Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Rudder Disaster!.....

I arrived at the boat on bank holiday Monday as I had other commitments on Saturday, turns out this was the best day weatherwise so was looking forward to cracking on with the hull fairing and filling.
First I decided to grind back the parts of the rudder I had not been able to get to when it was attached to the hull, as well as dealing with the bottom of the skeg that had recieved some damage, this should all have only taken half an hour........

I started with grinding flat the damage to the skeg which only took a few minutes with an 80 grit flap disk, then finished it off with some epoxy filler to cover the exposed fibreglass.



Once finished I started to work on the rudder which i removed last week, grinding back and tidying up, it was looking very good, until that is I noticed a crack!

The hairline crack appeared to run along the front edge of the rudder and I nearly missed it as it was so small, I set to work with the grinder to expose it and realised I would be spending more time on the rudder than originally planned.

Initially I could only see the crack for 6-8 inches

I opened the crack a little with a chisel so that i would be able to get some resin inside the crack before effecting a repair with fibreglass matt.
I decided to strip everything back a couple of inches eitherside of the crack and the complete length, this turned out to be a good idea, as you can see the crack extends from one end to the other, although most of it was not visible due to the old layers of epoxy.

After mixing up a batch of epoxy resin I managed to get this into the crack where room would allow and then I prepared the rudder for a fibreglass repair.

I used 450g fibreglass matting and also surface tissue matting to cover the crack and a strengthing strip at the bottom of the stock, along with a 100ml of Lloyds approved resin and 1ml of catalyst.
Working with fibreglass you learn quickly that the very last job to do before laying the matt is to mix the resin, reason for this is that unless you prepare properly you always find something you had forgotten inbetween mixing the resin and laying the matt, and end up with pot of solid resin that has gone off!

It seems just when I think I am close to getting the hull finished another problem crops up and causes havoc with my plans, nevertheless I am still hoping to have the hull completed by the end of May which will including, filling and fairing, epoxy coatings and refitting the rudder, replacing the cutlass bearing and anodes.

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