Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons - SailNet Community

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Old 06-02-2012
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Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

I recently acquired an 85 Catalina 22 and am in the process of getting her ready for the water. I have ran across a teak rudder that is almost the same dimensions as the factory one and was wondering what everyones thoughts are on putting it on such a boat. It is in good shape from what I can tell from the pics but I'm sure it will need sanding and some other type of treatment. I didn't know if it would need a certain type of sealant below the waterline or what. We have become members of the local yacht club and hope to be spending quite a bit of time on her when everything is ship shape so it will see lots of water. She will also be kept in a wet slip just as soon as one comes available but the rudder could be removed when we aren't using her. The cost of the rudder is considerably less than a new one and I think it would look awesome but just want to make sure it's not going to require a ton of maintenance. I would also like to hear any comments on performance or handling issues as I'm thinking once it gets wet and absorbs water the weight is gonna change. Thoughts?
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Re: Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

bad idea in my opinion. it will get soggy if left in the water long term. epoxy won't stick to it for very long so it's going to get slimy and heavy. Got a photo? New they go for $400 - to 700 depending where you get them. that much teak could be worth some money in of itself though. I can certainly think if better uses for the teak!

Catalina 22 rudders must going on the black market or something there seems to be an awful lot of people looking for them for their 22s!
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Re: Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
bad idea in my opinion. it will get soggy if left in the water long term. epoxy won't stick to it for very long so it's going to get slimy and heavy. Got a photo? New they go for $400 - to 700 depending where you get them. that much teak could be worth some money in of itself though. I can certainly think if better uses for the teak!

Catalina 22 rudders must going on the black market or something there seems to be an awful lot of people looking for them for their 22s!
The sogginess was my concern as well and I have no idea what is happening to them because I've been looking for a month or so now.

I am on a budget so new is not really what I'm looking for. On the other hand maybe I could buy the teak one, sell the wood, and buy a new one. The guy seems to think the teak holds a substantial value itself.
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Re: Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

Here's a pic...

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Re: Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

If it's the same dimensions, and a good enough buy, why not? Make sure it's the same
length in the water because that will be important for steerage. But, obviously it's been
a rudder up until now, so someone felt like it was good enough for that purpose.
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Re: Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

Guess it all comes down to what you want to pay.
that piece of wood is nothing like the original (imho)

there there's this.. I've seen these, and they are nice.

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Re: Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Guess it all comes down to what you want to pay.
that piece of wood is nothing like the original (imho)

there there's this.. I've seen these, and they are nice.

That is definitely sweet lookin' but comes with a sweet price too. It looks similar to the ones on Catalinadirect but this one looks better.
I really think I would like the versatility of a kick-up rudder better but the teak one isn't too far away and it could possibly get me in the water sooner. I guess I could use it until I found a used kick-up then would have a spare.

Here is a plain jane C22 rudder I found....I've got the dimensions for the original and they're close. The teak one is maybe 2" longer.



Is there any type of clear epoxy that could be applied that would hold up under water?
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Old 06-03-2012
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Re: Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

I had some experience with a teak rudder on my Wayfarer, although that was teak ply.

The best rudder for a Wayfarer is considered to be composite : plywood covered in fibreglass. So what I would do with your rudder (and did with mine) is cover it with epoxy. You can apply a layer of glass then epoxy, but I just went with epoxy, no glass.

I painted West System Epoxy onto mine, with a brush. You get a surprisingly smooth finish. Do one side, keeping it horizontal, then do the other when the epoxy has set. Add a couple of layers and sand lightly. Then you need to add a few layers of spar varnish for UV protection.

However, I don't think a teak rudder is a good solution for a boat left on a slip. I think water will find a way in. Remember the lower edge of rudders tends to get chipped by debris or the bottom, then you have broken the epoxy seal and water gets in.
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Re: Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

People have used wooden rudders for a long time. (Any Egyptians, Greeks or Phonecians out there?) Water absorption did not seem to be a major issue to them or to subsequent users. If this one fits, and the price is right, paint it with antifouling and go for it. Treatments like epoxy are likely overkill, and may have adhesion problems. You would need antifouling on top of any epoxy in any case, to keep marine growth down. Teak seems to last well, even in constant submersion. With antifouling to keep the toredos away, it might last 15 or more years -- unless you hit something with it and it pulls the transom off. (Teak is pretty tough stuff.)

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Re: Teak rudder for a Catalina 22...Pros and Cons

Go for the teak and just varnish it - lots of coats of good spar varnish. I had a varnished mahogany rudder on my first 20 footer and it was a thing of beauty and didn't absorb water. Teak would be even better.

I did unship it and store it below when docked, which helped to keep it nice.
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