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Stress cracks in Windrush 14 deep rudders - how to reinforce?


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Hi all, in a previous post Darcy noted that I had some stress cracks in my Windrush 14 deep rudders that will need reinforcing and I thought this was worth a separate thread.  Does anyone have any information or advice as to how to go about this?
(Thanks again Darcy for pointing this out).

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  • 4 months later...

You will need to grind it back and lay some fiber(triaxial would be wise) onto it, fair it back, then gelcoat over it- at the cost of new ones I would suggest buy new ones unless you like to work. You will do it for around 1/2 the price but you need tools, so really just buy new ones. The older rudders are heavy crap, the core is placed pretty random by the looks of the one I cut up- its not in center that's for sure.



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18 minutes ago, darcy1945 said:

There is usually enough room in the casting to just glass over eacc side of the blade, rough up the area to be glassed with 180 grade, and glass at least 50mm below cracks.


Hi Darcy, such a repair as you suggest I would consider cosmetic- I have 2 issues to highlight here.

Firstly the cracking in the gelcoat surface is due to fatigue in the matting layers underneath, if they aren't renewed your blade won't be as rigid as required and will give sub-optimal performance in its performance, function and durability.

Secondly the casting that holds bracket will suffer wear at an accelerated rate, flaring it into taper, this leads to other patch up fixes like graphite shim washers.  Fixed correctly eliminates these issues, when gelcoating over the rudder blade repair apply Graphite Granules to embed into the surface of the rudder blade, which will reduce friction and wear to the casting- the loss in spring tension due to age is also rectified as less force is required to perform the kick back function.

Using a tooling gelcoat will have benefits for the roller surface edge, this can be encrusted with graphite powder also to reduce friction.

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On 8/24/2020 at 7:44 AM, darcy1945 said:

We're talking about getting a $400 boat back on the water in an economical way, spending $400 on 1 new rudder doesn't cut it. 

Hi Darcy,

Who said it would cost any more $$$ then what you suggested doing?

Same tools required and materials. 

They sell fabric by the meter and resin by the gallon-  one layer of fabric each side isn't going to stop it failing. Do it right or you just waste more time and money overall- otherwise sail till it breaks then dump it. A new blade is $350, for someone not setup for fiberglass work, materials, tools and skills- I reckon its pretty cheap, certainly better then drowning.  Box of beers is fast approaching $100, trying to keep up with land values.  ;)



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