Join Date: May 2002
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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.