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Thread: Rudder Bushing Replacement 1995 P-45

  1. #1

    Default Rudder Bushing Replacement 1995 P-45

    Replacing LUNA’s Starboard Rudder Bushings
    1995 Privilege 45 Hull No.3


    During the purchase survey haul out, the rudders were reported to be in solid condition, no moisture, moved freely, no play in the rudder shafts. So, despite the age of the boat and the length of time she had been sitting unused, I elected not to drop the rudders and worked on other projects while hauled out for five months. After finally splashing Luna, my first time at the helm under sail, I immediately noticed that the helm seemed to be slightly stiff, not at all difficult to control but a bit heavy. Luna was easy enough to steer but I assumed she had a heavy helm due to her size. Over the next few months I began to notice the helm was becoming more stiff and I assumed it was growth on the rudder shaft, however, diving inspections showed everything was clean and clear.


    One day when preparing to head out for a sail with multiple guests, the rudder was not responsive at all, as if it were locked. After apologizing to my guests and sending them on their way, I began to inspect every component of the steering system from rudder blades to steering chain. I then separated the rudders at the tiller connecting tube and determined the source of the problem. While the port rudder could be moved as easily as a bicycle handlebar the starboard rudder would only barely budge when pressing my back against the bulkhead and pushing with both hands. I began by reading a few very well documented blogs & forum posts by other Privilege owners who experienced the same nautical entertainment and this led me to an e-mail conversation with one of the forum post authors which then led to a series of phone conversations with customer service at International Boat Spares in France. Unfortunately my e-mails to Alliaura (Privilege) provided absolutely no help at all due to the age of my boat.


    The next step was to drop the starboard rudder. With the help of a diver this was a very straight forward task. I first disassembled the starboard steering cables and then removed the rudder bell crank. The tiller joining tube was already removed during initial trouble shooting. I then installed a 10mm machine screw into the top of the rudder shaft with a ten inch length of 1/4” aluminum which I had drilled two holes in to utilize as an eye bolt. I tied a line to the “eye bolt” as preventer to keep the rudder from dropping out after I removed the upper bushing retaining bolt. I was not able to locate a 10mm eye bolt. I tied the the other end of the line off to the transom deck life line via the emergency tiller port. I then removed the upper bushing assembly and hoped the rudder did not slip through and drop to the bottom. With the upper bushing assembly removed there was absolutely no additional tension on the line I had rigged. That rudder was not budging. With the diver in place I removed the safety line on the rudder and it took the two of us almost 30 minuets to drop the rudder. The lower bushing assembly was so badly seized up I had to use a 1” diameter steel rod and a 5 pound hammer to “gently” pursued the rudder out of its tube.



    When the rudder finally dropped, it slid straight out and the diver yanked on the line, signaling me that he was on the bottom with the rudder and I could release the line. I went to the swim platform to throw another line to the diver to assist him with lifting the rudder from the water as we had briefed. However, my assistance was not needed. I stood on the swim watching the top of the rudder shaft moving through the water like a submarine’s periscope towards the dock. Since it was low tide the diver simply walked the rudder to the dock and lifted it up so I could then pull it from the water. Once the rudder was on the dock I could finally understand what was causing all the binding. What I should have seen lying before me was the rudder blade and tube. Instead I saw the rudder blade, lower bushing housing, bushing and the rudder tube. The bushing and aluminum housing had fused together. Initially this left me a bit concerned that the lower bushing housing had dropped out of the rudder tube. The upper bushing housing was in good condition and took me only a few minutes to fish out the bushing once the rudder tube had been removed. Since I could not gain any information from Privilege about the construction of my boat I reached out to International Boat Spares and ended up speaking with an engineer who designed the aluminum bushings and had experience with the factory installation process. He explained to me that the rudder tube is glassed into the hull and the bushing housing is epoxied not the niche at the base of the rudder tube and bottom of the hull. The engineer assured me that all I needed to do was to de-bur the bonding surface, epoxy a new aluminum housing into the niche and ensure the housing is securely held in place while the epoxy cures.
    With the repair and assembly plan coming together I had to sort out and order parts. I ordered the parts from International Boat Spares based on the forum posts I had read. Everything I had read was based on P-42 & P-45 the same year or two years newer than mine, so I assumed all the parts would be the same. Never assume anything is the same with production boats. I later learned that my rudder posts are not the same diameter as the boats I had read about, mine are a bit smaller. My rudder posts are the same diameter, 39mm, as the 1993 P-48. The rudder posts on the P-43 & 45 in the articles I read are 49mm.




