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Rudder Solutions

Printed From: Laser 28 International Class Association
Category: Laser 28 General
Forum Name: Maintenance
Forum Description: All the things to care for your boat
Printed Date: 04 December 2023 at 8:34pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.03 -

Topic: Rudder Solutions
Posted By: Bill Layton
Subject: Rudder Solutions
Date Posted: 01 November 2002 at 3:56pm
Being part of the former build team of the Laser 28 I'd like to make a few comments regarding rudder play. The rudder bushings are made from UHMW (ultra high molecular weight plastic). They don't really wear out so you should never have to replace them.

For the lower bushing, if you notice some undesirable side to side play just put a hose clamp around the fiberglass tube inside the boat. This will allow you to adjust the tension upon the rudder shaft by exerting pressure on the outside of the bushing. It's a quick simple fix and works perfectly every time.

The upper bushing is a little more complicated. It must be removed and reinstalled with shim stock wrapped around it's OD or some of us have used masking tape. The idea is to increase the OD (outside diameter) so when reinstalled the ID will become a little smaller. Be careful because when reinstalling into the deck casting it could be too tight. Start with small amounts and work up. It doesn't take much.

Rudder shaft vertical end play is set so that the rudder spade is as close to the hull as possible. At the factory we installed a UHMW washer on the rudder shaft before we installed the rudder into the hull. This made for a small gap between the rudder and the hull when fully installed. Once the rudder was in place we added more of these washers on top of the rudder shaft so they rested upon the deck casting.

Finally when the tiller casting was installed with the bolt going thru the rudder shaft, vertical end play was able to be determined by the number of washers necessary. Too many washers and the rudder is stiff, and with not enough washers there is too much end play. These washers can be made by your local machine shop.

One area of concern is the rudder/tiller casting. This is the top cap casting that bolts thru the rudder shaft.

As these boats age I've noticed these castings tend to rock a little on the shaft. Causing a bit of a wobble. Over torquing the bolt usually doesn't help the situation. This repair needs to be done with the boat out of the water. To remedy this I remove this casting and put a very small fillet of epoxy putty in the casting where the top of the shaft contacts the inside. I wax the shaft first so that it will be removable again in the future. Reinstall the casting and torque the bolt and let it sit for 24 hrs before relaunching. I have done all these adjustments/repairs to my own boat and find the rudder works just right.

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 03 November 2002 at 6:56pm
Bill:  Could you comment on how one should align the top of the rudder with the slope of the hull.  I have noticed that on Andanzas the gap is larger at the front and at the back tends to touch the hull.  The only way we have found to change this was to lower the rudder by removing a top washer.  Unfortunately this increases the gap in front and turns it into something of a weed catcher

Posted By: Bill Layton
Date Posted: 04 November 2002 at 1:46pm


The deck casting needs to be moved aft a little. You'll need to remove your rudder so that the deck casting can be removed and all the sealant cleaned off. You'll then see that the hole is slightly oversized so that the casting can be moved around a bit. However you will need to elongate the fastener holes fore and aft so you can reposition the casting so that the top of the rudder spade lines up with the hull contours. Once the casting has been set in the proper position, pencil in the perimeter of it and re-install it with sealant. Also note that we used washers as spacers underneath the casting to provide alignment of the bushing with the rudder shaft. This will all make sense once you have it apart. Goodluck.

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 05 November 2002 at 1:27pm

I agree with Andrew's comment about the weed catcher. My rudder is fairly even in alignment, but there is still the inevitable weed catcher gap. I picked up alot of "green floss" this season and we are considering a weed cutter or catcher forward of the rudder post. Has anyone tried this? I have seen an assortment of blades and small posts installed on some of the larger IMS boats.

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