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I would suspect that from the manufactures point of view the spade is less expensive to build, makes the boat faster, both things make the boat easier to sell. Since 95% of the boats are used for coastal cruising it sounds like a slam dunk for the builder.
Just one of a hundred decisions that make a boat slower and more durable that only matters to a very small slice of the buying public.
If you are planning on spending a few years in northern latitude storms a stronger rudder sounds like a good idea.
I just finished Amazon.com: Occupation Circumnavigator. How to Finance a Lifestyle. 10 years on the Seven Seas with S/Y Jennifer (9789163304880): Lars Hassler, Katarina Smith, 70 color photos: Books
He had a brand new 50-foot Beneteau built and sailed it continuously for 10 years. He had to rebuild his rudder several times.
Last edited by davidpm; 11-28-2009 at 09:33 PM.