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I have a transom-hung wooden rudder. It is basically a 6 foot long slab of teak or mahogany that has weathered varnish above the waterline and chipping bottom paint below. I scraped away some of the bottom paint and found what looks like old varnish underneath.

Even though the boat will mostly live on the trailer and be in the water for only a week or two at a time, I am considering wrapping the rudder below the waterline in glass and epoxy and fairing it. Or is that a bad idea, letting any water that might get into the bottom part of the rudder just stay there a cause rot? Am I better off just varnishing the whole thing? Is it better to glass it all? If I fair with teak flour and epoxy, then glass with clear epoxy and project with a few coats of varnish, it would still look wooden and I might see any trouble before it gets too bad. Is that a good plan or am I missing something?
 

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Corsair 24
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the only issue with wooden rudders out on the dry is they warp out if shape when out of water for too long

if you dismount it you are asking for trouble as its common for the pintles to not align well...

since you are out of the water I see no benefit at all in glassing the rudder when the rest of the boat is still wood

you can fix wooden rudders quite easily and fair and epoxy them instead of glass...

just a thought

I had a nice long rudder like that on my old h28

simple to live with did nothing to it even after being on the hard for close to a month once

the rudder did warp and after a week or so back in water it went straight again...and so did the planks stop leaking
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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I'd suggest:
1. Use a heat gun and scraper to remove the old paint/varnish
2. Sand back using a random orbital and 80 grit going to 120 grit if the surface is fair. If not, fair at will using your teak flour/epoxy mix.
3. At least one coat of two-pack CPES - note: this will cause any one-pack varnish you missed to bubble and flake off, in which case go back to 2 and repeat.
4. A light sand using 120grit followed by several coats of varnish (or paint) as you prefer.

As Christian points out: Don't glass it - bad idea. :)
 
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