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-   -   Hit a Rock - Rudder Repair (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=799568)

Iceberg 08-15-2013 10:05 PM

Hit a Rock - Rudder Repair
Last week we were out surfing with an extra Fat Sac in the locker. Water is about 10-15' deep and as we are pulling our surfer out of the water, we grind a rock at about 3-4 mph. We found a pinnacle and it was about 3.5'-4' under the water. There are lots of rocks in this lake and we thought we knew where all the danger areas were. All I needed was 1-2 inches :banghead::banghead::banghead:

So here is the initial damage.




So after taking it back home and surveying the damage, the propeller looked like it was repairable, but it had spun the key and had actually climbed up the shaft. So after using a 10 ton hydraulic puller, all I did was bend the puller hooks and leave impressions in the prop blades. Heat didn't work and neither did a BFH while under tension. So the only option left was to cut it off. That is not quite as easy as it sounds! You need to cut off a blade to get in to the hub and then be careful not to damage the shaft. The rudder shaft is perfectly straight! The prop shaft is straight as well.


I pulled the rudder and started grinding the gelcoat off with a 60 grit flap disk. It became obvious that a previous repair had been made as I continued to cut back to good fiberglass.


You can see the resin built up without cloth. As I broke out the carbide tipped grinder the amber resin flaked off in chunks. This was probably why the initial cracks were as big as they were, the fiberglass (perhaps) could have flexed and possibly not cracked at all or at least somewhat less. I just kept going until I had removed pretty much all of the resin.


I didn't take a picture of it all ripped out, but I removed all of the rough resin at the top of the photo as well.


Rather than use resin, I went with the West system to lay in new cloth. I used about 4-5 sq ft (who would have thought) in about 9 layers with about 25 smaller pieces to give it some shape. The first few layers were placed with no silicate. I ended up having to add some silicate to keep it from sagging and, later on, to shape the edges of the attachment box.





When I had built it up enough with cloth, I inserted the rudder for a test fit. I used carbide on a dremel to clean up the big hole and a 7/16 bit for the mounting holes. Being happy with the work so far, it was time to set a bed of epoxy for the rudder assembly to sit in. I taped the rudder assembly and used aluminum foil (or plastic) to prevent the assembly form becoming epoxied to the fiberglass while it set up. To prevent the screws from becoming stuck, I used plastic tape and petroleum jelly on the threads.



I let it set up for 5 hours and then pulled out the assembly to clean it up.


I did a bit of rough sanding with a 80 grit wheel on a grinder.


The next step was to add more epoxy (peanut butter thick) to shape the sides and fill in more of the rough areas. Almost ready for final shaping!


More instalments to come in a day or 2.

Giddyup 08-15-2013 10:11 PM

WOW great looking repair so far, keep us updated, i have always enjoyed working with fiberglass

great job

markj 08-16-2013 1:01 AM

Holy cow! You are the man. I'm pretty handy but I would have just called the insurance company on this one. Curious why you chose to fix it yourself.

NATE1979 08-16-2013 6:41 AM

Your strut looks bent in the picture. If it is, so is your shaft.

NATE1979 08-16-2013 6:45 AM


Also, I recommend reading this before you decide to apply a finish to the epoxy repair. Many people believe you cannot gel-coat over epoxy resin.

West System says you can.

monkey_butt 08-16-2013 6:46 AM

Frank, even already knowing what you were up to but now seeing the pictures is pretty amazing. The prop got whacked though pretty bad initially - I didn't realize that until I now saw the picture.

Very nice work indeed again - not that I'm surprised by any means - at least I'm not the only one who would have called the insurance company :D

BTW - it sorta hit me - you picked up a rider when this happened? it could have also been the rider hiting the rock :eek:

Iceberg 08-16-2013 7:38 AM

The cutlass is straight. What you see is the skewing of a small lens iPhone.

I have had no problems ever applying gelcoat over epoxy. 10 years ago I did a big repair on my jetboat hull that came out perfect, once I figured out how to do gelcoat work laying under the boat working overhead. This time I will spray it, it will be even easier.

