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Rudder modification

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:31 am
by Number1
Where is every body? When I finally got to do some sailing on the 26 I had such a hard time getting the rudder down I decided it needed some help. I know that rigging it properly with rollers on small dia bolts on the cheeks will make a huge difference but the floating aspect bothers me. If anything happens to the down haul the rudder and motor have an issue. I pulled the rudder and brought it home for modification. My solution was to weight the lower end of the rudder so it is slightly negative. I have an original stock rudder made of about an 1/8" fiberglass skin over a foam core. I took a couple of misc weights and tied them to the rudder until it was just enough to sink the lower end .After that I weighed them to see how much weight was needed. It took a surprising amount of weight , just over 11 # . I cast my own bullets nd reload so I have lead. primarily from old tire weights and I have a small furnace to melt it. I took a 3 1/2" hole saw and carefully drilled through one side of the rudder careful not to go through the other side. It took two holes to make enough volume. after that I removed the foam and replaced it with molten lead even to the surface. I didn"t do anything to shield the foam or the fiberglass skin on the bottom. Once everything cooled down I was able to cover the lead with 1 layer of cloth and resin. The end result is a rudder that floats bottom down with the top of the rudder about 4" above the surface. The rudder now weighs more than original but in the water it is still bouyant enough that it will not cause much change in the waterline. Unfortunately it will be a while before I go back to WA to try it out. when I get to use it I'll give a review.
Cheers, Rick

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:10 pm
by astrorad
Another option, should your old rudder start to deteriorate, is to buy a replacement rudder from Rudder Craft. I did that and was very pleased with their product. The Rudder Craft rudder is neutral buoyancy. I floated mine in the bathtub, on its side, and it floated with the upper side just at the water line.
I have no trouble raising and lowering it when the boat is in the water. The Rudder craft rudders are not cheap but they certainly are a well made and designed product. I bought mine in the middle of winter and they gave me a good deal because it was off season.

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:37 pm
by Kenr74
My rudder can be fully up, and does not hit my outboard. I wouldn't want it any other way, as I want the rudder to be able to kick back if I hit something, without doing major damage to the boat. The two rope system is certainly not great, but I don't have any trouble getting mine up or down. Perhaps something is jamming the rudder from moving freely?

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:11 am
by Number1
I agree with you 100% the rudder should never be prevented from working when the boat is in the water. I had to assemble and install all the standing and running rigging as the PO had only used the boat as a run about on lake Washington. Since I knew he had been using the out board I only checked to make sure it ran. When I finally got the boat in the water I found that he had bolted it in the down position and even tough the rudder appeared to have proper lines for raising and lowering the rudder they would not work due to lack of length and the small bolts on the rudder cheeks were missing. When the rudder is up and the motor is down on the stock 26 installation the rudder can not turn past the motor. I made a temporary fix while I had the boat in the water but have since pulled the boat and made the rudder and rigging modifications. I sail a Mac 25 on Blue Mesa Res in CO and have an I Rudder Craft rudder on it . I like the slightly negative bouyancy in combination with a bungi down haul. If the rudder hits an obstruction it kicks over and is easy to release and put back down if neccessary. Do you have a stock installation ?

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:21 am
by Number1
I'm sorry to hear you will not be making suggestions for repairs or modifications in the future. Even though I am new to the forum I have read back through your many posts and found much useful information. I also appreciate your willingness to jump in to help with solutions to others problems. You will be missed. Good luck with what you decide to turn your hand to next.
Regards Rick

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:42 am
by Kenr74
I thought mine was stock. With the rudder kicked up, it can swing past the outboard with a few inches to spare. I will post a picture, but it will be a few days before I am at the boat.

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:47 am
by Kenr74
Sorry it took me a while to get the photo. Here is my son holding the rudder up as far as it will kick up. You can see that it does not impact the outboard at all.

[img][img][/img]2017-10-27 12.01.58 by kenr74, on Flickr[/img]

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:25 am
by Holiday
It is interesting that your motor mount seems to have an added section that moves it a couple of inches back from the transom. Looks like this gives you some extra clearance. Mine is just screwed directly to the fiberglass transom.

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:39 am
by Kenr74
Maybe that "spacer" is the difference. I never considered if it was original or not. It is just made of two laminated sheets of plywood. It was rotting out at the top, so I remade it this year. I just used regular plywood, then epoxied it together, coated it all in epoxy, and painted it.