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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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  #1  
Old 08-10-2008
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redesigning a rudder...

I am researching boats in the 28 - 34' range to outfit for bluewater cruising. A few I have seen that I like have a spade rudder but I think a skeg-hung rudder would be preferable. Anybody know of some good design resources or tips for adding on a skeg to an otherwise perfect boat? Or is doing this not a good idea?
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Old 08-10-2008
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I designed a similar project back in the late 1970's. Several observations, it was tricky to get the balance quite right. We were close but the boat had more weather helm than before and was harder to balance and harder to get to track under sail than when it had the post hung rudder. Maneuvering was more difficult. The boat actually tracked better under power going forward, but could not be steered reliably in reverse as well. In this case we added quite a bit of internal structure as well as a very beefy skeg.

I probably would not do that again.

Jeff
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Old 08-10-2008
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If you found "otherwise perfect boat" then rather do not mess with the rudder redesign spoiling sailing abilities in the process, but rather invest in a good emergency rudder.
It will be less expensive and you will have more then a perfect boat.
Chances are you will never need it, but practice installing it in waves and wind for your peace of mind.
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Old 08-10-2008
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Great advice... thank you both! I may ultimately find a boat that has a skeg-hung rudder but I am not going to worry about it. I am no naval architect so the chances that I would be able to come up with a suitable design if the boat I wind up with has a rudder post are rather slim. I'll just plan to carry a spare in that case.

Cheers,

don
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Old 08-10-2008
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Don...one other option if you are planning to cruise, is to fit out with a type of wind vane that can double as an emergency steering system.
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Old 08-10-2008
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Here is something, that I looked at a couple of years back. It seems like a good system.

http://www.selfsteer.com/products/sos/index.php
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Old 08-10-2008
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I'd second what cam said and get a windvane or emergency rudder setup, rather than mucking up the structure and design of the boat's underwater profile.
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