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Old 12-08-2011, 06:26 PM   #1
chc
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Californian 34 rudder size

Two years ago we hit a submerged log hard enough to bend props & rudders a bit. The starboard rudder box*now leaks with some enthusiasm, particularly when being worked hard; ie running with following seas. I pulled the rudder out of the boat the other day for inspection, and repair. It is bent, & the shaft is grooved somewhat. Packing for the last few years has been Gore-tex. There is also noticeable wobble in the shaft/rudder assembly as it goes thru the collar(s) and box. Possible some out-of-shape issues there. Sorry to ramble; but my real question concerns the rudder size & shape. Would it make sense to consider changing the rudder shape to one of a squarer profile? Perhaps adding an inch or so to the trailing edge? The yard owner suggested it. Primarily for better low speed control & less work/more control*in following seas. It is an interesting thought. I'm not sure about the engineering involved as far as shaft (1") stress, etc goes, so I thought I'd see what* sort of opinion other 34 owners might have.

Thanks
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

I really can not think of the down side to a larger rudder, at least within reason.* It may take more force to turn a larger rudder, but with hydraulic steering, I don't see that matter.* I am going down to the boat tomorrow, I take a picture of my rudder.* I would not be surprised if they are different than yours.* I have no idea if mine are OEM.* I changed rudder shapes on my old Trojan cruiser, when i refused to pay an astronominal price for an original, when i could buy something with similar blade area for half the price.* I could not tell the difference.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:40 PM   #3
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

Have you had your rudders checked to see if they can be salvaged or has that been taken care of already?*

Is the boat not responsive to helm controls, wanders without constant wheel correction or slow to respond*in one direction?* If so, with the damage to*your rudders, they may be out of alignment and*that will cause the boat to wander.***A 34, I'm*assuming you're usually slow cruising at least 8 plus knots and*normal cruise 12 - 14 knots?*

A twin engine boat and semi planing hull doesn't need a lot of rudder, usually*a relatively*small rudder blade surface is all that's necessary.* Most of your*slow speed maneuvering is done with the engines, transmissions and the rudders*operating*like*trim tabs on a plane.*

Those big flat transoms, don't like being overtaken and slapped by following seas.* The best solution is to add a little more power to maintain steerage.
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:54 PM   #4
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

Pulled the port rudder today; both will be sent off to the rudder correction institute for rehab. Boat normally tracks well, except in following seas. Correction in that case is a matter of rudder/ &/or power application. Carefully done it can be exciting. Speed will go from 9 kts to 14 - 15kts in a blink. you do get busy tho'. I asked the question out of curiousity, more than concern. For a following sea situation, I try to get on the back side of a wave & ride it using power, etc. Sometimes the boat will start to slide off to one side or the other. prompt application of the rudder/power will correct that; I'm just wondering if a bit more rudder surface might make that response easier/faster. Since they are out of the boat....
Actually I suspect the mechanics involved will probably prove to be either too expensive, too ugly, or just not practical. Thanks for the input tho', I'll let you know what the shop guys have to say.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

I know what you mean.**When the wave overtakes you, you*lose steerage for a few seconds.**It can be quite exciting as the boat will invariably go either left or right and then you are in the trough trying to square up before the next wave rolls up under you.**

Coming down the Straits of Juan De Fuca by myself one day the*weather blew up; 30 knot winds against the tide and the four to five foot waves were coming from two directions.* Three hours of white knuckle wheel time running with the seas*just about did me in.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:33 AM   #6
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

Here is a picture of what's on my 34.* I have no idea if they are original, but based on the layers of bottom paint, they have been on a while.* They measure 14 in high x 10 in F-B (blade area).
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:30 AM   #7
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

Here's a shot after being pulled for bent prop. (another submerged log incident) Looks quite a bit different. Mine is a 1977 and I always assumed these were original rudders.

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Old 12-12-2011, 06:48 PM   #8
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

Mine look like Flywrights and are original 1976 rudders.* Never seen rectangular rudders on a Cali before (not to say that they didn't come that way.)* Do you think they are original??

