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Rudder out of bottom cup


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My rudder has come out of the bottom cup after I caught the edge of it on a cill when descending a lock. It is still attached at the top and works to steer the boat although it is much “wobblier” than it used to be and I can feel the turbulence from the prop wash moving the tiller about. 
 

I am having the boat out of the water in 4 weeks time and can easily (I think!) fix it then. However, I have two days cruising to get to where I’m having it out of the water and I’m conscious of setting out on this journey with a dubious rudder. 
 

assuming I have no further incidents on the journey - can I make this any worse or cause further damage by making the journey with the rudder as is? 

 

Thanks 

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It may be possible to lift the rudder back into the cup if nothing below the water is too bent. If you have a bolted down top bearing and can unbolt it, then it is just a case of lifting the rudder assembly by the tiller bar and moving it about until the bottom of the rudder shaft drops back into the cup. Trial and error though and you may be lucky and it goes straight back in, or you may be fiddling with it for hours! (Says a certified tee shirt holder).

 

That said, if you can steer with it as it is, you shouldn't do any more harm carrying on boating for a couple of days.

  • Greenie 2
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Often you can lift a rudder and replace it your self, or perhaps with one other person to help you. It may not be as difficult as you imagine.

 

Otherwise, make the two day trip taking care with the rudder.

 

Beaten to it!

Edited by frahkn
Slow typing
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It should be possible to put it back in yourself with the right technique.  Stand facing the rear of the boat and put your back flat under under the tiller.  Bend your knees and lift the tiller using your hands to manipulate the bottom of the rudder onto the skeg.  With a bit of jiggling it should go back in as David says.

 

Edited by koukouvagia
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Ok that’s really helpful. So just to check I understand, where there are three bolts at the base of the tiller, I unbolt these, and then I can attempt to get it back in? And if I fail, I’ll be no worse off than I am now? 

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If the shaft will lift easily without undoing the bolts, then no need to undo them. But most modern narrow boats have a proper bearing here which you will probably need to unbolt. Traditional working boats just have a loose fitting collar between the rudder tube and the rudder shaft, which means nothing needs to be unbolted. But on the other hand the rudder assembly weighs about 3 times as much as on a leisure boat!

  • Greenie 1
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When it happened to me, I didn't have to unbolt anything, I just lifted the tiller. I would try this before unbolting anything. Only resort to unbolting if there is no vertical movement in the tiller.

  • Greenie 1
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It's unlikely you'll further damage it, as I'm sure you've experienced by now slow manoeuvring is likely to be a bit hap hazard.

Bear in mind if you have an accident under way and need to make a claim your insurance company is likely to take a dim view of you navigating with knowingly defective steering.

 

I don't see why you'd think removing the Swan Neck and tiller bar is a good idea, as that's the handle and leverage you need to lift the assembly and adjust its approach to the cup.  Others above have given you good advice about that.  I suggest at least two of you, and consider getting in to stand on the skeg.

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Hi @zenataomm I wasn’t suggesting going against others’ advice, I was checking I had understood? Clearly I didn’t…I had thought that others had suggested unbolting at the base of the tiller, where I have three bolts around where the tiller disappears into the deck. Which bolts were people referring to previously? I can’t lift the tiller in its current situation. I’m not trying to be awkward I’m just checking I’ve correctly understood what to do as I don’t want to be unbolting things I shouldn’t! 

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2 minutes ago, Balloon said:

Hi @zenataomm I wasn’t suggesting going against others’ advice, I was checking I had understood? Clearly I didn’t…I had thought that others had suggested unbolting at the base of the tiller, where I have three bolts around where the tiller disappears into the deck. Which bolts were people referring to previously? I can’t lift the tiller in its current situation. I’m not trying to be awkward I’m just checking I’ve correctly understood what to do as I don’t want to be unbolting things I shouldn’t! 

The can be bloody heavy, I did one on a hireboat once. They were struggling to steer and apologised for being slow. I was dead lucky and it dropped straight in. As said earlier you have to get your back under the tiller to lift it,

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Just now, ditchcrawler said:

The can be bloody heavy, I did one on a hireboat once. They were struggling to steer and apologised for being slow. I was dead lucky and it dropped straight in. As said earlier you have to get your back under the tiller to lift it,

The tiller is the height of my upper arm, not sure I’ll lift it with my back under it maybe I need to grow a bit 🤣

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7 minutes ago, Tonka said:

Tie a bit of rope through the rudder eye and onto a dolly just to ensure the rudder can not slip out.

 

But watch out, you might end up with a dead Rosie dolly, whilst Jim looks on in amazement.

 

 

Rosie & Jim - Childrens TV | Jedi's Paradise

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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2 hours ago, Mike Hurley said:

Lady G will be along soon to offer top advice.

I read her posts with dismay whilst seeking an answer to my issue. Hence making a thread of my own

3 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Put the Stilettos on, that'll gain you another 4"

If you knew me in person…you’d know that really wouldn’t happen 🤣

2 hours ago, Tonka said:

Tie a bit of rope through the rudder eye and onto a dolly just to ensure the rudder can not slip out.

Do you mean, while I do it? Or while I’m cruising. The latter is what I’m concerned about happening…

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58 minutes ago, Balloon said:

I read her posts with dismay whilst seeking an answer to my issue. Hence making a thread of my own

If you knew me in person…you’d know that really wouldn’t happen 🤣

Do you mean, while I do it? Or while I’m cruising. The latter is what I’m concerned about happening…

Whilst you are doing it and whilst cruising. Make sure there is enough slack to move the tiller.

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3 hours ago, Mike Hurley said:

Lady G will be along soon to offer top advice.

 

1 hour ago, Balloon said:

I read her posts with dismay whilst seeking an answer to my issue. Hence making a thread of my own

 

Hers was actually snapped.  If it had simply been a case of getting it back in the cup I'd have done it months ago.

 

As others have said, yours is a simple fix.   

 

If you don't quite understand what you need to do post a photograph of your back deck showing the bearing (if you have one), where the rudder post comes through the deck and where the tiller connects to the rudder post.

 

We can then tell you which bolts to touch and which ones to leave alone.

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Thanks everyone. No, I’ve not dealt with this before as usually way more careful of cills! Circumstances distracted me this time and I’m always single handed.

 

here are my delightful bolts  

D5B60268-D55D-43BB-8DCC-A82F36974D0C.png

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3 minutes ago, Balloon said:

Thanks everyone. No, I’ve not dealt with this before as usually way more careful of cills! Circumstances distracted me this time and I’m always single handed.

 

here are my delightful bolts  

D5B60268-D55D-43BB-8DCC-A82F36974D0C.png

Do not remove the bolts with lock nuts, without first tieing the rudder to the boat, you could end up by losing the rudder completely!

If you have a rope tied to the rudder, there is often a hole for this purpose, then if it does fall off, it's a case of pulling it out using the rope.

 

Bod.

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I'd be inc;ined to try and correct it as if that stock is left flogging about in the tube could damage the tube especially the tubes bottom weld of which you wouldn't know the condition of, it might be iffy, rusty, give way and either sink the boat or let water into the fuel tank or visa versa. Those tubes are always the Achilles heel, anothe water line, often forgotten.

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