Gemini catamarans, of the 105 series have rudders which can be lifted by pulling on lines. Lines also pull them back into place and hold them via friction clutch. A frayed line means failure is not long coming.
Since Yacht A Fun had already been hauled and blocked for drive leg repair and bottom paint work, maximizing the boat yard stay meant changing the rudder lines. BUT— that meant dropping the rudders from their pivot tube to access the up-haul knot.
If you followed our Gemini catamaran’s blog back when our steering failed in St. Augustine mooring field, you know that we replaced the steering cables. To drop the rudders, we had to undo the steering cable’s insertion into the pivot tubes! Well, at least I knew the needed process.
Dropping the rudders was really pretty easy. Gravity is a great helper in dropping things. Diann pushed the pivot tube out of its hull mount while I lifted on the rudder. Thinking that “jiggling” the thirty pound rudder would aid her effort, I managed to slightly crush the threaded end of the port tube as it edged out of the hull socket.
A new tube is $65 plus shipping. Thank goodness a hose coupling part for $1.78 was available to insert into the tube and by pounding would round the tube again. Care had to be taken to not enlarge the roundness.
One seldom enters a boat repair / maintenance item without finding some ancillary aspect which also needs attention. That too occurred with the line replacement. The rudder pivot circle which rotates on the hull mounted tube- had worn and lost chips of what appeared to have been a thick application of gelcoat . The walls of the rudder box had lost some gelcoat- perhaps from oyster shell removal. (Yes, one needs to keep the rudder box clear of growing shell fish!)
Mixing West System epoxy and creating peanut butter consistency filler has become a new craft for Diann and me. The maintenance was straight forward.
Once the maintenance was completed, bottom paint was added in the same sequence as for the boat bottom.
The 1” by 2” furring strips served well to create a lifting gantry for pulling the rudders back into place.
By using extra line to create a fish-line to pull the newly attached up and down haul lines into their needed positions, we completed the job.
Having seen the frayed haul line, it made sense to check the haul lines for the two centerboards. And that leads us to the next item for maintenance……………
The story / blog of Yacht A Fun, a Gemini catamaran sailboat, traveling the ICW and east coast with insights to the extended cruising life. Rudder line replacement