Rudder pintles & gudgeons: relatively recent SLM Co boats

I pulled the rudder from Zygote today. It’s I think the third time I have removed the rudder over the past 18 years, but the first time I’ve taken notes and photos to document the procedure.

For the first time, we hauled out Zygote (by Travelift) just to remove the rudder. And then 30 minutes later, we relaunched and had the marina tug service deliver us back to our berth.

We had had the timber cheeks of the rudder coated with Awlwood a year ago. But for some reason, the Awlwood was not performing on the rudder cheeks (we’ve had Awlwood applied to other timber, with better results than my varnish work). On the rudder cheeks, the Awlwood turned yellow and where exposed to sunlight it developed a rough surface that eventually cracked and lost small pieces. An Awlwood tech specialist visited and suggested that a fault in the application of Awlwood, such as the use of oxalic acid to bleach dark spots from the timber (we paid for the local professional to do the job).

Back to the pintles and gudgeons … I’ve noted on the Forum that BCCs vary in the arrangements. Some owners have talked about small teak blocks to stop the rudder pintles from lifting off the gudgeons. Others have mentioned various nuts and bolts. And other owners have mentioned nylon washers or bushings in the gudgeons.

Zygote, BCC 116 first launched in 2000, has plain pintles at Pintles 1 (top) and 3 (bottom). Pintle 2 is the key one: it has been tapped to receive from underneath a bolt (7/16" hex head). That bolt holds three washers: a split (or spring) washer; a small flat washer; and a large washer with a diameter larger than that of the hole in the gudgeon.

All three of the gudgeons have flanged sleeve bushings. I couldn’t identify the plastic.

As noted by previous owners, 2 - 3 people can lift the rudder. On Z, we had to tilt the rudder head aft and lift a little more to remove Pintle 3 fully from its gudgeon.

Before relaunch, I taped around the gudgeons to prevent any bio-fouling of the gudgeons and their bushings. We’ll haulout again once the rudder cheeks have been recoated and then reinstall the rudder.

Photos attached.