Weighty Rudder question

  • October 09, 2011 11:52 AM
    Message # 718609
    Deleted user
    Kia Ora all,

    Paul and I have pulled the rudder off Kabuki to deal to the play in the pintals. On talking to Bill the owner of Caprice (Westsail 32), He said his rudder was light enough for him to lift and carry by himself. We found that Kabuki's rudder was quite heavy taking two men to lift.
       My question is.... What is the approximate weight of the rudder? our hull number is 425, so I assume that it has a foam core. If there is water in the core how can it be removed to make the rudder lighter???

  • October 11, 2011 10:00 AM
    Reply # 720367 on 718609
    Deleted user

    Hi Wendy, I assume you have the revised (square-at-the-bottom) rudder design. I think Bud said the rudder should weigh about 70lbs. There is a 28lb SS bracket over the top, under the rudder cheeks reinforcing the tiller-rudder connection. My rudder had a green, water absorbing foam inside which, when wet, increased it's weight by about 100lbs. and was a problem because in winter it froze, expanded, and split the rudder open.

    The rudder was built in two halves, as were the boats. There were a couple of rather long threads on the old forum concerning rudder issues and various attempts to dry it out. The way the rudder is constructed I think it would be very hard to prevent water intrusion.  At haul-out, I would drill a hole in the bottom and about 1 gal of water would drain out and then reseal the hole in the spring before launching.

    Two years ago I brought the rudder home, split it open like a clam and pulled out about 100+ lbs of water soaked foam. I could squeeze water out of the foam like a sponge, even after it had sat inside for months.

    The bottom line is I don't think it's worth spending alot of effort drying it out (unless it freezes) and I wouldn't worry about the weight as it will be neutral bouyancy in the water reducing weather helm when heeling and keeping the rudder from floating side to side at anchor. In fact, the original Atkin designs included about 30lbs of lead added to the lower trailing edge of the wooden rudder to counter bouyancy.

  • October 11, 2011 12:18 PM
    Reply # 720492 on 718609
    Deleted user
    Thanks David,
                 I did try to search the old threads on the forum, as I could remember reading some of them some time ago, but my searching wasn't very successful. I would say we have a very waterlogged rudder going by what you say. We will have to leave it for the moment as we have not got the time to split it etc. We find that it does still float when in the water so all good.

    Thanks again.