My total cost to fix it, not including my time, will be $400, prop included (always seem to find good deals - not always when I need them though). My other reason was time; no one could fix it within few weeks. This has taken a few days between doing other things. Also, as much as I hate fixing broken things, I don't mind doing this or other modifications to things I own.

Here is the moment of truth!

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y1hmcroPQJE?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

the_right_kind 08-16-2013 7:57 AM

Man, that's an ambitious repair you took on, good for you.
Did you check inside the hull? Most likely it's cracked there too.
Good luck.

monkey_butt 08-16-2013 8:16 AM

ouch ... that was truly bad luck ... heard the f-word too ... :D

Pad1Tai 08-16-2013 9:23 AM

Man.... I feel your pain...

NATE1979 08-16-2013 9:52 AM


Originally Posted by Iceberg (Post 1839360)
The cutlass is straight. What you see is the skewing of a small lens iPhone.

I have had no problems ever applying gelcoat over epoxy. 10 years ago I did a big repair on my jetboat hull that came out perfect, once I figured out how to do gelcoat work laying under the boat working overhead. This time I will spray it, it will be even easier.

Sounds as if you have it sorted. When I started using West Systems epoxy years ago, it was "common" knowledge that gel-coat wouldn't stick to it.

Too bad the "common" knowledge was a myth.

DealsGapCobra 08-16-2013 11:37 AM

Off topic but why the 406 filler, is it light weight? I use 404 structural filler for structural bonds and micro-balloons for nonstructural. I am just interested in furthering my education.

BTW - Nice work on the repair. That video was hard to watch. :-(

Iceberg 08-16-2013 2:02 PM

The cloth was the primary strengthener. The filler is a good vs best option and I had almost all of it left over from the last repair. Since I am not bonding panels with gaps and I used cloth, it really didn't matter.

Iceberg 08-22-2013 9:10 PM

Between work, a few rainy days and a few real windy days, I finally finished the repair. The windy days were gelcoat days, so I ended up painting it on and sanding vs spraying. There is way more sanding needed when brushing versus spraying. However, after the first sanding I was able to use big plastic and steel knives to due the remaining applications.



Test fit and almost finished sanding.



Applied sealant after final sanding (400 then 500 and 800 grit) and power polishing with fine grit and a sealer.


Alignment is right on!



Prop is on and sealant is curing.


I don't want to do this one again!

Pad1Tai 08-22-2013 9:46 PM

Nice work!!!

Ready for this one?


Iceberg 08-22-2013 10:20 PM

Rock vs Mastercraft - Knock out in Round 1. Ouch!

AdamTX 08-23-2013 5:25 AM

Wow! Just the thread I needed to see right now. Great work and I think I may try doing the same thing. This happened last week http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/08/23/6epy6a5u.jpg

Sent from my ADR930L using Tapatalk 2

machloosy 08-23-2013 6:16 AM

Frank that is some seriously good work! I applaud the get it done attitude.

Iceberg 08-23-2013 5:21 PM


Originally Posted by Pad1Tai (Post 1840714)

Is this J Toews boat?

Jed 08-24-2013 11:06 PM

Well done!!!!

monkey_butt 09-14-2013 4:30 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Frank - just 2 weeks ago with no rain for more than 2 months now - I hit something too (assume it's one of those leftover bridge posts in the channel between the 2 lakes). When it happened - the boat tilted to the right - so I assumed it was the prop getting caught but didn't have time to really check until yesterday when I took boat out and started working on tabs etc.

Needless to say - it wasn't the prop ... looks familiar? The hit to the right rudder was so bad that it actually hit the bottom of the transom as well and caused an indentation ... not sure if I should feel lucky that it wasn't worse but I'm not looking forward to that bill from the shop - I'm not going to fix this by myself - not in your league :rolleyes:

Iceberg 09-14-2013 5:19 PM

Yes, that looks familiar! If the attachments were sitting on the bottom of the hull like some of the other wakeboats rather than being recessed, it would be an easier fix. However, all the more expensive boats have them recessed.

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