Making new style rudder for old style boat

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by wjejr, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. wjejr

    wjejr Member

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    Hi Charles,

    I generally sail in winds up to 15 knots and, while I am sure there is some flex, I have never noticed it. The length of strap that is unsupported by the either the tiller or the rudder head is quite small, so it doesn't seem to have a lot room to bend. I am sure the older one without the solid rudder head bends more, but even with that one I never noticed a problem.

    When I sail, I am always thinking about the rudder load and tiller angle. I focus on keeping the rudder load to a minimum and the tiller straight. If the rudder loads up and/or it stalls I am dragging it sideways through the water, I sheet out and try to figure out what I am doing wrong (e.g. boat heel, sail trim, fore/aft gooseneck adjustment).
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  2. wjejr

    wjejr Member

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    Hello fellow Sunfishers,

    The next step was to attach the rudder hardware to the rudder. I waited a couple of weeks for the varnish to harden up so that when I slide the hardware on, they would not scrape off the varnish too badly.

    During the epoxy/glass part of the process, the holes had been filled with epoxy so they needed to be drilled out. Once that was done, I ran the screws through, put the nuts on tight and then used a hacksaw to cut the screws to length. I then filed the screw ends flat and later backed them out and beveled them very slightly with a hand powered grinding wheel.

    At some point, I will wet sand the whole thing again, but for now the rudder is done.
     

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  3. wjejr

    wjejr Member

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    Hello fellow Sunfishers,

    I attached the tiller to the rudder a couple of weeks ago, and the tiller was just sticking way up in the air (Picture #1). To correct the height (i.e. lower) I used a dado stack and trimmed the underside of the rudder. After epoxying the trimmed out section, I then glued (spray adhesive) a piece of 1/16th" cork to the underside as a cushion. I then, drum roll please, actually went sailing with it. Unfortunately the cork wasn't quite thick enough, and the wing nut on the spring-plate put a nice gouge in the bottom. No matter. I removed the piece of cork and replaced it with a piece of leather. That seems to have corrected the problem for now, and the tiller height works well with the extension when holding the tiller in one hand, sheet in the other draping back to the hand holding the tiller.

    There is also a picture that illustrates how I mounted the tiller extension connector.

    Hope all of this helps someone in the future.
     

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