Nothing like taking people on your beautiful Deadrise, on a beautiful day, for a ride to the Hard Yacht Cafe in Dundalk. Coming out of Baltimore, I was turning into a wake of a large boat to minimize the impact of the roll, and on the other side of the wake the Merryman just started doing circle. The rudder was stuck in full left turn.

So what did I do?

  1. Much to the entertainment of the crew, I stripped down to my underwear and jumped in the water to check my prop. I thought maybe I fouled it with a line or something. And that was not the case.
  2. Hauled all 260lbs up over the side with a make-shift rope ladder (took a loop of my stern line and secured the rest to the stern cleat) – sliding over barnacles at my water line, I’m now wet, in my underwear and gushing blood.
  3. Gave stern look to the wife as she said “This is not good!”
  4. Got my tool kit from the cabin – and as I came out of the cabin…my left leg went forward, my right left went backward and my tool kit went sideways. This is a large tool kit.
  5. Started laughing as my wife said “This is not making me feel confident…”
  6. Climbed under the rear to inspect the hydraulic steering and this is what I found…the bracket between the hydraulic piston and the rudder shaft was corroded and failed.

Called TowBoat, which is the BEST benefit of BoatUs Insurance I know of…at least until the boat sinks and they send me a check, and they hauled us back to the dock.

I’ve taken the part to a machine shop in Baltimore to recreate a new part and should be back on the water within the next few days.

Guess it’s all part of owning a 40-year-old boat.

Update: Installed the beautiful new part…

You will also see here mounted lengthwise is a duplicate part with a 3 foot tiller attached in case I ever have an issue again either with the bracket or with the hydraulic steering.

These parts were made at by the business owner – very nice guy named Ryan Thimatariga. Highly recommend him for very high quality machine shop work.




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