Author Topic: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom  (Read 913 times)

Offline Christopher

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Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« on: July 05, 2014, 11:59:14 PM »
All,

My Suncat rudder receiver bracket is loose again which requires the 4 nuts to be tightened from inside the hull.  I had to do this once before and it was not easy.  I just returned from Lake Erie and several large boats passed me by which created large swells which put quite a load on the rudder and caused the receiver bracket to loosen up.  Does anyone have a suggestion on how to better mate the rudder bracket to the transom to create better friction between the two so this doesn't happen again?

Thank-you,

Chris

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2014, 12:45:00 AM »
Chris, are they locked down with lock nuts inside? What is the fastner used in that location?

If there is lock nuts, I would use a new set of lock nuts and possibly a second to back it up. Typically once a fastner is locked down, they dont give up very easily. I would also use fender washers on the inside, to help spread the load it is under. Dont know about your boat, but mine had regular washers all over and they seemed to want to try to start pulling through. When I redid my entire boat (CP19) I used fender washers where I could in order to avoid having things coming loose at any time.

Mac
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Offline capt_nemo

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2014, 07:49:06 PM »
Christopher,

Agree with MacGyver on locknuts and fender washers.

Since this happened once before, I think something is amiss with the bolts. They may not be the correct length. If they are not fully threaded and slightly too long you may run out of threads when tightening the nuts before they and washers tighten up against the inside of the transom. They may feel and look tight down in that dark confined place but they are not. This would allow the receiver bracket to work loose especially if placed under strain as described. Recommend you check out the bolt length and threads before proceeding further.

Just some food for thought.

capt_nemo

Offline Christopher

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2014, 08:34:06 PM »
MacGyver & Capt_Nemo,
  I removed the rudder bracket today.  Locknuts were used however no washers had been installed so the locknuts were buried into the fiberglass.  Fortunately I was able to get a wrench with difficulty on enough nut face to get them off.  I'm really surprised there are no washers.  I mentioned in my original message that I had tightened the nuts before.  That was right after I bought the boat and I was not yet in the mode of improving things just fixing so I could go sailing.  The .25" bolts are 1.5 inches in length and had very little shank left past the nut and that was with half of the nut buried in the fiberglass.
  I  bought 2" length bolts along with fender washers and .25" washers

Offline Christopher

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 09:00:13 PM »
Continuation here because it posted before I was done.
The .25" washers will go between the bolt heads and the rudder bracket.  There are none there now.  I guess washers were not used because 1.5" bolts were to short to allow for them.  I am also considering the idea of gluing a piece of rubber (car inner tube) onto the back of the rudder bracket to allow some friction between the bracket and the transom.  Right now it is aluminum metal bracket against the fiberglass transom.  Any thought on that idea?

Thank-you for your responses,

Chris

Offline Schumway

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 09:52:34 PM »
My 02 the PO modified gudgeons. Spaced upper and lower several inches further apart. Took some machine work and a little fiberglass. I need photos to better explain.
Fred

Offline patfurr

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2017, 04:06:45 PM »
My rudder bracket also loosened late last year after a heavy weather sail on Lake Champlain.  Man, is it ever a tight fit for me to get my 5' 10" 185# frame in through the cockpit lockers to access the interior transom nuts.  Mine were covered with a good helping of sealant so I could not tell if there were washers or better yet plates between the nut and transom.  I would be very surprised and disappointed if there were not even washers.  I think I will take her out several times to see how she holds after tightening before I go up to Champlain again.  I like the idea of placing some rubber between the mount and the outside of the transom for grip and also to provide a bit more waterproofing once things are snugged up. 

Offline Bilge Rat

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2017, 08:06:14 PM »
So the only way to access the transom is climbing into the lockers? I've yet needed to do this but wondered how access could be gained. I don't think I could fit.
'09 Sun Cat, '06 Catalina 16.5, '00 Lido 14, '84 Holder 14

Offline Catawampus

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2017, 11:59:44 PM »
I couldn't convince my aging frame to get into the locker. Fortunately we had several teenagers in our youth sailing program. I asked for a volunteer. He happily went in with an adjustable wrench and held each nut while I tightened with a ratchet from the outside. I was so delighted with his help that we gave him some cash. He refused it, but my bride convinced him to put the money in his college fund. Now I check those bolts monthly. Occasionally I have to tighten one a quarter turn, but they are imbedded now and I no longer need someone with a wrench on the inside.
Steve
Officer in charge of laundry and morale
Catawampus - 2002 Sun Cat

Offline Tom L.

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2017, 09:38:38 AM »
This issue ruined one of my best weekend sails over to Pelican Bay on Cayo Costa and I decided a permanent repair was in order. First to gain easier access to the area I removed the small rectangular cover plate on the transom where the tiller passes through. then I removed the fiberglass tuned. That was the hardest part. After removing all the screws that hold the tunnel in place the sealant was very tight so the tunnel was stuck in place.  I had to carefully work a knife around the edges to break loose the tunnel. This gives easy access to the entire interior transom area.
Because the loose bracket had wallowed out the mounting holes I drilled the bracket and transom for larger bolts. I think I went to 3/8". I used 1/4"x 2" square aluminum backing plates.  I went one step beyond and drilled the mounting plate in the four corners for four more 1/4" bolts with backing plates. That bracket will tear the transom off before it comes loose again. I always thought the original bolts needed to be out further on the bracket for the best mechanical advantage.
While the transom was opened up I added larger backing plates to the O.B. bracket too.

Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline Catawampus

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2017, 06:05:36 PM »
Thanks Tom,
I've been intimidated by that tiller "horn" with all of its screws and sealant, but the repairs that you describe are what I really need to do. Thanks for describing and proving that it can be done.
Steve
Officer in charge of laundry and morale
Catawampus - 2002 Sun Cat

Offline Bilge Rat

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2017, 07:05:47 PM »
I was also wondering if removing that cowling or tiller horn would grant access.  That's good to know as I would have to contract out my son to crawl in that locker. I'm afraid if I went into that locker I would need to call the fire dept. to get me out.
'09 Sun Cat, '06 Catalina 16.5, '00 Lido 14, '84 Holder 14

Offline Christopher

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2017, 10:37:58 PM »
An Update,
  I did the repair back in July of 2014 and haven't had a problem since.  The washers and the rubber between the rudder bracket and the transom seem to be doing the job.  I also looked at trying to remove the horn but after I took the screws out and tapped on it with a rubber hammer I was afraid I would damage it.  My recommendation is find a friend that is willing to crawl into the locker and hold the wrench.  The rubber I used was an old inner tube from my tractor I think.  But I cut it out so it nicely covered the rudder bracket.  If I recall I used rubber cement to hold it on the bracket.  I used no adhesive on the transom.
  Good luck
Chris

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Rudder Receiver bolts to transom
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2017, 04:06:28 PM »
I was able to squeeze back in there while a friend held the bolt on the outside.

We'll see how long it holds.

Ron