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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Re: why so long?
for what it's worth, judging by the images i can find of the underside, including the one i have of mine ( when it was in too shallow water at high tide. long story. it's in another thread ), it appears that 3/4 of my rudder area is aft the stern post. not totally balanced but not terrible. i suppose it would be a trial and error thing, to figure out how much shortening the tiller would affect handling.
Jack that sounds like a typical balanced rudder.. Balanced rudders don't split the blade area 50/50 across the rudder post.. the forward balancing tab is typically 20% of the chord or less, so that sounds good. Rudders that become hard to control at times typically have the stock right at the leading edge like barn door rudders on full keels.
Too much balancing tab and you'd have no 'feel', and also with an inboard propwash can act on the balancing tab with enough force to make it hard to hold the tiller straight under power. Too much area and it can be a problem (similar to trying to hold a tiller straight when you're backing up with speed).
btw.. with the tiller 'longish' and sailing alone, I'd really give some thought to moving the traveller to the front of the cockpit as shown in your other thread.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)