Broken steering assembly

lobstercraven

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Today I sheared off the 3 bolts that attach my ram to the rudder post. Anybody have any idea what would cause this? There was no sound. No warning . Just all of a sudden I lost my steering. I figured I blew a hose . 1620083445756.jpeg
 

DotRat

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honestly everything looks very well maintained... I guess I would start with the obvious. Were you underway when it happened? Did something get hung up in the rudder and cause the strain? Are the stops on the ram adjusted correctly? Is the rudder shaft bound up? Is the packing too tight? Are the bolts the right grade of hardware? Something put a lot of force to sheer all three like that!
 

El Mar

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lobstercraven

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last week during the moon tides I was aground at the dock with a load of traps on it . It wasn’t just touching either . My stern was probably like 8” higher then normal waterline. I did try to get off when I first arrived and the boat had just caught.The tide was still going. So possibly I broke a bolt or weakened things then . Set my traps that day with no issues. I used the boat for two days after that before things came apart.
The rudder moves freely. I was towed in and the rudder would stay straight
 

lobstercraven

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I would say crevice corrosion, but there really is no evidence of that at the broken bolts.

I agree with above any way there was an obstruction there?

Can you oversize the bolts for the repair?
I was wondering the same thing about getting a heavier set up . That would probably open a can of worms though . Probably have to change everything out. FWIW I changed everything out back there just a couple of years ago . Went with the same set up because never had a problem before....lasted 20 years
 

DotRat

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last week during the moon tides I was aground at the dock with a load of traps on it . It wasn’t just touching either . My stern was probably like 8” higher then normal waterline. I did try to get off when I first arrived and the boat had just caught.The tide was still going. So possibly I broke a bolt or weakened things then . Set my traps that day with no issues. I used the boat for two days after that before things came apart.
The rudder moves freely. I was towed in and the rudder would stay straight
yeah sounds about right! Hope you got it sorted!
 

Big Joe

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Looks like the broken bolt, closest in the picture, had some issues before it broke. The second one looks more like a clean break
 

AGL

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Hmm... I see fresh grease. Has this been worked on lately? An over-tightened bolt is already half broken. (Ask me how I know)

If the bolt(s) let go, the taper would come loose, and put even more force on the bolts. I can't tell if the marks on the taper are rotational or not. Was there a key?
 

Keelboater

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Yes, if a bolt becomes over tightened and yields, the stretch becomes permanent. The bolt loses it's "squeeze" and the joint becomes compromised. I tend to believe the key in the taper lock hub on the shaft should have failed before the bolts shear off in a healthy joint. So my guess is the bolts were either too tight and yielded, or just too loose and the joint slipped and sheared the bolts.
 
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lobstercraven

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Any ideas how to get the key out? I would like to take top piece off and slide the bottom right off and start out new. or thats what I’m thinking. Seems like it would be a bitch to tap the severed bolts out
 
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El Mar

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Old Mud

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Genius

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I wonder if you should lap that taper with grinding compound like you would do a prop.

Looks like there was not much contact.
whoa...that's a taper with grease on it? Was the taper suppose to take the load and the three bolts just to set the taper? If that's so, it may be the smoking gun IMO
 

lobstercraven

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whoa...that's a taper with grease on it? Was the taper suppose to take the load and the three bolts just to set the taper? If that's so, it may be the smoking gun
I always put some grease on it to ward off corrosion . Just on top of the bolts . I did tighten down on the stuffing box at the end of last season because there was a little more water showing. Didn’t add any packing
 

Genius

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I always put some grease on it to ward off corrosion . Just on top of the bolts . I did tighten down on the stuffing box at the end of last season because there was a little more water showing. Didn’t add any packing
hey lobstercraven. I was specifically referring to the taper. I understand the greasing thing, but any taper shouldn't have grease on it. I'm not familiar with the setup, so I can't say for sure....But, it does look like a taper fitting and the three bolts also kinda reinforce this.
 
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