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Old 12-12-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

I am really curius now if others in the 1982 era are rounded or square.* I have nothing on mine to indicate they were ever changed out.** The picture I took is from a strange perspective.**It is from *the centerline looking to starboard looking at the starboard rudder.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:29 PM   #10
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

My boat is a 1984 model; rudders are rounded. My thinking was to square them up like Capt'n Craigs. Guess the next thing is to do some measuring & see what the working surface area is on both types. Mine are at the shop for rehab, but as soon as thay get back I'll get some measurements.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:52 PM   #11
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

Quote:
chc wrote:
My boat is a 1984 model; rudders are rounded. My thinking was to square them up like Capt'n Craigs. Guess the next thing is to do some measuring & see what the working surface area is on both types. Mine are at the shop for rehab, but as soon as thay get back I'll get some measurements.
That's kind of what it looks like!!* Maybe a PO trimmed them down, as they don't look symetrical at all.* If so I guess the question would be why, to reduce the drag??* Reducing the*rudder surface area*certainly wouldn't make the boat handle any better at harbor speed.

*
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:59 PM   #12
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

My 1981 34 LRC has the rounded rudders the same as the last few posts
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:41 PM   #13
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

My 1983 has the rounded rudders. I think if you want better handling in a following sea you should increase the size of the keel.

Roger

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Old 12-28-2011, 02:37 PM   #14
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

I have an 1982 and the rudders are rectangular.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:12 PM   #15
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

I'm afraid that messing with the keel size/length might involve a good bit more engineering & expense than I would be interested in at this point. Seems a bit easier to enhance the controlling tools ( rudder) to help ease the following sea issue. It is, after all, a mass of compromises known as a boat. Thanks for the thought tho'
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:14 PM   #16
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

Hi all, am a new member and I am working on enlarging the original rounded rudders. My research indicated that the rudders were the same no matter what the power was and were designed for maximum hull speed +/- 20 kts.
I am making a pattern for a square extension, having some casting of magnesium bronze made, and then welded on to the original rudders.
If it works as I hope, I will then do the 2 spare rudders I have the same way and perhaps make them available to other Californian owners.
My boat is a 79, hull #73, based in Ladysmith BC
Perkins 6354, natural 130 hp. Cruising at 7 kt. fuel burn of 2 gph for both and I am very happy with that especially when compared to other trawlers of similar size.
George Creek
Ladysmith BC
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:22 PM   #17
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

How were you able to determine your hull #?* Did the info on the Hill ID Number (HIN) provice a clue?* In another thread on this Forum, we're trying to make some sense out our hull numbers.**

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:39 PM   #18
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

Quote:
GeoCr wrote:
*Perkins 6354, natural 130 hp. Cruising at 7 kt. fuel burn of 2 gph for both and I am very happy with that especially when compared to other trawlers of similar size.
George Creek
Ladysmith BC
Hi*George.* You might also look at some of the previous posts*under the Californian topic line.* There are some pages with Californian owners manuals available and like "Pinky" Flywright says a discussion about numbering plates.

What RPM are you running 7 knots at?

Welcome aboard

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Old 02-22-2012, 11:06 AM   #19
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

I am running at 1375 - 1400 rpm and getting 7 kts.

I found the original props when I got the boat were 20 X 18 and over reving.

A propellor master in Nanaimo determined I was under proped so we added 1 inch ( 20 X 19) with a cup on the trailing edge. Cut 500 rpm off the cruise speed.

Mechanics in my area differ on whether or not this is good or bad, but with the max torque of these engines at 1500 I am close to max torque and efficiency.

Have been running this way for 8 eyars without any issues, mechanics think that by loading up the engine near max torque, they warm up to a proper operating temp.

These engines are common on the Canadian prairies, used in combines, swathers, loaders and other farm machinery, take a lot of abuse and continue to be reliable.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:10 AM   #20
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RE: Californian 34 rudder size

My hull number is on a brass plate on the chase next to the helm.
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