Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Advise on Weight & Type of Anchor for Islander 37
Oh, one of those guys who complains every time a pilot brings back an airplane in "used" condition. (VBG) No, seriously...you sound very much aware of the issues. The keel and rudder are just two airfoils (the hull actually is a third) on a boat and even now that there are computers, the art of tuning all three to make a boat sweet instead of a mule is partly black art.
I don't know about the I37, do know some Beneteaus are notorious for having a rudder that is deeper than the keel and as such, a real danger for grounding damage. I wouldn't want a rudder deeper than the keel, but I'd be loathe to chop one down. If I was going to tackle that kind of problem, I think I'd make the keel deeper rather than chop the rudder.
Consider, as you heel the boat the rudder effectively becomes shorter, it doesn't extend down into clear undisturbed water, and with some boats that means you lose steerage one you heel over too far. Steering balance, sail balance, these are all three dimensional multi-variable euqations on a boat, or four-dimensional as they also change with speed.
Some rudders certainly CAN be improved. With potential rudder post damage and fully two feet busted off, and no way to know if the internal armature was still firmly attached versus beginning to come off the post...Trucking would definitely be the more conservative way to go.
It is also possible that you might find a used rudder from a consigment shop or breaker's yard. I don't know any good lists but you might try Sailorman in Fort Lauderdale, there's another one in Tampa/St.P. I can't remember the name of, sometimes you get lucky and someone can drum up the part.
Or I suppose you could drop the rudder, ship it home by motor freight, rebuild it and then ship it back before sailing the boat home. Between shipping costs and time...trucking the boat home might be the way to go, so the rest can be done without any rushes or risks.
Having been up close and personal with the "professional" replacement of a rudder by a certain leading name company in that business, I can only say be careful. The difference between a certified aviation mechanic and a shadetree greasemonkey comes to mind. (G)