I take it that you pushed the boats backwards and sand was forced up into the housing or wave action caused sand to collect in the housing while you were beached?
It was the wave action that deposited the sand as this beach is steep and gets deep quickly. The TI's were only beached for about for about 1/2 an hour but the rudders were copping all the wave action. To make matters worse the tide was coming in as well and we had to keep dragging them up the beach a bit. We have stopped many times before here and not had a problem with the earlier rudder, which is why I suspected a fouled rudder line. It was only when we got back to the ramp and our friends who had left a bit earlier than us reported the same issues that I realised it wasn't the rudder lines.
There is really no way to prevent it as beaches and sizes of sand grains, shells or pebbles vary greatly. You just have to be aware and clear the rudder and or centerboard as you get back into the water.
Now that I know what caused it, it's no big deal to cycle the rudder up down by hand just before leaving. The design of the new rudder with tight tolerances and drum cheeks lower and on both sides of the blade means sand can easily get in, but it is also easy to clear.
It's a small price to pay for the huge improvement in rudder control with the upgraded rudder.
Sorry if this sounds silly, but pulling the boat up backwards in these conditions immediately popped into my mind.
Not silly at all.
Its something to consider if there's a chance of waves hitting the rudder. It is much harder dragging the TI backwards though, due to the position of the rear handle. Might be better to drag forwards and then turn it around so the bow cops the waves. With the fix being as simple as splashing the rudder while cycling it up/down I think I’d rather save my back.
Hope you have another great trip Keith. Looking forward to the trip report!