Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lifting the Boat

I went back and forth on the decision about whether or not to remove the starboard rudder.  I've known for a long time it had a small amount of movement in it at the bottom - and I did get an opinion on it soon after the purchase.  The first guy told me not to worry about it, that it really doesn't  move that much (about 3/16" front to back) and he maybe right.  But it's been bothering me for about a year now...and the fact that we've repaired or replaced just about everything on the boat except the rudder - one of the most important pieces on the boat - kept gnawing at me.  So, I got another opinion - and obviously this one agreed with me - you gotta fix it.  And the decision to repair our wobbly rudder was set in motion.

First was trying to decide if I thought it was the teflon bearing/bushing and/or the aluminum housing that it goes in.  So the thought behind it on my part was that teflon should wear out faster than an aluminum housing - so for $150, I had France send me two bushings - an upper and a lower.  But in the mean time, I figured that we're pretty handy and we might as well start tearing into it while we waited.  And it really only took about 30 minutes and we were dropping it down - of course it only goes down about 18" before it hits the boatyard surface, but it was enough to see that it wasn't only the telfon bushing, it looked like the aluminum housing was messed up too.  

The never-ending rudder shaft
A frantic call to France was quickly placed even though by this time, it was already 7:00pm in France, but I tried anyway.  To my surprise, Mr. French man answered the phone, and while it was too late to find out pricing or availability, we did set in motion getting the housing here as soon as possible.  

So today, we lifted the boat to get the rudder out so that the housing could be replaced.  And the reason for the post is to express how extremely nerve-racking this process really is.  When you've only seen your boat resting peacefully in a boat yard, to have it picked up 3 feet in the air takes some getting used to.  And we thought 3 feet wasn't going to be enough - seems our rudder post is quite long.  And just when the travel-lift was maxed out on it's lifting capabilities, we pulled the rudder out.  Now its time to get that housing out - wish us luck (you have any ideas how they place a rudder housing in a boat?....we don't either.)

If you need Brandon, just text him, he's usually available
Getting the keels sanded and painted while it was in the air
Don't talk to me, I got a lot on my mind.
The underside of our starboard keel
The whole crew...and Daisy drinking some water


  1. Good idea to fix this. I just read a posting about a cat that lost a rudder in the Pacific.


    Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream Puff

  2. may sound a little silly that I was deciding on whether or not to fix this, but it seriously just moved a tad at the bottom....and after pulling it out, the teflon bearing was in good shape - just barely any movement, and the housing was actually better than I thought. It really could've waited until the next pull, but it's nice to have it fixed so I don't have to worry about it.