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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-05-2009
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with all this lost rudder talk

i wonder how well a simple 6 foot ply wood rudder would work. my boat has about 3 feet of stern, i was thinking about just taking a 18 inch by 6 foot plywood board sealed with epoxy with some sort of rudder hanger screwed to the stern. then a simple tiller that bolts on should work. it could be stored under a settee cushion. it might not be perfect but it would have to be better than no rudder at all and best of all cost under a 100 bucks

i could even shape like below to cut some weight, and bevel the edges

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Old 05-05-2009
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You'd need some pretty heavy pintles and gudgeons to deal with a rudder that large.
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Old 05-05-2009
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Unless you plan on crossing an ocean why worry about losing your rudder? The odds are probably a million to one in your favor anyway that it will never happen. Other than hitting a piece of debris you failed to spot the Chesapeake isn't going to deal you a dirty hand from weather conditions. Just get a membership to Boat US or Sea Tow and save the plywood for an other project.
Mike
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Old 05-05-2009
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Or consider a catamaran.

2 rudders - a built in spair.

Whatever breaks, I plug-in an emergency tiller to the side that still works (ss pipe - very sturdy) and disconect the tie rod. If the other is bent hard over, there may be something required there, who can say.

Should the rudder tube rip out, there are 2 water-tight bulkheads in between it and the cabin.

Yes, I know cats have their weaknesses. Doesn't everything. This is a strength. I had 2 rudder failures on a prior cat, and neither required any more heartburn than sailing home.
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Old 05-05-2009
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SD only about half of that would have been in the water.

as for crossing the ocean, the bag is a big place for a 1983 boat

as for the cat, can you loan me the money with 0% interest
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Old 05-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
i wonder how well a simple 6 foot ply wood rudder would work. my boat has about 3 feet of stern, i was thinking about just taking a 18 inch by 6 foot plywood board sealed with epoxy with some sort of rudder hanger screwed to the stern. then a simple tiller that bolts on should work. it could be stored under a settee cushion. it might not be perfect but it would have to be better than no rudder at all and best of all cost under a 100 bucks

i could even shape like below to cut some weight, and bevel the edges

**
**
**
***
****
****
****
****
I have wondered about that too. I bet it could be done. I wonder if that would be prudent seamanship on fin/spade setups (like most production baots) before going cruising?? And would it be that involved to come up with a makeshift rudder?

Has anyone tried it?

- CD
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bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about
On my boat, under the settee cushions I have plywood panels that make the base for them both port and starboard. My plan for emergency rudder has always been to use those panels along with the muffler clamps I carry on board and the whisker pole lashed to the rail.
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Old 05-05-2009
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My plan would be to use a piece of plywood lashed to a boathook, and use lines run to the aft end of the makeshift rudder, to blocks on the amas to help control it.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 05-05-2009
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I have some concern about the adaquacy of plywood for this application. Remember, your carrying this in case your original rudder fails, so presumably there are some significant loads being applied to the rudder. Half the grain in your plywood rudder will run along the cord and contribute very little to the stiffness and strength. I think your going to have to strengthen the plywood with some form of reinforcement or use a solid hardwood.
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Old 05-05-2009
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Paysay. Plywood is extremely strong in 3/4" and larger sizes.
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