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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of restoring a 1971 venture 17. The rudder was made of a piece of wood that was just painted and slapped on the boat. I went ahead and just copied the old rudder and made another out of wood. The question is should I coat it with epoxy and then paint it? Should I fiberglass it? Would fiberglassing it be overkill? I made the rudder out of a 1x12 and shaped it to fit. I will only be lake sailing in central Texas. I was also thinking about putting bottom paint on the rudder after I epoxied it.
 

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At the very least, I would coat it with epoxy just to help keep the water out of the wood. Paint isn't going to add much protection. Bottom paint over the epoxy would be what I would do. Fiberglass would add some weight and strength to the rudder. When you get to 10 post on this forum, please post some pictures of your rudder. Good luck.
 

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another idea might be to get some git rot, the real thin epoxy, and soak it with that. then do a layer of 6 oz glass and epoxy, then lots of primer or epoxy and micro balloons to fair it smooth then paint
 

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Would fiberglassing it be overkill? I made the rudder out of a 1x12 and shaped it to fit. I will only be lake sailing in central Texas. I was also thinking about putting bottom paint on the rudder after I epoxied it.
You don't say what species of wood you used for this rudder replacement.
No matter the type of wood it will last much longer if you glass it in and bed your pintles/gudgeons properly.

Good luck and post a pic when you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
About the gudgeons...I was thinking on how exactly I would do that and I cannot seem to come up with anything. How have you or would you do that Caleb? I am not sure what kind of wood it is. The boat is going to be a trailer sailor and so, as a guy today at WM told me, I won't need to bottom paint it. I will put a solid 2 part epoxy paint on it though. Not sure yet if I will glass it or not. For sure gonna epoxy it. Will post some pics as soon as I can. There going to be good.
 

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About the gudgeons (or pintles - whichever attach to the rudder on your boat) I would recommend through bolting them with high quality SS (stainless steel) nuts & bolts (#316 or close). For the hole that goes through the wood you should check out MaineSail's 'how to backfill a deck hole' help page and substitute his fiberglass for your wooden rudder. Then drill your hole for the bolt.
Sealing Deck Penetrations to Prevent Core Rot Photo Gallery by Maine Sailing at pbase.com
West System epoxy even has a graphite powder you can add that might not be a bad thickener for bedding a hole for a SS screw. In any case I would drill a slightly oversized hole through the wood and fill it with thickened epoxy as outlined in the link above.
Since you are going to be a trailer sailor you can get away with sailing on bare gel coat (as probably is) with a rinse every dip. You shouldn't need toxic and expensive 'anti-fouling' paint unless you plan on keeping your boat in salt water for more than a month or two; freshwater is a bit different where slime and algae can build up more then barnacles among other growth do in salt water.

If you are not going to use any kind of fiberglass cloth in the layup of your rudder I would advise you to consult the West Systems website for their recommendation on this application. I would use some of the Colloidal Silica (#406?) and/or their fairing compound (#410?) for the surfaces.

You probably don't need to use fiberglass cloth to enclose your wooden rudder with. The final argument for doing so is that the cloth adds quite a lot more strength to the epoxy bond and should your wooden rudder ever split along a grain the epoxy/cloth layer has a chance of holding it together for a short while (laminates = strength).

"I will put a solid 2 part epoxy paint on it though."
This is probably a good idea but it does not need to be an 'anti-fouling' paint, just a hard epoxy paint (white works good for the hull - it shows all the dings you'll want to repair and paint).

Good luck.
 

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Another issue for the rudder might be warping. Ordinary lumber is flat sawn and fast grown. Was it dried wood? If you leave it in long enough to soak up water then dry on the trailer, the wood may warp or check (split). I do recommend that you seal it well. Don't sweat it all too much though. Whatever you do will work, and you can repair it as necessary.
 

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I would just seal the rudder with epoxy, then coat with something that will protect it from UV (paint or varnish). If you can store it out of the sun when not in use, you'll get years of use before you need to re-finish it.

Any way, that is how we did ours (for an 11.5" sailing dinghy), made from marine ply.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I appreciate everyones replies. Looks like I will take the advice of just epoxying it and then coating with something with uv protection. Not too hard, just have to get out there and do it, huh.
Keep an eye out for other threads I might have. Gonna be a lot of work ahead of me. I will post pics in the near future.
 
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