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Good Day SailNet Community,

I find myself at a bit if a quandary. I'm looking to build a new rudder for my Spirit 6.5 and I'm not sure what material to use.

Marine ply epoxied and coated in glass or some other sort of lumber...?

If I do go for non-ply should i epoxy it and glass it or just varnish?

So many questions, please advise. :)

Thank you!
 

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Go to morgancloud.com attainable adventures. There’s a truly great discussion about rudder construction with the man whose company does nothing but that. More to it than meets the eye.
 

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I've heard that rudders are pretty important. I'm not expert, but I wouldn't want mine to be constructed in such a way that the connection between the shaft and rudder was somewhere I couldn't see, and depending on something that could rot. (So, like if I had a shaft that runs inside the rudder, I wouldn't be happy with a wood core.)
 

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This https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/spirit-21-65
makes it look like epoxy-wrapped plywood would be a great candidate. If you use planks there can be issues with warping. Perhaps two or three layers of half or 3/4" in the blade, all glued together and then wrapped with two or three layers of 'glass cloth and epoxy resin, and then painted. The cheeks/rudderhead could be done in 1" single layers running down each side of the the blade, with spacing pieces to match the rudder blade, again all epoxied and wrapped with cloth and painted. Leave an open space at the top like the one for the blade at the bottom but with a cap, insert the tiller there, and you're good. As per the drawing find a big SS bolt to pivot the blade on, and add a cleat on top of the rudder head for the pennant to hold the blade up with. Shouldn't take more than three weekends and two cases of beer.:)
 
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