• Welcome to this website/forum for people interested in the Morgan 38 Sailboat. Many of our members are 'owners' of Morgan 38s, but you don't need to be an owner to Register/Join.

Dropping the rudder

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
I need to take off the rudder on my 382. I have never done this and neither has my yard. Looks as if there are two bronze bolts that hold the gudgeon onto the skeg and with those removed, things should come apart. If I can remove them after all these years. Please send any advice you might have soon. thanks.
 

paragon

Alan & Cheryl Shedd
Hi Terry:

Lots of info in the archives on dropping the rudder. It's worth it to spend a few minutes searching for "rudder" AND "remove". We dropped ours. It is comparatively simple provided your boat is blocked up high enough to have clearance under the boat for the shaft and rudder. Some people have dug holes to provide clearance. We were lucky, boat was positioned in yard with stern near edge of graded area and ground sloped away giving us sufficient clearance.
You are right, the only things that hold the rudder in are the steering quadrant and the gudgeon. Removing quadrant is easy - good opportunity to check steering cables. Loosen stuffing box - or remove nut and packing - you should repack it when you reinstall. Gudgeon held on by two or three long bronze screws. I ordered replacements from Jamestown Distributors since I thought I'd chew them up removing them. The screws are threaded in from each side. A little heat might help loosen. It takes a large screwdriver bit, some also use an impact driver to loosen.
I supported the rudder and lowered it using lines rigged from the deck as described in a post on the listserv. It worked ok but I like to be able to control the process from the ground. For reinstall, I used a hydraulic floor jack - much easier to control. I still used lines to support the rudder while I re-blocked the jack.
When you lower the rudder the last bit and the shaft comes out of the tube, you will need to support it. First impression is that sucker is heavy and wants to tip over.
I had a lot of wear in the gudgeons and had them filled and re-machined. I also filled and re-drilled the holes for the bolts and rebuilt the slot the gudgeon halves fit into on the skeg trying to reduce play and improve alignment - it was lot of work - not hard just tedious with a lot of trial and test fit. I am happy with the end result.
While you have the rudder off, also might want to replace the cutlass bearing - much easier with extra clearance.
Good luck with your project.
-Alan
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Has anyone rebuilt or improved or strengthened the gudgeons. Two bolts seems sort of skimpy--although mine has lasted for 31 years.
 

jnoble

John Noble
Actually, there are 3 machine screws, 4" by 3/8", bronze, flat head. Two of my were corroded after 22 years, the one nearest to the rudder post pretty badly, the middle one not too badly and the third not at all. Mine came out fairly easily with a big screw driver. They tread all the way through the gudgeon, 2 on one side, 1 on the other. The 4" length is a little long. You can trim the ends flush with a sander. I caulked mine in with 3M 101.
 

paragon

Alan & Cheryl Shedd
Ours had three machine screws also as John describes.

I think most of the support of the gudgeons comes from the groove in the skeg it fits into. The bolts hold the two halves together and hold it tightly in the groove. When I removed the rudder, the round hole in the gudgeons was worn oval, increasing the play in the rudder and groove had also become a little loose allowing the gudgeon halves to wiggle a little - especially if the bolts got a little loose.
A machine shop built up the gudgeon with filler rod then bored the hole round again to the rudder stock dimension. (the original plan was to bore the gudgeon hole oversized and fit it with a replaceable sleeve bearing but the shop decided to do the filling instead).
I also tried to rebuild the groove and fill and redrill the bolt holes in the skeg to reduce play. Ideally, I should have used a tube the size of the rudder stock to create good alignment of the gudgeon with the top rudder tube and packing gland while I did my fiberglass work. My alignment was a little off and I had to polish (grind down) the re-bored gudgeon with valve lapping paste to make the rudder move freely. It probably onlt removed a couple thousandths in the tight spots but it took a lot of moving the rudder back and forth to wear the fitting and assembly / disassembly.
I used a thrust washer to reduce rudder wear against the top of the gudgeon.
In some ways, I can't really fault the original design - it' crude but it did work for 25 years.
I took photos during the process but I'm not sure they add much to the discussion.

-Alan
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
thanks all. my gudgeon, luckily, is in very good shape. we just cleaned it well. the holes in the sked are also still true. the sked itself had a little glass damage behind the rudder, but that is easily repaired.
 

buckfd1aolcom

Frank Buck
Does anyone have the dimensions of the rudder post handy? I need the diameter of the post and the length of the post from the top of rudder to the top of the post? Is there any machining on the post? I have searched the archives but I can't find any reference to these dimensions or any comments on machining. I have to replace the rudder on my 382 and Foss foam needs this information.

As always, thanks for your help

Frank
Aldebaran
 

tfrere

Thomas McNulty
Jim,
Did you get one from Foss Foam? If so, do you mind sharing the cost of it? I have the rudder modification on my long term task list and it sure would be nice if I could find one already built so the boat can get back in the water sooner.
Tommy
 

maluhia

Jim Ball
No, I added depth to my existing rudder
but in the past, some others have and the cost was ssomewhere between $1200 and $1600. But that was a few years back!
 

tdenney

Timothy W. Denney
All,

Just dropped my rudder today. Removed the rudder, prop, shaft, and cutless bearing in 3 hours. Bolts holding on the gudgeon at the bottom were stainless about 4" long and in good condition. They came out easily. The yard picked up the boat for 10 minutes while the rudder dropped out.

I have no idea how old my cutless bearing is, but I was not charged for removal since it just slid out with the shaft. There was only one set-screw that we found holding the cutless bearing. It even looked like it might have spun a little. It was very red from electrolysis. I am so glad I went the extra mile and did this. The bronze prop and bronze shaft were fine. No electrolysis. Go figure.

I know many of you have done this. I had read that this could be done in half a day, but doubted it. It was too easy.
 

woody

Rich&Pat Woodland
tim,
the cutlass bearing spinning in the shaft log sounds disturbing. you may have to custom machine a new one.I have the Morse part # for the original if you need it.

now you have to put it all back together.

rich
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
My cutlass bearing was spinning in the shaft log. We had to rebuild the shaft log to make the orific smaller. A touchy job, using epoxy, some glass, and an older log used as a plug that came out after the new log hole set up. I let the boat builder do it. Several hundred dollars, but had to be done. I don't think tyou can remachine a bearing. the bearing should be tight in the log--so tight that it only goes in after it has sat in a freezer for many hours. Don't rely on the set screw, although you want it to work too. I would recommend you replace the stainless bolts holding the gudgeons with bronze. You don't want the bronze gudgeons and stainless engaged in electrolisis.
 

tdenney

Timothy W. Denney
Thanks for the input. I did not see any electrolysis with the SS bolts. It looked very clean. I will talk to the yard about the bearing. The moment of truth will come when we try to install the new one. The old one was very red. Perhaps it had collapsed somewhat.

Is there any such thing as an oversized bearing, like oversized pistons when you soup up an engine? It might only mean .005".

I noticed under the thread "loose cutlass bearing" that Alan Shedd had tapped into the bearing so that the set screws threaded into it. Not a bad solution if the bear is not too loose, i.e. does not need to be frozen.

Thanks all.
 

woody

Rich&Pat Woodland
tim,
that is what i was referring to.if the shaft log is still round a oversized bearing can be machined to fit.
i agree terry's reply is the better way to go.
good luck
rich
 
Top