Tenderly Rudder Casette Problem

I was tired and anxious when completing the final task on my Tenderly build. (Tired and anxious--not a good headspace to be in, but I was sooooo close to being done with this marathon project.) Anyway, I accidentally drilled for a bolt where there can only be a screw due to rudder motion. Filling the hole with epoxy didn't work as the plugs just popped out when I was (gently) using a gimlet to put put a pilot hole in for the  little screws.

So it would seem my only option is to relocate the lower pintle. I can see nothing obvious to dictate whether the pintle ends up higher or lower than in the manual (gudgeons are not yet on the transom). Lower would be better it seems to me, but--still being anxious about all this--I may be mssing something.

Thoughts? Advice? Consolations? TIA.


4 replies:

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RE: Tenderly Rudder Casette Problem

Hey Barbara,

Sorry for that.  We've all made boo boos when we were in a rush, tired, all of the above, etc.  My first impression after reading your post was that I have filled several holes that were either incorrectly placed or the wrong size on the boats I've built.  The epoxy should be stronger/harder than the wood, so I would look at just filling in the holes with epoxy slightly thickened with silica.  I have no idea how your plugs can just "pop out" if they're properly bonded to the wood.  Feel free to elaborate if needed.

Second, have you installed the gudgeons yet?  You can only go so low since you need to be able to nut up the bolts from the inside of the transom.  At some point the fillet between the bottom and the transom will be in the way.  You don't want to jeopardize that joint being water tight.

I installed the gudgeons on my PMD first, then used them to locate the pintles on the rudder.  I also used the guideline in the manual on the general location of the rudder with respect to the transom.

Ironically, this is exactly what I'm working on today as I wait for the paint to dry on the hull.  My original holes in the rudder and tiller didn't allow me to raise the tiller past about 45°, so I'm relocating them.  The tiller on my EP flips completely out of the way, which has been a nice feature on several occasions.  

RE: Tenderly Rudder Casette Problem

Skully's right, those plugs shouldn't have popped out. That's indicative of too little cure time, insufficient surface prep, epoxy starvation or contamination. How much lime juice was there in the gimlet?

If it was my boat I'd try again, but this time file/rasp/sand (you pick) the inside of the hole and leave it rough, then before plugging, paint it with unthickened epoxy until it won't take anymore and plug it immediately. Once it's plugged, wait at least 3 or more days for the epoxy to get a good cure. The longer you can wait, the better.

Another option would be to fill the hole with some hardwood doweling instead of an epoxy plug, then put the screw into that. Again, wait as long as you can for the epoxy to cure.

You could make the dowel ever so slightly conical, soak it in epoxy, paint the hole with epoxy and glue it in with epoxy/woodflour putty, narrow side out. That way the more the screw pulls, the more the plug will resist. The epoxy will keep the water from getting into your boat's structure, even if the plug opens up and swells. Worst case, some years in the future you replace the plug.

Good luck,



RE: Tenderly Rudder Casette Problem

   Thank you both for thoughtful, detailed replies. As I think about it, I'm pretty sure the epoxy never actually soaked in to the wood at all as I let it kick off and thicken a little before putting it in. Anyway, I'll definitely give it another try this evening with careful attention to getting the little holes prepped, making sure good fresh epoxy is really soaking in (I like the wood dowel idea too) and letting it sit 'til Friday before touching with the screws, tho I still have some hope of sailing on Saturday, at last, if all goes well with this repair.

I've only posted on this forum twice now but I read something useful every day. It's been a great help and I appreciate the considerable time that some of you take to share you acquired knowledge. 

Ah, Laszlo, that gimlet comes after the maiden voyage :>)





RE: Tenderly Rudder Casette Problem

As a general rule, I have never let mixed epoxy sit in a cup before application.  That would just be cheating yourself of the working time you need for whatever application you're undertaking.  I would recommend a little thickener, but only to a syrup consistency.  You want it to flow completely into the void, not trap an air bubble somewhere because it's too thick to flow.  This will also allow some of the liquid epoxy on the surface of the mix soak into the wood on the sides of the hole.

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