    Rather than return the bushings and housing I had ordered I found a fellow Privilege owner on the Privilege Catamaran Face Book group who was in need of these same parts. Once I had the correct sized bushings and housing in hand it was time to call the diver back in. Since the diver was not interested in holding the bushing housing in place for 6-8 hours while the epoxy cured I devised a simple solution. I cut a 1/2” piece of starboard slightly larger than the radius of the housing and drilled a hole through the center. The plan was to have the diver clean out/prep the niche and conduct a dry fit test of the new bushing housing. Once everything was prepped and ready for installation I dropped a weighted line down the rudder tube which the diver threaded thru the bushing housing and starboard plate and tied a knot at the end. I then mixed up a portion of underwater epoxy and handed it to the diver in a zip lock bag. The diver went below applied the epoxy to the niche and the housing, set it all in place and knocked on the hull. That was my signal to pull tight on the line and tie it off to the transom railing. The diver added a bead of epoxy to the hull/housing joint and smoothed it all out. Two days later I had the diver back to inspect the work and remove the retaining plate. Everything looked good so the diver installed the lower bushing and I installed the upper bushing. Using the home made 10mm eye bolt, the diver attached the line previously used for the retaining plate. With the diver lifting the rudder I pulled the rudder up into the tube, installed the new spacer rings and block and secured it with the bolt. After that the starboard rudder could be easily moved with just one hand grabbing the rudder shaft. The boat steers so easily now and the auto pilot operation is considerably smoother.


    I’ll be replacing the bushings on the port side soon, hopefully that will be a simple one day job.

    Sorry but I can not figure out how to paste the article I wrote with the embedded images.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Worcester, U.K., Moraira, Spain
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Rudder Bushing Replacement 1995 P-45

    Great explanation. I've never heard of International Boat Spares in France. Sounds as though they might be a useful source of information for owners of older boats.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Boat: Croatia; Living in Tokyo during the months not on the boat
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Rudder Bushing Replacement 1995 P-45

    Quote Originally Posted by CAPT Luke View Post
    Replacing LUNA’s Starboard Rudder Bushings
    1995 Privilege 45 Hull No.3

    Unfortunately my e-mails to Alliaura (Privilege) provided absolutely no help at all due to the age of my boat.
    To whom did you adress the email and when did you send it?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rudder Bushing Replacement 1995 P-45

    Quote Originally Posted by P435 View Post
    To whom did you adress the email and when did you send it?
    The e-mail would have been sent some time in December '17 or January '18. I don't recall to whom I addressed the first e-mail, I used a link from the Alliaura web page. However, the recipient at Privilege redirected me to another member of the Privilege team who informed that they had absolutely no records or information of boats built before Alliaura.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Boat: Croatia; Living in Tokyo during the months not on the boat
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Rudder Bushing Replacement 1995 P-45

    Alliura was first, then it changed name to Privilege. Privilege belongs now to the Hanse Group of Boat Builders.

    I would try again via the Privilege homepage. There was a change in staff.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Worcester, U.K., Moraira, Spain
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Rudder Bushing Replacement 1995 P-45

    Quote Originally Posted by P435 View Post
    Alliura was first, then it changed name to Privilege. Privilege belongs now to the Hanse Group of Boat Builders.

    I would try again via the Privilege homepage. There was a change in staff.
    Jeantot came before Alliaura. Capt Luke's boat is Jeantot era so that is likely why there is less info.

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