Author Topic: Gudgeon Drama  (Read 273 times)

Gray Shannahan

  • U20 Virgin
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Gudgeon Drama
« on: August 23, 2022, 02:48:38 AM »
I just learned how vulnerable the gudgeon setup is. I did a 30 mile race down the Chesapeake a few weeks ago in a heavy breeze and ended up busting the upper gudgeon on the transom. We were planing and surfing down a wave and i made a sudden move to stay on a wave and it just went. We laced up some spectra line to hold it in place and were able to finish the remaining 10 miles of the race. Now all 3 gudgeons on transom need to be replaced, as do the rudder brackets and the rudder pin (which i just recieved thanks to Travis Gregory!).

I need some guidance on my repair:

First, i've removed the old gudgeons from the transom and sanded down the previous bedding to the gelcoat. However, the gudgeons don't line up properly once tensioned. Lowering the pin from the top, it impacts the 2nd gudgeon slightly off center making it difficult to insert the pin (depth is the issue, not side to side). It works, just takes some twisting and not as easy as it should be. I've tried swapping the hardware and it seems like the transom isn't lined up perfectly. Any suggestions on this? I haven't used any bedding yet as i wanted to make sure everything would fit first. The rudder pin has always been a pain in the ass ever since i got the boat so maybe this is just the way it is.

Second, I just realized the rudder brackets are also bent. I think this is the right part (specifically the 3 5/16 strap size), all the links from previous posts in the forum have expired. https://www.westmarine.com/schaefer-medium-duty-j24-style-rudder-gudgeons-P002_074_002_507.html

Third, has anyone converted to a kick up rudder? It would make my life easier to have one and could also solve my stubborn transom gudgeon issue. I found this site from a previous forum post - https://store.ruddercraft.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=182_131&product_id=862 looks like I could get a brand new rudder with covers and everything for under $1,000 as opposed to spending $350 on gudgeon brackets. My current rudder needs a good amount of TLC as it is. I keep my boat in the water at a neighbors dock which seems like a bad idea with dock lines but i could find a way to figure it out.

Here's how we limped our way to finish the race. Still had a blast and lucky we were able to get home!



Mike Josselyn

  • #62 Uhoo
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Re: Gudgeon Drama
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2022, 03:52:01 PM »
The bedding is the critical part in making it all fit properly.   Even through the transom looks like it is flat, there are imperfections that require that the gudgeon base be adjusted slightly so that the pin (assuming that is straight) moves smoothly up and down and the rudder is balanced.  It should be tight so it isn't wobbly due to the bushings in the gudgeon, but should slide up and down without a lot of effort.  I eventually had Craig Smith do it at Elkhorn Composites in Watsonville after an unsuccessful try on my own (I couldn't lift the boat high enough to truly balance the rudder while putting in the pin).  It came out great and the steering improved dramatically.

Gray Shannahan

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Re: Gudgeon Drama
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2022, 05:48:06 PM »
Thank you, this is very helpful. I may see if I can get someone to help me as you suggested.