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Old 06-19-2014, 12:32 PM   #1
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Bent rudder repair?

I'm wondering how easy it would be to straighten a bent rudder. Its not terrible but at some point in the past the PO smashed the swim step on something and probably bent the rudder slightly at the same time. Its probably bronze I would guess. Anyone know what something like that would cost to have done? Can I hammer it back to straight myself without making it worse? Couldn't find anything in the archives on this subject...
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:36 PM   #2
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We would straighten the assistance towboat rudders all the time in a hydraulic press or even on the boat sometimes depending on the bend.

Often they don't straighten back exactly depending the way the metal is heated before pressing some rudders together or just the way they bend. At slow speeds a slightly offset or angled rudder shouldn't be a huge deal performance wise. We found that a bent rudder shows up more in backing than forward motion.

If a stainless shaft (possible) not that easy or even recommended.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:38 PM   #3
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Can I hammer it back to straight myself without making it worse? Couldn't find anything in the archives on this subject...
That depends on your skill level. A shop would probably use a press and some supporting blocks or parallels.
You could use 2x4s as parallels and hammer it straight if you have a decent "eye".
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:47 PM   #4
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After hurricane Andrew I got stainless steel one straightened with the bucket of a front end loader in the Bahamas. Cost me a case of beer.

So I'm sure most any machine shop could do it. I'd say you're looking at a $100 or less repair. Unless you get into welding and grinding.

Are you talking about the shaft or blade being bent ?
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:42 PM   #5
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I'll second taking it to a machine shop. Preferably one located far away from the waterfront. Both you and your wallet will be happy with the outcome.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:42 PM   #6
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Its just the blade thats bent a bit. Sounds like its not that big a deal.Thanks guys I'll let you know what I did to fix it with some pics if its more interesting than taking it to a shop.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:05 AM   #7
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Its just the blade thats bent a bit. Sounds like its not that big a deal.Thanks guys I'll let you know what I did to fix it with some pics if its more interesting than taking it to a shop.


Run with it and see. It may assist in your slow speed manoeuvres.


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Old 06-20-2014, 07:59 AM   #8
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I have one that is bent. Its a smooth curve top to bottom, with the middle out by maybe a 1/4" to 3/8". It doesn't impact me. Considered fixing it but left as is.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:44 AM   #9
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If it is a bronze rudder before you go pounding on it make sure it's solid and not suffering from electrolysis. If the rudder when tapped has a dull sound or pinkish color it may be very brittle and need replacing. Bronze in good shape is very malleable and easy to work with. I have seen struts and rudders straightened with a porta power or hydraulic jacks right on the boat. I wouldn't do this on a wood boat however.
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