So I finally got in there and took a good look at the rudder post today. Now wishing I hadn’t and that I’d just continued to bury my head in the sand.
Here’s what I found: Galvanic corrosion.
Last time we had the hull scraped at Paradise Village the diver told me I needed to replace my zincs and told me which ones to go buy. To be honest I didn’t know the rudder had zincs. The rudders on the catamaran didn’t. Anyway, I bought new ones, the diver put them on, and then came up with the old ones, which were just paper thin sheets of metal. This was a couple of months ago.
Anyway, you can see in the first picture of the post how it looked when I first climbed back there to have a look. The other pics show what it looked like after cleaning it up. It’s pretty clear that the water is getting in because of the corrosion of the shaft.
Now, what exactly does this mean? I don’t know. I do know that it means a little stuffing flax isn’t going to stop the leaking. I don’t think it means the rudder is going to fall off and we are going to sink. And I don’t think it means this is something that can’t wait another few months until we are ready to haul out for the season. I also think I know that this is going to end up being a very expensive lesson in the importance of avoiding galvanic corrosion.