Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

Moderators: kmclemore, beene, NiceAft, Catigale, Hamin' X

User avatar
Mac26Mpaul
Admiral
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:36 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Gold Coast, Australia 26M "Little Annie" Etec 50

Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by Mac26Mpaul » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:31 am

Seems every time I go out of late, I come back with something to fix worth several hundreds of dollars. The missus is sick of it :cry: So anyway, I broke my rudder and I'm determined to fix it (since they are about 285 bucks here) See the video below:
http://youtu.be/ele_X89tmJg
So I was thinking, grind out the cracks so I can see where I'm at, and then probably grind and sand about half the thickness of the rudder away from the damaged side, down a few inches below the major crack. Then build it up layer by layer, grind, sand, and finish with flowcoat.

Have only done fibreglass patches on dinghys etc before and this is a little more complicated so thought I'd thow it out there first.

So brains trust, does this sound like a decent plan of atack? And also, does it matter which resin I use?

Cheers,
Paul.
ps. I have seen it said that, as a sailing boat, the rudders are the weakest point of the Mac. Well that "may" be true, but all I can say is, reversing into that sandbank yesterday would probably have turned out considerably worse (and expensive) for any other 26 foot sailboat :wink: Thanks Roger 8)
Last edited by Mac26Mpaul on Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
2BonC
First Officer
Posts: 307
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:02 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Germany

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by 2BonC » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:48 am

Hi Paul,
sorry for Your problem :( . But I would try to save the rudder as well. I´ve done some glasfibre work at the rudder of my :macx: , but the damage was not that severe. I´m not a GFC-specialist but in Your case I would do the following.
Put in some placeholder for the pinholes but don't forget to put a separator on the surface of them. Bend the broken part to the rear to widen the gap. Fill in some GFC-paste into this gap. Press the rudder in the original position and try to lock it there. Give it time to harden that way.
Than to stabilize the rudder I would drill in two holes of about 10mm as shown here.
Image
Put pins, or bolts covered with GFC-paste into this holes. Again give it time to harden.
Then continue as You have described it.
Good luck :wink: Rainer

User avatar
Mac26Mpaul
Admiral
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:36 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Gold Coast, Australia 26M "Little Annie" Etec 50

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by Mac26Mpaul » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:29 am

Great thanks Rainer, Pins or bolts, didnt think of that :idea:
Yes, I should be able to get away with quite a bit less grinding, glassing and shaping than I was planning on too,
sounds like a good approach,
cheers 8)

User avatar
Ixneigh
Admiral
Posts: 2018
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:00 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Key largo Florida

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by Ixneigh » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:15 am

Just my 2 cents.

Make a template of the rudder head. Grind the glass away about 8 inches down from the break on both sides.
Leave about 1/2 in. Center thickness. Gradually taper the grinding into the rest of the blade. Build up with fiberglass biaxial cloth and then wrap the rudder head with lots of thinner fiberglass tape up over and back down.
Clean up the glass with a smaller grinder fair it with putty and gelcoat.
It's cheaper to buy a new one. That break will be hard to fix correctly.
I have one extra that has a hairline crack but the shipping is probably prohibitive.
If you are not in a rush yours is fixable.

Ixneigh

User avatar
kmclemore
Site Admin
Posts: 5712
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:24 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Ambler, PA -- MACX2018A898 w/ Tohatsu 50D -- 78 BW Harpoon 4.6 -- 2018 Tahoe 550TF w/ 150 Merc

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by kmclemore » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:34 am

The pin idea is a good one, but one strong caution - do NOT use anything that will corrode. The rudders do get saturated with water and if you use something like iron rod it will rust, expand and eventually ruin all the work you've done. Use brass or rust-proof stainless. Aluminium is another possibility, but that, too, eventually corrodes somewhat.

User avatar
Gazmn
Admiral
Posts: 1071
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 10:22 pm
Location: Bayside, NY '97X, E-tec 115 Pontoon, The "Ollie Gray" & '01 Chevy Tahoe W/ Tow Pkg; AL 4x Trlr.

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by Gazmn » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:04 pm

So sorry Mpaul.

Try the fiberglass ideas, certainly. But when I did something ruining one of my rudders, I bit the bullet and bought the Ida Rudders :|


Hate to recommend spending more money. But BOAT does stand for : Break out another thousand... :wink:

The Ida Rudders don't crack as they're not made of fiberglass. Try as I might I have yet to damage mine - so I don't think there'd be a repeat result from whatever incident caused the damage in the first place.
I keep my reglassed ones for backup, mods & sentimentality

Fool me once, shame on you... :P

User avatar
mastreb
Admiral
Posts: 3944
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:00 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Cardiff by the Sea, CA ETEC-60 "Luna Sea"
Contact:

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by mastreb » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:03 pm

It shouldn't be that expensive to have a CNC shop cut you two pieces of Delrin (generic: Acetal) that will match the shape of your unbroken rudder. The IDA rudders are made of Delrin--solid plastic that shapes like wood and is inexpensive.

I'd talk to local woodshops about this before I did the repair work. Buying online including shipping gets a 24x24" acetal sheet in white for under $200 that you could cut both rudders out of. I'm not exactly sure what the rudder length is, but it wouldn't be much more than that for materials. You could cut them yourself with typical shop tools if you felt you had the requisite skills.

