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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:38 am 
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All,

I'm looking for a lowish cost way to re-build my rudder system. I've got a few leads on rudder blades for less than $150 each. Currently I have the Lexan blades, being a racer used to fiberglass/carbon foils, these basically suck.

Right now, I have the old style upper and lower castings, although it appears I have new style straight tiller tubes. Often they won't pop up correctly, there are stress cracks in my transoms from this. Equally, if not more annoying, is one side doesn't lock properly. In locked down mode on the beach, the port rudder can rake back nearly 1" due to slop in the CAM mechanism. That translates into a fair amount of weather helm, enough so that I prefer sailing on port tack with only one rudder down. The plungers in the castings are frozen (typical), so I can't adjust the spring tension and reduce slop in that casting.

Hobie wants nearly $700 for the new style rudder castings and tiller tubes. This isn't exactly cheap. At that price I am trying to source used parts (difficult) and am highly considering getting parts from a different source (F-18 bits etc.). Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:33 am 
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I've posted about this before. For about $15 in parts and materials, the old-style castings can be made to function properly. I use them on my beach boat sailing in and out through the surf and they kick up as intended.

First, the cam spring has nothing to do with rake or slop in the system. The cam spring tension simply determines how difficult it is to pop up the rudders (usually set to "very difficult"). The old style rudder system is a fixed rake system, so the only way you can adjust the rudder rake or take out slop is by re-drilling the holes in the rudders. It's a more time consuming system because you have to fill in the existing holes with epoxy, mark, and re-drill the new holes so that the rudders are raked where you want them. Then sail the boat and verify the helm is good. If it isn't, you repeat the process. Check the recent Hotline articles for more on how to do this.

In my experience, there are two main issues that cause the old style rudder system to malfunction. The first is lack of lubrication, and the second is over-tightening the cam spring. I suggest using an automotive bearing grease to lubricate the system. If you look, you will see where the roller in the upper casting contacts and engages the hook (cam) in the lower casting. Apply a thin coat of grease to these surfaces. Don't go overboard or there is potential to attract a lot of dirt/sand. If you sail a lot, you will need to clean out the old grease and re-apply a couple times during the season.

The next thing is you need to loosen the cam springs. That means probably drilling out the frozen plastic screws and replacing them. Set the cam spring to the absolute minimum tension so that the upper casting just barely clicks into the lower cam. One of my screws has a piece of duct tape around it to keep it from unscrewing, that's how loose I run the springs - just enough to keep the upper casting from accidentally popping up. Then use a piece of 1/4" bungee wrapped around the rudder blade and rudder pin (twice). This is what is primarily used to hold the rudder down while underway. Install a pair of "Kisme Kleets" on each lower rudder casting to hold the bungee in position.

Image

The pressure from the bungee cord will also help to correct any slop in the rudder system and keep the rudders pulled forward so you don't get excessive weather helm.

After several broken lower rudder castings, I evolved to this system and it has been working successfuly for well over ten years now, including when sailing up onto the beach through the surf.

sm


Last edited by srm on Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:29 am 
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Replacing the cams ($20) and some lube like a wax or grease makes a ton of difference. I have had to replace the cams on every Hobie I have bought so far, I wish I kept a spare set.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:52 am 
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Bacho wrote:
Replacing the cams ($20) and some lube like a wax or grease makes a ton of difference. I have had to replace the cams on every Hobie I have bought so far, I wish I kept a spare set.


This is good advice for anyone with the new rudder system, but the OP has the old-stlye H18 rudder system. There is no cam. The system uses an aluminum latch/hook that does not require periodic replacement. Also, the system has been out of production for close to 30 years, so the only way to replace the latch would be to find a used lower casting assembly.

sm


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:03 am 
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Your right, I forgot the old 18 castings did not use the cam.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:08 pm 
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I found some used new style castings and tillers. I'll be switching to those. I'll take a look at why this casting is sloppy, its likely the rudder blade but it may be something different.

The old system may end up on a Prindle 16 so these tips are still most useful!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:20 pm 
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Anyone know the length of the tiller arms on the new style straight tiller arms (P/N: H60380111). I have a pair of H17 castings and the straight tiller arm length seems very short, looking at the Hobie documents, they are different part numbers. I probably have some tubes that will work lying around, hence the question.

