Reminder: rudder mounts...

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Postby Guest » Wed Sep 18, 2002 7:09 am

I know (now that I went looking) that this problem was posted before, but just as an FYI...

Be sure to check your rudder mounts for looseness... I was prepping my 2002 boat (#482) for last nights race and discovered that my lower rudder mount was ready to fall off. Three of the bolts were loose and one was ready to fall out. We had a 20 mile race last weekend in relatively heavy winds and I suppose that contributed to the problem. I had cleaned off the rudder a couple of weeks ago and hadn't noticed any sort of play with the rudder.

I'm trying to figure out how to get these back on... can't reach through the access ports, and am working with the local dealer. From the previous posts it looks like I'll need to cut another access port in the cockpit floor.

I didn't realize that I should be checking this with any regularity, but will now.

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 18, 2002 8:51 am

Put them back on with Loctite and/or lock nuts and they should not loosen up again. An access hole in the cockpit sole is the only way in.

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 19, 2002 9:16 am

Dear Dave,
There is a way you can do up the nuts without cutting another access port.
Take a socket set with the right size socket for the nuts inside the air tight compartment.
Take a 4 inch extention piece out of you socket set and go to you local hardware store and get a suitable piece of long round wood, file the ends of the stick so the fit neatly into the extention set and use it as extention. (say 8 feet and big enough in diameter to file it back and fit)
pass the extention through the access port inside the boat and do not forget to to clue it otherwise the extention may fall appart as you put through the air tank to the nuts.
It is a bit of work, but you do not need to cut another access port. You pick and choose!!



Postby Guest » Thu Sep 26, 2002 9:40 pm

Because of these posts in the Forum, I checked my rudder brackets on hull 262 and found two bolts loose (without nuts) on the upper mount port side. I know an access plate is recommended but I tried a different approach (see below) with limited results.
My question concerns the access holes. Are two plates needed to get to all the bolts? Should there be one on the transom to reach the upper bracket and one on the cockpit sole to reach the lower bracket?

This was my attempt. I drilled a 1.125 inch hole into the top of the transom, a little to the outside of the bolts with the hope of getting a wrench in between the walls of the transom and have access to the nuts. I did not realize that TPI reinforced that area and I didn't have the clear shot to the bolts that I wanted. I was able to get a locknut on each bolt but I had to cut away some of the reinforcement to reach the bolts. I centered the hole over the transom and realized after the fact that the hole should have favored the cockpit edge of the transom.
The reason I took this approach is I figured with a hole on top of the transom I could also get to (and see) the nuts to the lower mount. I was going to put a hole on each side of the mounts and be able to reach all 8 fasteners. Then I'd tap the holes for 1 inch pipe thread and install PVC pipe plugs to seal openings.....At least that was the plan.

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 27, 2002 6:44 am

I ended up putting a 4" access port in the floor of the cockpit. Once I was in, I was amazed to see that the only thing holding everything together was a big blob of silicon or caulking spread liberally over all the nuts. I replaced the plain nuts with locknuts and hope everything's fiune for a while.

I had hoped that I'd be able to get up to the back of the upper mount through this hole. But I'm not sure that'll work either. There is a very thin, hollow space in the transom, but it'd be a job to get to the nuts. It might be best to go through the face of the transom for these... but that would mean more holes.

Good luck

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 27, 2002 10:43 am

Several years ago I replaced both gudgeons on my boat because they had worn with minute movement as the boat sat on the mooring all season. I concluded, as Chris did, that the only way in was through the cockpit sole.I made a hole right in front of the motor mount. This allowed me to put my arm in past my elbow so I could it move up and down all along the transom center. The cockput sole is a 1/2" sandwich of glass and balsa, very strong. I waited until after the job was done to install the deckplate so that I could work in the larger rough hole. Prior to installing the plate I thoroughly wet out the exposed balsa ends with thin epoxy.

I chose the deckplate rather than an inspection port because its made to stand on and seems to have a better seal than the port. The frame is more rugged and it opens with a twist lever rather than turning the whole thing on threads. It has never leaked a drop.

As I recall there was edequate space between the walls of the transom to access the upper nuts with a box wrench. I had a friend turn the bolts from outside to tighten.

The two gudgeons must line up or you will curse everytime you hang or remove the rudder. On my boat TPI had accomplished this somewhat by slipping scraps uf "stuff" under the gudgeons in the bedding compound. I pretty much did the same using a 1/2" steel rod through the two to insure proper registration and a plumb setting.

Postby Guest » Sat Sep 28, 2002 1:28 pm

Could you post a photo of these access ports?

Bob's solution sounds pretty good.

Postby Guest » Thu Oct 03, 2002 5:35 pm

I have posted photos at

Postby Guest » Fri Oct 04, 2002 9:49 am

To Bob Lemaire,
I like you pics and the approach to the job. Looks good and works well! Congratulations
Well done
Bob von Felten

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 29, 2003 8:25 pm

I have the same problem, 2 of my lower bolts fell out and all the rest are loose. Can anyone tell me where I can buy the Viking Marine ptl-6 deck plate at.

Postby Guest » Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:25 am

I used an inspection port, similar to the ones installed by TPI. They are available at West Marine. Works fine.

Postby Guest » Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:46 am

On a related topic, my aircraft lock-nut on the bolt that connects the tiller to the rudder blew off somehow on the first run in the first race at the recent worlds. We were doing 14 knots in a big puff and then all of a sudden I was holding the tiller but it wasn't connected to the rudder...disconcerting (hated starting out the regatta with my throughout).

My point is that aircraft locknuts can go bad and should be inspected. Those that are loosened or tighten regularly should be replaced. It is possible to damage aircraft nuts by overtorquing and if they are so damaged, they can blow-off at the worse opportunity

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