View Full Version : Bent Rudder - but how bad is it?

07-08-2009, 04:15 PM
Over the 4th of July weekend I noticed my steering was a bit tight but that should not be happening after a fairly recent steering cable replacement. On the way home I was actually following the boat on the trailer down the road and the rudder caught my eye....

Bent to the side? Could that be? Got home and inspected it and sure enough it appears to be bent both back and a little to the right. I know the rudders are mounted off center a little but this looks too much too me.

I had to push in and out of some shallow waters where we were camped but it was a sandy/silty bottom with only a few rocks here and there. My stainless prop is still in good shape with no mentionable new dings or dents. I don't remember hitting anything and there were no notable waves or rough conditions bouncing the boat on the bottom when anchored either. Suppose it could have been from a previous trip but nothing comes to mind.

So I'm sitting here looking at the thing wondering for starters what it should actually look like and second if it's something I can run the rest of summer before going in for repairs as this sounds like a somewhat spendy repair by other posts I've read. Or maybe it can be "bent back" somehow?

Looks like it's sitting to the right a little too far?

You can see the gap to the hull is wider in the front then the back - looks like it is pushed back some?

Up close it definitely looks tweaked to me but it is not really binding up...

I can still turn the rudder side to side by hand while under the boat and the boat steers well enough. It does want to wander off to the right just a bit when letting go of the wheel but not a death spin.

I just don't want to have it break off when we're out in the middle of the river a few miles away from the launch if I leave it for now...

Not sure what to do with it.

07-08-2009, 10:51 PM
Keep lots of grease in it in the meantime. If it gets worse have your shop ready and make sure they have parts on hand ahead of time. Good luck!

07-09-2009, 03:50 PM
Definately possible to damage your rudder without impacting your prop. I sheared my rudder clean off last year (@ 20mph) and didn't even ding the prop.

07-09-2009, 04:50 PM
Thanks guys. I was just checking out a complete replacement unit on SkiDim. Doesn't look like too difficult of a "driveway job" as opposed to a trip to the dealer.

Haven't found any individual pieces or components so it looks like an all or none sort of deal.

07-09-2009, 06:04 PM
Provided there is no damage to the rudder port this is def. something you can do yourself. Just make sure to check that no fiberglass around the area was damaged first.

07-09-2009, 06:43 PM
If you do replace it yourself can you take lots of pic's on how to do this for the rest of us that will at some time or another have to replace it.

07-10-2009, 08:06 AM
If you do replace it yourself can you take lots of pic's on how to do this for the rest of us that will at some time or another have to replace it.

Please do!

When one has the opportunity to learn an "How To" to save money or a lengthy trip to the dealer, others feel more comfortable tackling the same job if needed.