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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Build Fiberglass Rudder
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Thread: Build Fiberglass Rudder Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-26-2013 09:13 AM
rhr1956
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

Back in the 90's I had a West Wight Potter with wooden rudder. It came from the factory (got it new) with a varnished wood "kick up" rudder. I sanded the varnish off, applied a few coats of epoxy and painted it from the waterline down with standard anti fowling paint. I had it 10 years and touched up the paint a couple times. Never had an issue. Don't over think this deal cause it's not a big deal at all.
05-26-2013 08:37 AM
H and E
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

I have been thinking about building a rudder for a smaller boat. I have decided that I would use aluminum spars and foam for shape, wood blocks for pintle & tiller area then glass over to keep it light.
05-25-2013 09:38 AM
Siamese
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

Rudder Craft said:

Yes, we recommend VC17 and Interlux CSC as two paints that work well with our rudders."

That makes the HDPE an interesting option.
05-24-2013 09:05 PM
Siamese
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

Thanks for the replies. Coating the existing rudder would be the simplest alternative, especially if the saturation type of epoxy was used. Probably last a good long time.

I had thought about the the mold approach. Would make a nice rudder albeit at greater effort, but still possible.

The HDPE plastic idea is interesting, and I'd also wondered about Starboard (maybe not strong enough?). With a plastic rudder, I wonder whether VC17 bottom paint would stick...or even eat it up. I emailed Rudder Craft and inquired. Seems like it couldn't be too hard to make a plastic rudder with jig saw, grinder, and belt sander. Or, what the heck, if paint won't stick to it, maybe the stuff that grow in lake michigan won't either.
05-24-2013 01:17 PM
Alex W
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

It looks like RudderCraft (used to be IdaSailor) sells a kick-up rudder for this boat for $599, including a tiller.

They CNC their rudders out of HDPE plastic. Splitting is never an issue and they are fairly light and have a nice profile.

If you don't need the kickup feature it would be worth asking them for a price quote on a fixed rudder. I'm guessing it would get inexpensive enough that I personally would look for other projects (but I don't especially like working with fiberglass).
05-24-2013 12:55 PM
rhr1956
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

Apply 3 or 4 coats of epoxy and then paint on the VC17
05-24-2013 11:08 AM
FirstCandC
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

Is that a Mariner 2+2? Nice looking boat!
05-24-2013 08:56 AM
rivorsaylor
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

Last year I built a new rudder for my Catalina 25. The old one was in bad shape and not a balanced rudder. I found dimensions for a balanced rudder and decided to try it. I started with 2 pieces of 3/4" marine plywood epoxied together. Then I laid out the profile and cut it out. I used a router and wood planer to shape the foil. Then came 4 layers of fiberglass cloth (more in the high wear areas). A few more coats of epoxy and some fairing, she was ready for paint. The whole project took me a few months to complete (working on it here and there when I could), but the rudder works great. The balanced design is like having power steering. I learned some new skills and bought a few new tools for future projects.
05-23-2013 10:28 PM
Faster
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

Not sure of the overall cost but another option might be to talk to these guys or someone like them:

NewRudders.com Ľ Standard Rudders

Depending on your DIY 'gene' strain this could be an option...
05-23-2013 09:36 PM
Jeff_H
Re: Build Fiberglass Rudder

I would think that it would be easier to carefully grind the wooden rudder and then glass it with epoxy and glass. Plan B would be to make female molds for each half using the wood rudder as a pattern, then glass the halves together. Plan C would be to make a blade from foam core material that you hot knife to shape then sheath with epoxy and glass.
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