W42 Rudder cracks

  • March 03, 2016 11:56 PM
    Message # 3860276

    Hi Bud, Everyone,

    Well while doing engine work and other electrical projects getting ready for the new engine, I had the yard sand the rudder in order to put a barrier coat on it. The surface " bottom"  paint and and underlayment was flaking off and there ares blisters in areas. Once the bottom paint was removed numerous cracks were revealed throughout the rudders sides. It looks like the previous owners had glassed over the rudder. Gel coat is visible in areas under the re glass and the glass that they put on can be ripped off in places. Moisture readings on the starboard middle side are very high in the red compared to the port side which are in the green. I thought that perhaps it would be a little better being that the vessel has been on the hard for quite a while. I believe that the boat may have spent time in Alaska. Perhaps that owner had the boat out of the water and if the rudder had water in it and temperatures got below freezing that perhaps that may have caused the cracks. 

    Has anyone had similar problems. I may contact Foss Foam Products and see if they have the mold for the W 43/42 rudders. I will try and post a photo. I may cut out a core sample on the starboard side and see what it looks like. The hammer test reveals many delaminated areas as well.



    W42 Cadence ( formerly " Viking Rose " )

  • March 05, 2016 6:36 AM
    Reply # 3862729 on 3860276
    Deleted user

    Hello George,

    The 'gelcoat under glass' suggests someone did a poor glass repair job. Gelcoat should be ground off clean before glass is applied.

    Having seen the rudder construction diagrams from the manual, I wonder if one could just cutout a large panel of glass from the 'wet' side, replace any internal wet foam, then glass over it again (properly)? 

    Could be done with the rudder still hanging. On a couple sawhorses even better. If molds are available and/or shell halves easily made even better.

    my $0.02

  • March 07, 2016 10:10 PM
    Reply # 3867530 on 3860276

    Hi Rob,

    Yes, having gelcoat under the re glass is not good. There are numerous cracks that crisscross the rudder on both sides. The cracks go though the original and re glass layers. I took 5 core samples. 2.5" dia. and about half the thickness of the rudder. The foam looked ok to me. In one spot, I got down to the SS horizontal web which shows some discoloration possible corrosion. I did not core at the very bottom to see if water would come out. May do that next time that I am at the boat. The big problem seem that the layer of original glass is very thin, perhaps 1/8 " if that. I would think that the fix, if I keep this rudder would be to remove everything down to either the old glass or even to the foam, shape and re glass. For the yard to do that would be VERY expensive. And unfortunately , I do not have the time to do it. I did get a hold of Foss Foam and they do have the mold for the W42. They gave an estimate of $4200.00 for a new rudder. So some thinking needs to be done.

    All the best,


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