With the help of a number of online friends, I have been rebuilding my H14T to a F14. The last thing I wanted to do was upgrade my rudders blades and add adjustable rudders to make it easier to trim the boat when running the Hooter.
I purchased a set of used EPO rudders and both upper and lower casings on-line. When I went to install them this weekend, the EPO rudders would not fit the eithor the upper or lower castings. Using a micrometer, I found the casing to be .10" narrower than my old pair, and while harder to measure, the rudders seem to be .04" wider than my old old set.
The combination of the differences, .14" is enough to prohibit them going together.
Did Hobie make different versions over the years?
Has anyone had experience widening the gap? And how?
Should I just ask the vendor to return them?
I sure would appreciate anyones help!
The EPOs definitely have a thicker head than plastic rudders, and, in my experience, many of the Hobie parts over the years don't seem to be built to very fine tolerances. In other words, your problem is not uncommon. I have heard of people filing the insides of the lower casting, but I've never heard of a problem with the uppers. Personally, I don't think it would hurt to sand the rudder head down a little. My EPOs fit the castings very tightly, but I've never had to do any filing. Had to sand a little when I overdid the coat thickness during refinishing, though. For me, a bunch of serious filing would just be miserable...maybe consider a machine shop?
Hope someone else will chime in with better info and you find a good solution. The EPOs are awesome....proper rudder rake is awesome....EPOs with proper rake are just....AWESOME!
Personally I would avoid filing the castings. They should fit all rudders and thus the shim kits etc on the market. Methinks your problem is similar to one I had with a brand new set of Nacra 5.8 daggers a few years ago. Turned out they were too thick and had escaped quality control. Chucked em as per my dealer's instructions and the replacements were just fine. (Funny thing..Put em out with the trash on a Sunday and they were picked up by the scavengers a bit later - still wonder what the trash pickers used them for.)
I had this issue on my Hobie 18 years ago.
Per the instructions of someone much wiser than me we bent out the rudder castings a bit, then sanded down the rudder heads until it all worked. Just use common sense, shouldn't have to sand all the way to the glass, and if you do, well then there is a problem.
They were always a tight fit but that's not a bad thing!
Don't forget that once they are wet they will move up and down a little easier.
Thanks to everyone for their comments.
I ended up talking with the guy who sold me the rudders and casting, he totally made it right! He acknowledged the opening may have been too narrow and is sending me another set, and is even paying my return shipping fee and giving me a 2007 Hobie Tiger ... okay that last part is not correct.
This guy is straight forward and honest ... buy from him without reservation ... his store PreSailedPartsStore has frequent posting on thebeachcats.com