Dec 19, 2019

Rudder MaintenancePitoraq on the hard

Pitoraq a 1979 Windward 30 built from a hull and deck kit by the current owner, Graham Heath.

The boat was put on the hard for this winter and were going to follow along with Graham as he repairs and upgrades the sailboat that has provided many memories and years of comfortable safe boating.

“The rudder is supported by bearings at deck level, in the hull and part way down a full-length skeg.”

Cutless Bearings Fiberglassed

 

Cutless bearings fiberglassed into the hull and deck with a fiberglass tube

“There were a few problems, all interconnected. The bearings were cutless bearings fiber glassed into the hull and deck with a fiberglass tube joining the two. Photo 2. The bearings were worn, observed as 1/8" play and a noticeable "clunk" at the tiller head. Because of the step in the skeg, the rudder could not be removed without first cutting free the interconnecting tube and pulling out the bearings. Also, the rudder was slightly misaligned with the skeg, which may have been holding us back in our quest for that extra tenth of a knot.” 

“So, faced with the prospect of cutting out the old system, I decided to upgrade to a better design.”

Rudder Port Bearings New SystemRudder port bearings new system "exploded view "

“I settled on rudder port bearings from Tides Marine in Florida.  The top and bottom bearings are independent and came with fiberglass housings (grey parts in the photos) to be bonded and glassed into the hull and deck. The top bearing slides into the housing, the bottom one screws in and has a seal.

The Bearings Assembled

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bearings assembled

Next step is to align and fit the housings. More Next issue.

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