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Spade Rudders vs. Skeg Hung
I am pretty sure this topic has come up before and before I get spanked, I have a new spin on the topic. Skeg hung rudders obviously offer protection for the blade while the spade or balanced rudder is hanging out there by itself. The spade rudder offers more performance and responsiveness while backing etc...
The question is this: is it really a big danger having your rudder struck to the point of being disabled? What is the percentage? I have heard the stories of boats losing their rudders, but how many in the countless number of boats that are out there? Why have respected builders like Morris, Sabre, and Tartan (AND more) switched to spade rudders on their cruising boats? Is it just a performance issue or is it that rudder loss is really not that likely? Are spade rudders built better today than years ago?
I ask these questions, because I am looking at a cruising boat with a spade rudder. The Tartan 37 that I have now has a skeg protecting the rudder.