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Rudder Stock Corrosion

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Ruach View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 January 2012 at 14:13
Recently had my 341 lifted for the winter and regular maintenance and checks have been carried out.  During these checks, the engineers discovered corrosion of the aluminium rudder stock between the blade and the socket into the hull.  The stock is pitted to a depth of 1 or 2mm.  The yard are currently recommending replacement of the whole rudder, which will be seriously expensive.  The boat was purchased new in September 2003.

Has anybody else had a similar problem and what action did you take?

Thank you in advance of any responses.
ERIC
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Peter-Blake View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Peter-Blake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2012 at 15:53
I remember some fotos from our member Gregor
pm him or look at his site

http://www.uisge-beatha.eu/
Blake 370
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skipper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote skipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2012 at 17:26

Our Dutch sailor friend did have issues with the rudder stock.

I believe Johan have been in contact with Jefa regarding new rudder but not to address corrision issue. I have removed my rudder and have it in my garage due to issues with the lower rudder bearing that I need to take action on.
 
Please share your progress because corrision problem can happens us all
Cheers,
Skipper
Hanse 342 2005 (Sparcraft mast, white hull, wheel steering, deep draft keel, short rudder)
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kirkelund View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kirkelund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2012 at 20:41
Hi Eric

As far as I know, the rudder stock is made of a salt water resistant type of aluminium, but over a longer period I guess some corrosion cannot be avoided completely. The aluminium is quite thick so corrosive spots a few milimeters deep would not pose any immediate danger in my opinion, BUT one should not be careless about it, so a replacement might be relevant. Also remember to keep the rudder stock free from antifouling that contains copper, but of course you know that alreadyEmbarrassed I use Internationals Trilux around the rudder stock and even on top of the rudder blade.

If you eventually need replacement, the best option (price / quality) would be Jefa's model RUD34. Or you could consider a custom made carbon monocoque rudderBig smile

Ole,
Kirkelund

"Amani"
Lynetten, Copenhagen, Denmark
Hanse 342 (grey hull, wheel steering, deep draft keel, Jefa rudder - RUD34)
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fiddler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote fiddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2012 at 00:45
Yes,  this is exactly what happened to my 2001 Hanse 311.   A circle of corrosion had formed around the stock where it comes out of the lower bearing,  and I had the whole thing replaced in 2006.  And yes,  it was expensive,  but this was about the time 'Megawat' lost her rudder (for other reasons) and sank,  so I was a bit nervous.   I still have the old stock which you are free to examine it if you wish.

I'm afraid we never found what caused this.  One advisor said "crevice corrosion" and others blamed electrolysys or stray leakage from shore power.  I had the boat professionally tested for stray currents,  but that showed nothing.   I do know that when she was antifouled by a boatyard, they had definitely painted over the aluminium,  so I am hoping that this was responsible.

In the absence of anything definite,  these days I don't put copper based antifouling closer than 2 inches of the rudder,  and don't put ANY antifouling of any sort on the stock.  I have had an anode fitted near the rudder bonded to the stock inside the rear locker,  and a galvanic isolator installed in the shore power circuit.   I only use shore power when I absolutely have to,  which is 2 or 3 times a year.

Sorry if that is less than helpful,  but I have never found any proper solution.   For what its worth,  I have seen several 'For Sale' Hanses ashore with freshly painted stocks,  showing various degrees of pitting!

Regards    Fiddler


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skipper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2012 at 09:37
Fiddler,
 
thx for sharing your experience and actions.
This is a common issue for all yachtowner with an Alu rudder stock.
 
Would it be possible to put epoxy on the rudder stock on the section below the lower bearing to enable use of standard coppar based antifouling (if not I should start to use the coppar-free antifouling on and around the rudder stock)?
 
Putting an anode inside the locker on the rudder stock is an action I don't understand how it works (if). Can any elaborate on this.


Edited by skipper - 13 January 2012 at 09:38
Cheers,
Skipper
Hanse 342 2005 (Sparcraft mast, white hull, wheel steering, deep draft keel, short rudder)
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fiddler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fiddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2012 at 16:23
Hello Skipper.  

We did take advice on retro-fitting an epoxy sleeve as you suggest, but decided it would cause more problems than it solved.   Basically, you have to keep damp copper antifouling away from aluminium, and the only way to do this would be to manufacture the stock with a full-length Epoxy sleeve which actually passes through the lower bearing.    I don't say its impossible, but it is likely to cost more than a new rudder.

Frankly,  if you are saying that you have copper based antifouling on your rudder stock then the fix is simple and important -  Strip it off as soon as possible.

Re the anode -   this is, of course, mounted on the outside.  It is bonded to the stock by a cable connected to it's attachment bolts inside the hull.   It is slowly being eaten,  so it is active.

A question to other Hanse owners -  we did not receive an 'Owners Manual' when we bought our boat.  Do Hanse issue any advice about antifouling types these days?

Regards   Fiddler
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Ruach View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ruach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2012 at 16:28
Here are some pictures of the problem:








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Ruach View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ruach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2012 at 16:33
Hello Fiddler,
Thank you for your response.  Since replacing the rudder and installing an anode, have you had any further problems?
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fiddler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote fiddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2012 at 17:08
Hello Ruach,

It looked reasonable last winter when I examined her ashore,  and I decided that it was not worth dropping the rudder for a full inspection.    But PLEASE don't take this as being expert advice, merely the ideas of a desperate owner! 

I attach a photograph of the damage on my old rudder,  taken in 2005 when she had been afloat for four years. I must say that the corrosion on your boat looks shocking,  much worse than mine,  and sadly I agree with the boatyard about replacement.  

There does seem to be a green-ish tint in places on your corrosion.  Is it possible that it has been over-coated with antifouling?  And, if so,  what sort?

Sympathies   Fiddler



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