Proposed rudder removal

Hello all,

I’m planning to remove the rudder from our Morgan Giles 30 in order to effect some small fibreglass repairs.

Not having done this before, is it possible to remove the rudder while the boat is standing on her keel in the yard, or will she need lifting up to gain enough clearance to get the rudder stock out?

Also, other than removing the two bolts retaining holding the shoe at the bottom, is there anything more to the actual removal process?

Any personal experiences/likely snags would be gratefully received!


8 thoughts on “Proposed rudder removal

  • October 24, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Chris… First winter after I had Santana I had the rudder removed.
    I was told the only way was to lift the boat up high enough to drop the rudder out, so the top tube came out through the tube in the hull.

    In the event I needed a new rudder. On the recommendation of the yard, I had a flange join put into the tube just above the rudder, so it is now possible to disconnect this and remove the rudder without lifting the boat or removing the heal. I think it is an excellent modification and I recommend it if you have the rudder out. I can send/post a photo if you are interested.

    regards, Tony

    • October 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

      Thanks for the feedback Tony – can you remember how high the required
      lift was? I’m wondering if it might be feasible to dig a hole, but not
      if it’s got to be more than a foot or so…
      Otherwise I’ll have to make do with an outdoor repair with rudder in situ.

      Out of interest, what was wrong with your rudder?


  • October 25, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Hi Chris
    I done a repair on Blades rudder , the grp had a split on it and I reglassed the full rudder without having to take it off . It was a bit awkward, but I laid it up in stages and epoxied the finished job and it was fine. If you can get someone to help though it does make it easier.

    • October 25, 2008 at 12:14 am

      Thanks Douglas – I’ll start looking at doing it that way now. I was hoping to do it in the nice warm garage!

  • October 25, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Hi folks from the NW on this horrible, wet & windy day.

    I had to repair a split at the bottom of my rudder on ‘TSAYOT’ following grounding in shallow water in a swell while approaching the harbour mouth at lowish water. It was quite easy to open up the split slightly to let it dry out a bit and then lay up matting with resin, etc. The repair has been fine and I have seen several boats in the marina which have had similar repairs carried out.

    I was told by a marine surveyor friend not to worry about any water in the rudder as most rudders seem to get water in somehow and never seem to give trouble. He said the Morgan Giles hulls are usually quite dry & free of Osmosis except for the rudders which often leaked where the shaft enters and exits the blade

    I like the idea of a flange above the top of the rudder below the hull to allow the rudder blade to be removed without having to unbolt the shoe at the heel but the welding of the flange would have to be really good! I think I would do this if ever I had to replace the rudder.

    Cheers for now.

  • November 18, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Hello All,

    I am new to this group so hope I am doing this right!!

    This last winter I built a new rudder from scratch. It comprises a ply and solid wood structure faired to shape and then epoxy sheathed. I have seen recently that some of the newer moldings to mine had hollow GRP rudders.

    When I removed mine I dug a hole about 15″ deep and dropped the lot. However the rebuild is similar to Santana, with a flange and four bolts. This is a quite a satisfactory design and is infact how yachts were built years ago when “yachts were built” and not factory floor assembled.

    Another modification has been made at the shaft head where the tiller is fixed. This has been made with a taper turned on the top 2″ and a tapered collar dropped on with a shear pin through. The reason being that we moor in mud in a tidal pill ( 1 mile above the Severn Bridge). When she settled one day last Autumn she slid back and although the tiller was lashed she still managed to cant the rudder and twisted the top of the shaft.

    If further detail is required and you think I can help please come back to me.

    Good luck.
    Paul Chapman.

  • November 25, 2008 at 12:15 am

    hi and good morning
    I did see an MG once where the owner had removed a small ammount of the rudder just below the keel and then cut through the shaft then fitted the flange as was mentioned in the earlier post. He said it was a bit daunting until he started it then all was well as yet I have had no need to remove mine and do not realy relish the idea of doing so
    Best of luck .Kieron( Nirvana)

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