My rudder straps (boss with hole to pivot in the stern fitting and tangs each side of the rudder) are a bit tatty and I am wondering whether to replace them. They are the original fittings now 40 years old and due to the through rudder bolts rusting away I added some coach bolts making extra holes a few years ago. From memory when I made new rudders 17 years ago the tangs each side start as about 1/4" thick x1" and taper through the 7" " length down to about 1/8" thick.
When I get the rudders off to redo the rusted bolts I would like to improve the rudder straps to compensate for the weakening by the extra holes in the tangs. My options are 4 new bronze straps which I could get but at say 520 does not appeal; I could get a 1" x 5mm brass strap brazed to the existing tangs to stiffen them up and re-enforce them, cost probably 70 total but I have concern about the heat treatment of the bronze being adversly affected or I could make and then get welded up some new gudgeons in stainless which would probably cost me 150 total.
Ideally I would source some of the original straps at a reasonable cost and just buy those but I am not hopeful. I have not spooted anything identical at Davey or Classic Marine.
I would prefer not to do anything but while I have the rudders off seems the right time to refurbish the straps. I am sure others have been there - any words of wisdom about this?