Thanks,
Sam


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:25 pm 
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samcc99us wrote:
Anyone know the length of the tiller arms on the new style straight tiller arms (P/N: H60380111).


The distance from the edge of the upper casting where the tiller tube exits the casting to the end of the tiller tube extrusion (where the end cap is attached, but not including the end cap) is 17". So roughly 19-1/2" overall tube length.

If that makes any sense.

sm


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:36 am 
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srm wrote:
Bacho wrote:
Replacing the cams ($20) and some lube like a wax or grease makes a ton of difference. I have had to replace the cams on every Hobie I have bought so far, I wish I kept a spare set.


This is good advice for anyone with the new rudder system, but the OP has the old-stlye H18 rudder system. There is no cam. The system uses an aluminum latch/hook that does not require periodic replacement. Also, the system has been out of production for close to 30 years, so the only way to replace the latch would be to find a used lower casting assembly.

sm


I know there has been a couple of threads about maintaining/overhauling the old style over the years, can anyone point me to one of them? My rudders don't kick up with any reasonable force and I need to fix them!

Apparently, I need to read the thread form the beginning as SRM has already answered my question! Thanks!

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'82 H 18
'96 H Wave


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:18 pm 
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srm wrote:
I've posted about this before. For about $15 in parts and materials, the old-style castings can be made to function properly. I use them on my beach boat sailing in and out through the surf and they kick up as intended.
sm


SM,

My frozen ste screws are going to shatter if I try to move them. What part number are they? I'm going to tune mine like you have done with bungie and super light kick up tension. Any clues?

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'82 H 18
'96 H Wave


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Drill out the tension screw and replace. P/N 60450000.

sm


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:22 am 
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thanks SM

I installed the rudders to see how they'd kick up without the set screw and spring...I could put max pressure on the boat and still no kickup. It seems like the old style rudderhead angled back aft effectively locking the rudder down even without the rudder lock down. A bit of grease seems like it'll not do much to lessen that. SRM, did you file the rudderhead or anything else on the old style? A few close up pics would be great help.

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Dan St. Gean
'82 H 18
'96 H Wave


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:22 pm 
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srm wrote:
In my experience, there are two main issues that cause the old style rudder system to malfunction. The first is lack of lubrication, and the second is over-tightening the cam spring. I suggest using an automotive bearing grease to lubricate the system. If you look, you will see where the roller in the upper casting contacts and engages the hook (cam) in the lower casting. Apply a thin coat of grease to these surfaces. Don't go overboard or there is potential to attract a lot of dirt/sand. If you sail a lot, you will need to clean out the old grease and re-apply a couple times during the season.

The next thing is you need to loosen the cam springs. That means probably drilling out the frozen plastic screws and replacing them. Set the cam spring to the absolute minimum tension so that the upper casting just barely clicks into the lower cam. One of my screws has a piece of duct tape around it to keep it from unscrewing, that's how loose I run the springs - just enough to keep the upper casting from accidentally popping up. Then use a piece of 1/4" bungee wrapped around the rudder blade and rudder pin (twice). This is what is primarily used to hold the rudder down while underway. Install a pair of "Kisme Kleets" on each lower rudder casting to hold the bungee in position.

Image

The pressure from the bungee cord will also help to correct any slop in the rudder system and keep the rudders pulled forward so you don't get excessive weather helm.

sm


OK,

I got the scrwes drilled out. However even with no springs at all, the efort to kick up the blades is likely enough to break them or pull out the lower gougeon. I'll lubricate them as suggested & that might make all the diference, but right now they are not even making contact and are still impossibly hard to kick up short of lifting the tiller arm--then they come up with no trouble whatsoever. Should I file the latch a bit? It does seem worn.

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'82 H 18
'96 H Wave


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:05 pm 
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I actually prefer the old style! On our Hobies we use very little screw pressure, rudder tightening kits all around, lots of silicone grease, and apply a little file action here and there, and they latch and unlatch effortlessly and consistently.....Have never hit anything with the rudders locked down so dont know about the kick-up pressure, we just unlock them on our way into the beach and they come up by themselves as we beach......


Last edited by Lone Palm on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:44 pm 
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Lone Palm wrote:
I actually prefer the old style!.....


In some ways, I do too. The nice thing about the old style is that there is no cam to accidentally get stuck in the wrong position. If they're adjusted properly, the old style works just fine.

sm


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