Catalina 30 rudder repair/design - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

I have a Catalina 30T. 1990. Went aground early in this past season and chewed up the bottom of the rudder. Rudder also has some signs of delamination in a couple areas, so I am looking at an overall repair.

I have seen some information about a more optimal rudder shape, both cross section (NACA 0012 airfoil) and profile (leading edge curves aft towards the bottom of the rudder). This reportedly improves weather helm, pointing ability and ease of maneuvering under power.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Anyone have any plans? I am not opposed to reshaping the rudder - I believe the most crucial tasks will be building a jig to hold the rudder in a proper position, and also aligning the rudder properly with the centerline of the shaft. I know I can also make a jig to use my router to create the NACA 0012 profile. And I can do it for a lot less $$ than a new rudder.

Or, I can just repair the rudder in its current shape.

Thanks in advance for any input/advice!
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-04-2015
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Re: Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

George, have you tried the Catalina 30 owners association? They are a very active group and probably more than a few have replaced a rudder for one reason or another.

International Catalina 30 Association

The Yahoo email list is extremely active.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

Not yet, but I will. Thanks!
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-04-2015
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Re: Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

I believe that your rudder was manufactured by Foss Foam which made rudders for numerous builders. They are a foam cored rudder which invariably leak and absorb water. Reshaping, it IMO, would be extremely difficult. I would simply repair the damage after draining the water and seal the rudder at the shaft entrance. I suspect the NACA foil rudder may be made by IDA Sailor and is not foam cored. I know they made one for the Hunter 285 and those that purchased it were very happy with it and it was guaranteed for life. By the way, the Hunter 285 is an excellent sailing boat, so if the NACA improved it, I would be very impressed.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-05-2015
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Re: Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

George, I had this link in my Catalina folder but I can't remember anyone actually buying this rudder and giving feedback in any of the Catalina forums.

You might try Googling it or posting a question on CatalinaOwners.com in the C30 forum or in the Catalina 30 Yahoo group to see if anyone has real world experience with it before dropping $2,500.

Catalina 30 High Performance HDPE Spade Rudder, Rudder Craft Inc.

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post #6 of 17 Old 01-05-2015
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Re: Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

Assuming you have average boat repairing skills, if you only intend to sail short passages, daysailing and casual racing, then you might be able to repair the existing rudder satisfactorily. If you intend to make longer passages, in heavier weather and in isolated areas, then I would recommend you buy a commercially built replacement. Getting caught in an isolated area with a broken rudder is no fun.

There are pros and cons to a balanced rudder. With a balanced rudder, you will feel less weather helm, but there won't actually be less weather helm. IMO, you can achieve a light weather helm by tuning the rig correctly, and it will be just as light as if you had a balanced rudder. The balanced rudder uses a little energy to counteract the rudder pressure, and that is subtracted from the energy that could otherwise be used to drive the boat. The amount is probably inconsequential, unless you're an obsessive/compulsive racer, but it's a consideration nonetheless. If your objective is to reduce weather helm, the better alternative is to learn how to tune the rig correctly. It isn't as complicated as it seems, and it won't cost a dime.
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Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

Thanks all for the feedback. Sailormon6 - not looking for the rudder to solely minimize weather helm. I agree that proper tuning of the rig and trimming of the sails to achieve a balanced helm are important. I'm working on those skills - I've been told of sailors who can steer by mostly trimming sails. That'd be a skill I'd aspire to!
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-11-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

Likely going to repair with shape as is. However, my primary concern is sealing the area where the post enters the rudder body. It is clearly not sealed. Seems like I would need to clean out around post to sound material and rebuild up. My main concern is how to get the interface smooth, flat, and perpendicular to the shaft. Any ideas? If this interface was the highest point of the rudder body it would be reasonably easy.

I understand the high density plastic ring that sits atop the rudder should be adhered to the rudder (with 3M 5200 or similar) (it's loose), but I don't want to rely solely on the 5200 for the complete seal.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-11-2015
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Re: Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
There are pros and cons to a balanced rudder. With a balanced rudder, you will feel less weather helm, but there won't actually be less weather helm. IMO, you can achieve a light weather helm by tuning the rig correctly, and it will be just as light as if you had a balanced rudder. The balanced rudder uses a little energy to counteract the rudder pressure, and that is subtracted from the energy that could otherwise be used to drive the boat. The amount is probably inconsequential, unless you're an obsessive/compulsive racer, but it's a consideration nonetheless. If your objective is to reduce weather helm, the better alternative is to learn how to tune the rig correctly. It isn't as complicated as it seems, and it won't cost a dime.
Some of this is true, some is speculative, some is folklore. Rudder balance, tiller forces, weather helm, and boat balance is a very complicated subject. Complicated mechanics too. For example, the force (on the tiller) does not represent energy lost, it's just force. A light helm can be a benefit to the person steering, but is has little (nothing?) to do with performance. Odd, yes? Some of the folklore is probably a holdover from the keel hung barndoor rudders used a century or two ago.

I'd suggest that George copies what is there, repairs what is there, or uses some design already proven on the Catalina 30.

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post #10 of 17 Old 01-11-2015
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Re: Catalina 30 rudder repair/design

I'd have to take issue with the comment about energy lost. If you're applying a lot of force to the rudder, that means it's doing a lot of work on the water flow, which in turn means a lot of drag.

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