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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
 Catalina 25 Specific Forum
 Rudder Repair
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Altman554
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Initially Posted - 12/01/2019 :  15:01:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a 1987 Catalina 25 and have noticed cracks in the rudder coating. I want to repair it over the winter, but am unsure what materials to use. The coating looks like it might be vinyl, but I am not sure. Thought someone here might be able to provide some insight. Respectfully,


Steve

Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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5358 Posts

Response Posted - 12/01/2019 :  16:16:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First, bring it indoors for the winter, so it won't freeze and any moisture that might be inside will have a chance to dry out.

Secondly, the necessary repair depends on how bad the crack is. A photo or two will help us give better advice.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4431 Posts

Response Posted - 12/01/2019 :  22:10:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steve, this is a relatively common complaint with the Catalina 25 rudders. What tends to happen in northern climates in the fall is the rudder’s foam core absorbs water while afloat, then the boat is hauled at season’s end. The temperatures drop below freezing at night, and warm during the fading fall days. Overnight, the water expands as it freezes bursting the surface coat, then contracts during the daylight hours. Rainwater can infiltrate the cracks and make the freeze-thaw process worse.

The moral of this story is once your boat is hauled, remove your rudder immediately and take it home. I keep mine in my attached garage which stays warm from the house during the cold nights in mid- to late-fall. The rudder dries out by the time super cold weather hits, averting the freeze-thaw process.

The repair is a matter of personal taste. You can use runny epoxy and clamps to “glue” the pieces back together. You can grind out the cracks and crevices and fill with epoxy, then replace the gel-coat. Matching color is tough. You can use Marine-Tex to fill the cracks. Or you could fill, fair, paint. Some folks used the situation to replace their conventional rudder with a Catalina Direct balanced rudder.

There have been several approaches over the years depending on the owner’s taste. You can use the search tool to find individual cases and postings.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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Altman554
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Response Posted - 12/02/2019 :  16:45:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input. Will try to post some photos in the next couple of days. The cracks are up by the tiller. I was unsure if epoxy would stick to vinyl. Appreciate the insight. Respectfully,

Steve

Steve
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3678 Posts

Response Posted - 12/02/2019 :  16:57:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steve, The Catalina rudders are not vinyl. They are made with a foam core with a fiberglass shell. Your 87 probably came with the balanced rudder. My 87 did.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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4431 Posts

Response Posted - 12/02/2019 :  19:39:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very odd that the cracks are near the top by the tiller. Water intrusion would be nil due to immersion, however rainwater entering near the bolt hole could be the culprit. If the cracks are “hairline”, Dave Stinkpotter usually recommends Cap’n Tolley’s Creeping Crack Cure. See Defender

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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Lee Panza
Captain

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USA
379 Posts

Response Posted - 12/02/2019 :  21:16:16  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For a lot more valuable advice check the archives for this forum; cracked rudder repairs have been discussed extensively. Try different word-strings for searches.

The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8351 Posts

Response Posted - 12/02/2019 :  22:24:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When looking at old posts on this, be aware that original equipment rudders up to about 1986 (?) had wood cored fiberglass heads down to below the lower pintle, and solid fiberglass below that. The later “balanced” design has foam core throughout, in a fiberglass shell covered with gelcoat. The wood cores are prone to rot and breaking at the lower pintle. The foam core can suffer from freezing and from expansion from solar energy.

In addition to photos, it might help to know how deep the cracks are. If they’re just in the gelcoat, you can get gelcoat patch in a tube from West Marine and elsewhere. If they’re through the fiberglass shell (less likely), we should see pix. Do they radiate out from the metal sleeve for the tiller bolt? From the pintles? Or are they along the seam between the two halves of the fiberglass shell?

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8351 Posts

Response Posted - 12/03/2019 :  06:53:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
...and to clarify what the newer, factory "balanced" rudder is, it has two "steps" on the leading edge that put some of its underwater area ahead of an imaginary line through the pintles. The original, wood-cored rudder had no steps. I'm not sure of the year the balanced rudder became factory equipment ('87 or '88?), and many of the older models have been replaced with the newer, and with solid plastic ones from a third parties.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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redeye
Master Marine Consultant

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3376 Posts

Response Posted - 12/05/2019 :  07:19:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
<< but am unsure what materials to use >>

I used West Systems G-Flex. They said it sticks to anything, it is flexible and you mix it 1:1.

Mine seems fine. It is below the waterline. We do not have any freezing to speak of here so it's not too tricky.

The only thing I might have done differently is heat up the rudder and use a thin resin (thinned by warming )poured into the core, then the G-flex, sanding and then some gelcoat over it.


Before Ive done projects with regular resin,
added to much hardner the patch would crack.
Added too little hardner and it would not kick


Ray in Atlanta, Ga.
"Lee Key" '84 Catalina 25 SR/FK
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Altman554
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Response Posted - 12/08/2019 :  21:21:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry it has taken so long to provide pictures. Let’s hope this works. Respectfully,

<img src=“https://link.shutterfly.com/OxEXpTSIg2” border=0>

Steve
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5358 Posts

Response Posted - 12/09/2019 :  07:06:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Those appear to be merely superficial cracks in the gelcoat. I'd gouge them out very slightly, to make them a little wider and deeper. Break away the loose material. Then tape around their perimeter with masking tape so you don't smear filler over an unnecessarily wide area. Then I'd fill them with white Marine Tex.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Edited by - Steve Milby on 12/09/2019 07:09:01
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3678 Posts

Response Posted - 12/09/2019 :  09:39:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Those appear to be merely superficial cracks in the gelcoat. I'd gouge them out very slightly, to make them a little wider and deeper. Break away the loose material. Then tape around their perimeter with masking tape so you don't smear filler over an unnecessarily wide area. Then I'd fill them with white Marine Tex


I agree. Looks like common gelcoat cracks in the head area. Not sure what is going on down in the anti fouling area. Is that just chipping AF paint? Hard to tell in the photo.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Altman554
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Response Posted - 12/09/2019 :  20:07:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The anti-fouling on the rudder is just patches where the anti-fouling I put on a year ago has come loose. The previous anti-fouling (blue) is what you see.

Steve
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