Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-01-2016 Thread Starter
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Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

I've got a solid mahogany rudder on my 1975 Seafarer, what is the current method of caring for such. I've seen where the old varnish is almost completely gone and I'm wondering what I need to do to make sure this lasts another 40 years. The rudder slides in and out of the bracket that attaches to the transom so it would be pulled after every use. I'm expecting that it wouldn't be submerged any longer than a week since this is primarily a trailer-sailor.

So what should I do varnish, wax, epoxy, something else, or nothing?
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-02-2016
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Re: Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

I had a solid mahogany rudder on my trailered boat. I just put varnish on it and it looked fine for years. Heavy as all get out but it looked beautiful.

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post #3 of 10 Old 02-02-2016
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Re: Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

Varnish will do just fine.

Do not be tempted to epoxy it then varnish it. If the water gets under the epoxy you have a real tough time removing the epoxy to deal with it. Ask me how I know this.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-02-2016
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Re: Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

+1 to the above. All of my boats have always been wooden, each keelboat was over 30 years old when I bought them. The rudders are wood, just got paint or varnish, lasted well. My philosophy when repairing an old boat is that you should repair/replace as original unless the original was in some way under-built. In other words, if the original finish or construction lasted for decades, why mess up a good thing?
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-02-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

OK, thanks for the responses. It appears that a transparent varnish is what's recommended... Any particular types? There's a ton of stuff out there. Spar, Polyurethane and acrylic.

I'm thinking the Acrylic types which are water based may be what I try, but I'm open to suggestion if anyone has a particular type that's served well.

Thanks again!
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-02-2016
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Re: Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

Choose your finish and store inside when not in use, it pulls right out correct?

any Marine spar or Cetol, I have found the Cetol holds up well. There are some really expensive two part finishes nuteak or something like that but its WAY expensive.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-02-2016
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Re: Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

the water based stuff is crap, does not last . use a good oil based spar varnish or two part polyurethane not one part. to me Cetol always look like it still needs to be varnished

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post #8 of 10 Old 02-02-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

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Originally Posted by albrazzi View Post
Choose your finish and store inside when not in use, it pulls right out correct?
Yes it pulls out of the metal bracket and I'll be storing it in a dry place.
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-03-2016
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Re: Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

Good varnishes are pricey. But I use them anyway. I like LeTonkinois.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-03-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Solid wood rudder, Care and Feeding?

OK, thanks for all the advise! I plan on going old school with a quality spar varnish! If you want you can follow my refit progress here : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...PzKlnZH4o6z94J

Thanks!
Matt
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