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I've got a spot that has likely let water in. I'm not going to fix things til I have to.

Q: should I drill a hole to let the water, if any, out? It will still be wet inside. Thoughts?

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I'd say 2/3 - 3/4 of all sailboat foam core rudders are wet on the inside. Just a WAG

I think "soggy" is better than "saturated" so I would drill and let excess water out and then seal the hole.

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15 hours ago, Zonker said:

3/4 of all sailboat foam core rudders are wet on the inside

How would I be able to tell that though? Asking since I have my rudder off right now and fighting to get the barrier coat off before fixing some minor osmosis bubbles.
And would like to know if there is more to it while I am doing the work anyway...

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1 hour ago, allweather said:

How would I be able to tell that though? Asking since I have my rudder off right now and fighting to get the barrier coat off before fixing some minor osmosis bubbles.
And would like to know if there is more to it while I am doing the work anyway...

Drill a hole in the bottom & see if any water comes out. 

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19 hours ago, Zonker said:

I'd say 2/3 - 3/4 of all sailboat foam core rudders are wet on the inside. Just a WAG

I think "soggy" is better than "saturated" so I would drill and let excess water out and then seal the hole.

The surveyor for my last purchase said that virtually all such rudders are wet. I rebuilt my Niagara 35 rudder a number of years ago because I had rusty water oozing out at the top every winter. Turns out the rudder was built with a stainless shaft but carbon steel web (for strength?) inside. Had the web replaced with stainless and filled the core with thickened epoxy. New 5200 around the gap between shaft and glass. Seemed to work pretty well.

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22 hours ago, Zonker said:

I'd say 2/3 - 3/4 100% of all sailboat foam core rudders with a SS post are wet on the inside or will be. Just a WAG

 

FIFY. A SS post penetrating the envelope will eventually let water in no matter what you do. With a carbon post and good construction you have a pretty good chance of keeping it out. Imagine boring a 3" hole in the bottom of the boat, sticking a SS tube in the hole, and sealing around it with something. Now head offshore, giving the tube some firm twists and yanks every minute or so. 

You can tell the rudder is wet with a moisture meter (unless it is carbon skinned). I've walked through boatyards doing this and it is a rare exception that isn't wet. 

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Every two or so years , when you drop your rudder for inspection , bearing maintenance , it’s important to re caulk the rudder stock to blade joint 

5200… Sika …

these keeps water out of the blade 

60CDED7F-5B5B-4A60-A2BA-4DE4E0B9549E.jpeg

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Actually, though this has been the subject of a cover up for years, water draining from rudders in the cause of ocean level rise, not global warming as some would have you think. 

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12 minutes ago, Fleetwood said:

No, water is heavier than rudders so it will sink!

So if you drill the holes while the rudder is in the water, all the water will drain out?

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27 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

So if you drill the holes while the rudder is in the water, all the water will drain out?

yes .. all the water that was in there will eventually drain out

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I was concerned about a soggy rudder (that's rutter on Mocking CraigsList thread), and asked the yard to do the hole test. They said nothing dripped. 40-year-old boat. Is that possible?

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Hey Bull, just chatted with the association's technical representative on my own repair work and he wouldn't expect them to be dry, but said it can be possible.
One option he recommended to me is to drill a small hole(2mm) in the top and apply some air pressure to check if there is water inside. But if its dry, why worry and drill holes?

Well, I look to open up mine tomorrow one way or the other. If its dry too, that points towards being lucky.

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Very dry as far as I can see, also cut off a piece since I needed access and the foam is bone dry as well.
Will see if a local yard can measure (a piece of) the laminate and see what those readings say before I start faring and painting in a month.

Forty year old and still looks nice...

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