insurance survey while other issues are addressed. Mine would still be being ignored if I hadn't been told explicitly to fix it, as every C&C in our club has the problem, and the only rudder failures I know of involve the discovery of an unsuspected rock or the navigational incompetence of striking the buoyed concrete footing west of our club's rose garden. Two holes, one each side near the bottom of the delaminated portion, will suffice, and a dab of 5-minute epoxy in the spring will take care of it.


David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (whippet)
Posted: 3:41:06 pm on 11/4/2011 Modified: Never
 
Thanks again, for wisdom, and appreciate the "dont panic" part.  I hit upon this link that discusses similar methods of rudder repair. Inclined to give it a shot, in line with what you recommend.

http://www.epoxyworks.com/12/rudder.html
  Re: C&C Rudder Rebuild? (whippet)
Posted: 9:35:56 pm on 12/12/2011 Modified: Never
 
I took option of using Competition Composites (formerly Phil's) in Ottawa to rebuild around current post.   Main reasons, I live out of town, don't have workshop, and partner liked this option.

That said, once rudder was split (by kind former owner), found really wet foam, but no evidence of de-lamination.   I believe the method advocated in Black Arts (drilling holes, drying, and refilling) would have worked, given sufficient amount of drying time. It was a bear to split rudder, so it would take a lot to have at-sea catastrophe.  

BTW, Phil did fast work, built right to specs, and re-install worked fine.  Our CC has wheel. With all mechanisms below cockpit (pulleys, cables, etc) makes this a much harder job than tiller option.   Former owner was a champ to help out.

Appreciate all help from this forum.  Steve Still
TS&CC
Toronto ON