User avatar
Ixneigh
Admiral
Posts: 2018
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:00 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Key largo Florida

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by Ixneigh » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:39 pm

I've got the idarudders and am really glad I did. They have squared off ends and a slightly better foil.
I guess they might be more durable but that plastic will bend or break eventually.

Ixneigh

User avatar
DaveB
Admiral
Posts: 2544
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:34 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Cape Coral, Florida,1997 Mac. X, 2013 Merc.50hp Big Foot, sold 9/10/15

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by DaveB » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:29 pm

That rudder should have never been on a sailboat, the cracks and way you just cracked away material will tell you this is no rudder to repair. I do Fiberglassing every day on a Waterpark . Many years doing restructure on fiberglass including my own Mac.X
The Pictures and Vidio clearly shows a very poor structure of a rudder .
The whole area around the pivit point is distroyed beyond repair as it has no base and holow inside.
Dave
Mac26Mpaul wrote:Seems every time I go out of late, I come back with something to fix worth several hundreds of dollars. The missus is sick of it :cry: So anyway, I broke my rudder and I'm determined to fix it (since they are about 285 bucks here) See the video below:
http://youtu.be/ele_X89tmJg
So I was thinking, grind out the cracks so I can see where I'm at, and then probably grind and sand about half the thickness of the rudder away from the damaged side, down a few inches below the major crack. Then build it up layer by layer, grind, sand, and finish with flowcoat.

Have only done fibreglass patches on dinghys etc before and this is a little more complicated so thought I'd thow it out there first.

So brains trust, does this sound like a decent plan of atack? And also, does it matter which resin I use?

Cheers,
Paul.
ps. I have seen it said that, as a sailing boat, the rudders are the weakest point of the Mac. Well that "may" be true, but all I can say is, reversing into that sandbank yesterday would probably have turned out considerably worse (and expensive) for any other 26 foot sailboat :wink: Thanks Roger 8)

User avatar
Mac26Mpaul
Admiral
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:36 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Gold Coast, Australia 26M "Little Annie" Etec 50

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by Mac26Mpaul » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:47 pm

Dave, you are probably right but nethertheless, I'm giving it a go... After spending $660 getting the motor fixed last week, the missus commented, "maybe we should sell the boat!" So I reckon I'll attempt a fix, even if turns out only temporary :wink:

Using a combination of the ideas suggested. I'v ground out the crack and put a heap of filler in it and then clamped it together to bring it back straight.

Once this is dry, I will epoxy in a couple of bolts, and then grind away some of each side and rebuild it up with probably several layers of glass.
Will let you know how it all works out :|

As to the stainless bolts - Huge hassle to go get em, is this really nesessary? I mean, firstly, the bolts will be incased in glass and should not see water, and secondly, there will be no air for rust to grow in there. Am I right or wrong here?

User avatar
zoneboy
Chief Steward
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:29 pm
Sailboat: Venture 21
Contact:

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by zoneboy » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:02 pm

Out of curiosity, could you just hack away at a plank of wood and form it to the same shape slap some white marine paint on it and use that?

User avatar
seahouse
Admiral
Posts: 2182
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:17 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Niagara at Lake Erie, Ontario. 2011 MacM, 60 hp E-Tec
Contact:

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by seahouse » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:41 pm

Hi Paul – :D

Several workable solutions for repair come to mind. But I have no idea what tools, materials, skills, time etc you have available.

The cheapest, easiest, (quick and dirty) requiring no special tools is to just cut it off at the end of the broken open hole (or to wherever the material is most solid) in a radius matching the one there. Rasp the end to shape and then seal it. Then redrill your two 3/8” holes in the more solid material.

Re-install.

Voila –you’re sailing again. Shorter rudder = less drag = faster boat ; ).

- Brian. :wink:

User avatar
Québec 1
Admiral
Posts: 1448
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:02 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Honda BF 50 - MACM0047E303 Lévis, Québec Canada

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by Québec 1 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:17 pm

You only really need one rudder!

vizwhiz
Admiral
Posts: 1392
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:48 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Central Florida

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by vizwhiz » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:28 pm

Mac26Mpaul wrote:As to the stainless bolts - Huge hassle to go get em, is this really nesessary? I mean, firstly, the bolts will be incased in glass and should not see water, and secondly, there will be no air for rust to grow in there. Am I right or wrong here?
it will probably work fine for a short-term (can't say how long) solution...there will always be a hint of moisture, as you're not baking the thing out to dry it, and so there's always the possibility of rust starting...but I don't think we're talking near-term, more like "after my wife forgot what happened" :D

User avatar
Mac26Mpaul
Admiral
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:36 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Gold Coast, Australia 26M "Little Annie" Etec 50

Re: Broken Rudder, Repair advice please..

Post by Mac26Mpaul » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:48 pm

Thanks for comments and ideas,

I have just taken the bracket off and straightened it as best as I can get it. I have added more filler to the rudder. Tomorrow I will take the clamps off and go buy some thin stainless bolts and drill some holes and epoxy them in. Then I will commence grinding away some of the rudder to add some layers of glass. Considering how they are made, it may even end up a bit stronger than the port side one :!: Image
Image

The rudder seems to be just made of resin with no glass cloth,,, I wonder if the dagger board is the same,,, Am I right in thinking Roger has done it this way so they snap easier?

Image
Last edited by Mac26Mpaul on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply