Is external rudder a good idea? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 57 Old 07-03-2013 Thread Starter
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Is external rudder a good idea?

I have my eyes set on my next new-to-me-boat, but as you can see from the picture it has the rudder mounted on the transom, instead of a more tradtional through-hull rudder.

I don't see that on a lot of bots, and I wonder what are the downsides of this?

I like to think that it easier to inspect and less holes in the boat to worry about, but what am I not seeing?

I have attached a picture, I hope, but if that doesn't work here is link to the same picture:
http://sailboatdata.com/imagehelper.asp?file_id=9998
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post #2 of 57 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Is external rudder a good idea?

Its bad for ocean and blue water cruises. My boat is like this. Basically you are relying on one or two thru bolts and a tiller for your boats steering and since it is above the water line hard wave action from the stern will slam it hard over repeatedly loosening this connection.
If your a coastal cruiser no problem- if you want to do long trips over blue water it is not a good set up.
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post #3 of 57 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Is external rudder a good idea?

I know that the Hake Seaward ultra-shoal draft boats have an external rudder like that ... even with wheel steering. But, that is obviously so that it can eliminate draft when desired. Even their 32' and 46' foot models can practically pull up onto a beach with their centerboard up.

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post #4 of 57 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Is external rudder a good idea?

The largest problem I see is not about the use of it on the boat.. it's, well it just seems like way too many people buy boats with the rudder missing! Every week it seems there's a "looking for rudder for a -----name of boat here----
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post #5 of 57 Old 07-03-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Is external rudder a good idea?

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
The largest problem I see is not about the use of it on the boat.. it's, well it just seems like way too many people buy boats with the rudder missing! Every week it seems there's a "looking for rudder for a -----name of boat here----
Ok, I had never thought of that! Do they get stolen?

The mounts seem to be very sturdy and oversized.
I sail in Denmark, where the furthest away you can get from shore at any point is 12 nm so definately coastal use.

Any other downsides? Otherwise I still like it.
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post #6 of 57 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Is external rudder a good idea?

I like transom mounted rudders - they are simple, and when properly mounted - very reliable. The only downside tends to be weather helm when sailing to weather, but if the tiller is long enough that is not a big problem.

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post #7 of 57 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Is external rudder a good idea?

limits where you can put an outboard. Generally gives more usable cockpit room if you don't have a wheel. For shoal boats popping up the rudder and raising the centerboard and get into thin water.

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post #8 of 57 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Is external rudder a good idea?

There are some larger boats that use them. And some boats that are Norwegian inspired have huge tiller and rudder that follows the curve of the stern down. Very very nautical.
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post #9 of 57 Old 07-03-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Is external rudder a good idea?

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I like transom mounted rudders - they are simple, and when properly mounted - very reliable. The only downside tends to be weather helm when sailing to weather, but if the tiller is long enough that is not a big problem.
I don't quite understand the part about weather helm.
Will the mount of rudder on the transom give the boat more/harder weatherhelm than if not ?
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Re: Is external rudder a good idea?

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I don't quite understand the part about weather helm.
Will the mount of rudder on the transom give the boat more/harder weatherhelm than if not ?
Transom mounted rudder makes it harder to steer (especially in strong wind when going upwind) compared to all other types of rudders. That can be counteracted to some degree by reducing sail area and having a long tiller. I have a 20 foot boat with transom mounted rudder (Mirage 5.5m) and that is my observation. I made a longer tiller for it, which was a very easy job. Some people make an extension to their regular tiller, which they put on only in rough weather, so there is more room in the cockpit.

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