The Gemini comes equipped with kick up rudders. What they don’t tell you is that the degree to which your rudders kick up may vary depending on what day of the week your boat was built. I beached the Turtle stern up, to do some bottom work, in almost the exact same spot that a friend beached his Gemini 3400 just a few days earlier.
Although he had no problems with his boat, apparently my rudders don’t retract as much. When the last of the tide went out, the weight of the boat came down on the rudders and broke the pivot points that they move up and down on. This is how I did the repair.
Making A Mold
First I inserted the steering tube into what was left of the hole from the old pivot point, to help form the new hole. The tube was covered with grease, so it wouldn’t stick to the epoxy. Thickened epoxy with some shredded fiberglass cloth was spread around the steering tube. Once it was built up a little, a piece of rubber strapping was clamped in place to form the back of the mold. The remainder was then filled in with epoxy.
After the epoxy was cured, the mold was removed, and a couple of layers of fiberglass tape were laid up around the end of the repair. The finished repair was then painted with bottom paint, and aluminum strapping was wrapped around the end and screwed in place for extra reinforcement.
When I tried to put the repaired rubbers back in place I discovered that I repaired them better than the original design. The new pivot points were much sturdier, but also a little more bulky. Using a Dremel, I cut away some of the fiberglass around the back of rudder mount, so the rudders would fit.
Finally to add strength where the fiberglass was cut away, a couple of layers of fiberglass cloth were laid up on both sides of rudder mount, securing them directly to the transom. Once again, even though it wasn’t planned, I think the repair is actually a little stronger than the original design.