Originally Posted by starlightventure
If you go on a passage with an unprotected spade rudder, You Must carry a spare emergency rudder, one that you can hang over the transom with a tiller.
Their are many reports of broken rudders at sea. One hit a 400 pound sun fish and bent the rudder shaft. Many have hit whales and irreparably jammed the rudder, still another hit a tree trunk floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, rendering the boat unable to steer. As you can see buy viewing the profile of a Cal 39-40- and most other spade rudder boats, that the top of the rudder will bind up against the hull if impacted by an object.
Unable to steer the boat far out at sea, big BIG problem.
Any type of rudder can fail, so it's a good idea to have a backup system. Also, many of the objects that you have listed can damage a skeg badly enough that the rudder is damaged or jammed.