“What The Hell Have I Done Now?” Brian Toye Goes For It!

Boom boom!

Thanks to long time Woody Boater Brian Toye for sending in this report from the mean streets of Woodyboaterville! And a chance meeting with a Mercedes SUV. What could go wrong? YIKES!

Looks okay?

For our Lake Oswego Boat Show last August, we have to have the boats cleaned prior to being allowed onto Oswego Lake. So the weekend before the show, I was en route to have the boat cleaned and while at a stoplight, the youngster behind me reached for a twenty dollar bill and managed to creep into the rudder assembly of Zoomer.


Not a good day. But I did get insurance money and she was still able to float for the show, even with the bilge pump working overtime.

The resulting bent rudder shaft. Above on right.

I REALLY did not want to tackle the task of removing the petrol tank, and the rudder assembly. So I put it off until the first nice sunny day about two months ago…

What the hell have I done now…

It came apart really easy.

The rudder and shaft, and the prop shaft strut went into the shop for repairs. After only $325 I had straight strut and sadly, a completely new rudder and shaft assembly…

I REALLY did not want to put everything back together but I just started and it became “too late to turn back now”. Everything went back together with much sweat and work…with the only thing being off was that whoever put the rudder shaft into the boat years ago managed to NOT get the top part of the shaft into the top bearing. We were lucky all of theses years that nothing bad happened.

Yikes, Brian’s been under there too long, he is just skin and bones!

With everything installed and sealed up, the next weekend her butt went into the water to adjust the stuffing box and to check for leaks. None found and all was well.

Cannot wait for a nice day to do a real water test, as the shop told me that with the now straight strut, there should be much less vibration. I figured the vibration all of these years was just due to having a 225 hp V8 in her!

Nice and new!

Thank you to both LO Boat and Sheffield Marine. for the nice new prop

I know for most this was no damn big deal…but for me it was a major event to muster up the confidence to just do the job and do it right.

17 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Happy ending to a sad story! I find half the battle with a boat project is just getting started. Ya know, like stripping the paint off a cruiser. Usually once you get into it it’s not bad, and the end result is very rewarding. Nice work Brian!

  2. steve in the woods
    steve in the woods says:

    I have not been able to blame anyone else for damage tha I have incurred. Sheared the rudder off smooth! Looked everwhere for instructions, but was before webb. Thought was worse than process…good job!

  3. Mark
    Mark says:

    Actually you were very fortunate that the boat bottom was not damaged. Mechanical parts are much easier to fix.

    Interesting place for a spare tire on the trailer too.

    Glad to hear you got through it with success.

  4. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Nice work!

    Things like this just make your relationship with your boat that much more intimate.

  5. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    Over the years we have have had dozen or so boat trailers fabricated. We always spec out the trailer to be a little longer then the boat to protect the back of the boat from a low speed rear ender.

  6. Jack
    Jack says:

    The recommendation for a trailer a half foot too long is very astute.
    We once had a similar occurrence but it was the exhaust ports of the boat that smashed our grill and pierced our radiator.
    A too long trailer would have impacted our bumper.

  7. Briant
    Briant says:

    Sadly, the rudder and shaft was original with the 1930 boat so it was too bad that it had to be replaced. The bent shaft and blade had too many cracks and the shop did not feel confident that it would be safe after the welding up. The new one is stainless so it should look great for years. It doesn’t matter really as we never show the boat for judging and she gets used at every chance. We do need a new trailer and at the least it will be 6-12 inches longer than the boat….as I do not really want to do this again.

  8. Brian Flaherty
    Brian Flaherty says:

    I have been through the same repair process on our boat but ‘twas all my own fault… I will never own another roller trailer as long as I am boating!! When I customized the back of our new trailer I over built the heck out of the prop gaurd just for such protection. Our trailer is about 5” longer than the transom and about 1” longer than the step plates. But it is built from 4” heavy structural channel and the prop guard drop is 1/4” wall 2×2 structural tubing! It will literally support the entire weight of the boat without flexing (it does every time
    I back into my parent’s driveway).

    Glad to hear you were to get her fixed!

    • dreed
      dreed says:

      Welcome back to this mess. I have 5 big pine trees down in the front yard. Enough to build a new boat!

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        5 pines sounds pretty rough. Won’t be easy to replace that shade and privacy quickly I presume. I have two fence sections down, posts and all. A project to replace but not a big deal. No trees down which is an improvement from last year when a big tree fell on the house.

  9. Jeff N.
    Jeff N. says:

    Was the rudder outside the transom? I’m on a mission to find that , seems very rare and early.

  10. Jeff N.
    Jeff N. says:

    I mean it pretty much would have to be to get bent like that . Ant pics would greatly help thanks.

    • Briant
      Briant says:

      No. The trailing edge of the rudder blade is 2 inches shy of the edge of the transom. The license plate and surround struck the rudder and thankfully the rest of the vehicle did not come into contact with the transom. No wood was touched or damaged. The trailer makes the boat sit a bit high up and the front of the Mercedes slopes in such a way that it kept the sheet metal away from the boat.

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