Rudder removal and repair – part 3
This operation has not been straight forward but finally the rudder is remounted, hinge and nut covered in putty and the surface faired and ready for the final layers of primer and antifouling.
The rudder is back in place,
Hempels Epoxy Light Primer being applied on the removed rudder
Many layers of Hempels Epoxy Light Primer were applied to the skeg for osmosis prevention (…although judging by the condition of the hull, there is no sign of osmosis)
Skeg antifouling applied – rudder in the background ready for remounting.
Finding the right alignment was a bit tricky as can be seen by the bronze plates placed behind the hinge at the skeg. The two pieces at the rudder part (top of hinge) were probably not needed but left there for additional support. The amount of alignment and needed bronze plates will be different for every single HR352. Some won’t need any and others will need what you see above. The good thing is that the rudder works again smoothly as on a Laser dinghy.
Rudder shaft nut covered in putty again (I have used Plastic Padding Glass Fibre Paste which worked quite well).
Turniing on the lathe is fun. Here, the washer used for the lower bearing is being made (material is CuSn12).
Rudder shaft stuffing box – new packing gland applied. The correct size would have been 9mm square. I could only get 8mm square and 10mm square, so I used one 8mm and one 10mm. Both were flattened a bit resulting in one 7X9 and one 11X9
More repairs – part 3
The sailing season has begun and Matilda is still on the hard. I had planned to have her back in the water mid of June but things didn’t develop as desired.
Repair jobs are being completed one after the other though and I am confident that she will be back in the water by Friday the 29th.
Together with the rudder which is also back in place some additional issues came up.
One of the portside portholes was about to fall out of the frame. I had seen this porthole leaking when I sailed back from Milos last year and wanted to re-bed the acrylic window. This is not the only one needing rework but the worst one. The problem is that I was not clear on how to do it properly. The 8mm thick acrylic window sits in an aluminum frame and is mounted from the outside. It is only hold by the silicone that sits in the 3 mm wide space between the edges of the window and the aluminum frame. The area where the backside of the acrylic window touches the frame is silicone free. Everyone (including Hallberg Rassy) was saying that there were better sealing compounds available on the market today than silicone but I also read that if silicone was used once, silicone should be used again. To cut a long story short, I decided to go for what has worked well for so many years. I bought a silicon remover (which seems to be unknown in Greece) and an activator for better adhesion to the acrylic material and tried to do my best. I believe that there are more things that can be done wrong here than right and so, I did only one window as an experiment. I used a UV and seawater resistant silicon.
After the old silicone was carefully and thoroughly removed and the sealing area was washed and cleaned with alcohol, the activator was applied and the acrylic window was placed into the frame, aligned and hold in place with some pressure ready to for the silicone to be filled into the grove.
Removing the old silicone from the aluminum frame was the most time consuming operation. It was firs mechanically removed and then the silicone remover was applied. This stuff softens the silicone remains which could then be removed with the help of a square wooden stick. The whole operation is not easy and takes a lot of effort but after half an hour and with the help of a scrub cleaning pad, the aluminum frame was silicone free.
The silicone was applied and it seems that the operation was successful. I can tell this by applying pressure from the inside against the window or by the sound when knocking on it. The question is how long will this last? I hope long. Time will show.
Another problem arose when I was trying to fix the nut that holds the propeller in place. Suddenly it broke into two pieces.
Judging by the colour, I would guess that this is a clear case of dezincification.
Because of the 3/4” imperial thread, finding a new one for replacement was not an easy task, but I finally found something that suited.
More repairs – part 2
OK, let’s see what’s going on with the other issues.
Ruder shaft stuffing box body back in place with fresh Sikaflex 291i
Among other things, there was the CENTA coupling, the Volvo shaft seal, the cutlass bearing and the ruder shaft seal. The rudder shaft was leaking a little but not through the packing box. The leakage was between the rudder shaft tube and the fiberglass laminate.
Stuffing box housing removed from the rudder shaft tube. The sealing at this end was done by the means of silicone which could easily be pealed off.
A big square pipe was used with two screws welded at the corners for unscrewing the stuffing box housing. It was an easy operation.
New Volvo Penta propeller shaft sealing installed.
CENTA AGM Coupling with new rubber part back in place.
All screws were tightened according to the manufacturer’s instructions using a torque wrench (…of course :-) ).
Cutlass bearing replaced and remounted. I have sealed part of the internal thread and the contact area to the hull with Sikaflex 291i.
This ring, is supposed to be used at the location where the rudder shaft exits the hull. Together with some Pantera MS-3000/60 V2 Marine Sealant is should provide proper sealing and solve the leakage problem.
A groove of 3mm depth was made around the shaft into the hull and the ring was placed into it with some Pantera MS-3000/60 V2 Marine Sealant.
…more to come soon