Our boat is now 25 years old. In that time I don’t believe the rudder has ever been dropped.
Last time we were out of the water I thought about it, but we had the hull soda blasted, faired and a new barrier coat + antifoul applied. We also replaced the PSS Gland and at that point the chequebook really began to hurt. In the back of my mind I was concerned about rudder, I knew it was ‘wet’ but figured it could wait. We were working long hours, going to have a baby and not intending on anything more than local cruising, another year wouldn’t hurt.
Ignorance is bliss right?
So out of the water again sure enough a cursory investigation made it pretty clear things were not all well with rudder.
Water had been intruding of course and there was some movement between the rudder blade and stock.
After removing the rudder it also became clear the quadrant was showing signs of fatigue and corrosion.
While these discoveries can be demoralising( and expensive), I figure it is wiser to lose your rudder in a perfectly equipped boatyard than in the middle of the
Tasman Sea. More lessons learn’t.