One more maintenance orientated blog post from May…
Last autumn, after the boat was lifted, I noticed that there were a couple of cracks on the rudder. I decided to tackle those at spring. First the cracks were widened into a V-shape with a Dremel, which is a useful tool for working at tight places. I decided to use Hempel’s Epoxy Filler for filling the cracks. I find this two-component product easy to use and mix at right quantities. When mixed it forms a grey paste. Because the repair was under the waterline, the colour did not matter. After filling the cracks, the repaired area was coated with an epoxy primer and then antifouled a couple of times.
After I had already started the repair, I talked with a guy who owns a similar boat, and he showed me cracks almost at the same spots on his rudder. So clearly this might be quite a common problem with this kind of rudder construction. The owner told me that he had once repaired the cracks, but they had re-appeared after a year. Thus, he decided to do nothing. It may also be the case with my repair, that the cracks will re-appear. Let’s see how it goes. They are in places where bronze fittings are laminated into the rudder blade. It is difficult to get this joint between metal and fiberglass completely tight. I have to check the rudder blade for water-ingress next autumn.