Rudder Post Problems

Rudder Post Problems & Internals - add to this discussion RE: Rudder Post Problems.

From: Sandy Sellers, Sled Hunter, Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002
Subject: Rudder Post Problems

In the recent article in Popular Boat Owner [Practical Sailor] one owner was mentioned modifications to the steering system for offshore work.  Does anyone have information in this regard?  


From: Bill Heintz, Deviation Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Post Problems

Who said "If you plan on going offshore, replace the rudder post with a well-designed carbon fiber replacement." (Owner, Seattle) in the September "Practical Sailor" article? Do you have any details?


From: Al Johnson, Pegasus Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Post Problems

I would take a reasonable guess that it was the guy from Portland Oregon who owns Sting.

I had a phone conversation with him a few years ago, and he told me that he'd taken Sting on a couple of Pacific Cups (San Francisco to Hawaii). As I remember the story, he had rudder problems on one of the races, and on one of the deliveries back. He said that he wound up building a totally bullet-proof carbon rudder and shaft.


From: Bill Huseby, Sting Date: Tue, 28 May 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Post Problems[from Soverel 33 Survey / Questionnaire]

My boat was built by Pacific Boats is Santa Cruz.  It has stood up very well over the years even with over ~15,000 ocean mile under the keel.  The only week link is the rudder.  All in all it has broken three times (twice about 1,000 from land.  That's a whole other story).  The rudder post is just too weak.  I designed and build my own rudder including the carbon fiber rudder post.  It is now much more robust and I was able to maintain the 2.5 inch shaft diameter so that the thickness of the rudder didn't become too big.


From: Mark McCarthy, Slàinte Date: Thu Jan 2, 2003, Wed Jan 8, 2003
Subject: Rudder Post & Internal Rudder Supports

[1/2/03] Does anyone out in the group have plans for what the rudder post and internal rudder supports looks like? Want to have a new Stainless Steel post made by a SS welder, however, need a detailed set of plans to do so.

[1/8/03] Does anyone either have drawings to a Stainless Steel Rudder post, or actually have an extra one lying around that they want to sell? Would think that our class would want to have an official spec on the post, so new rudders being made would have some guidelines to follow. Thoughts?

I am looking for design for the actual post and stock for the standard rudder. I was going to take my old rudder and cut away all the glass and foam, however, after Sting owner talked about his SS shaft failing, thought I would get a new one made. Not sure of what the shaft/post/stock looks like after it disappears into the rudder? Looking for plans or if someone happens to have one?

I have a good friend who built blades professionally for a 505 builder who has offered to build me a rudder. Instead of foam, he plans (and has used in the past) to use red wood (a cedar) as the core. Very light and stiff, also resilient to water. The rudder will be the same weight, just built much better.


From: Bill Heintz, Deviation Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2003
Subject: RE: Rudder Post & Internal Rudder Supports

Short of cutting away the glass and foam from your existing rudder ( then you can get all the answers we need ) Non-destructive tests you can make are either to x-ray or UT. You can get a pretty good picture of the internals and still save your old rudder.


From: Mark McCarthy, Slàinte Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2003
Subject: RE: Rudder Post & Internal Rudder Supports

Actually, a cheaper way we thought we might try is to use a stud finder, that you would use to find studs in the wall. It would give us a good idea about the shape, length, etc. however not how thick the struts are, or if the post tapers as it get down to the bottom.


From: Jerry Kedziora, x-ZOT Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2003
Subject: RE: Rudder Post & Internal Rudder Supports

If the builder used 304 or 316 stainless [some builders used 300SS] for the rudder post and the web structure in the rudder, these types of stainless are non-magnetic. I think a stud finder works because nails are mild steel and are magnetic.


From: Matt Dalton, Ka-Ching! Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2003
Subject: RE: Rudder Post & Internal Rudder Supports

Actually some of the newer (and still inexpensive) stud finders on the market use sound waves and not magnetism for sensing the depth of a material thickness. However, I've found that the accuracy of the "edge" that it locates can be off by up to 1/2" so it may not be precise enough for the job at hand.


From: Paul Jeka, Santana Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2003
Subject: RE: Rudder Post & Internal Rudder Supports

On the Soverel built rudders, the Post maintains it's same diameter and shape as it enters the top of the blade. It extends about 2/3 the length of the rudder.

Some Posts were filled with resin.

. . . this is all from memory along time ago . . . I'll check too see if we have any old photos . . . going way back here . . . I recall the following though:

1 - All struts were very close to the surface, so their size mirrored the actual rudder templates minus about an inch or so . . .

2 - Struts were located every 9' or so down the length of the post and the lower struts were "caged " or "hung" off the last strut at the bottom of the post.

3 - Construction was foam . . . some mesh . . . S& E glass . . . lots of resin.


From: Jerry Dodge, Yankee Date: Fri, Jan 9, 2003
Subject: RE: Rudder Post & Internal Rudder Supports

I had taken my rudder down to the post last year because it was leaking water out of it when I had laid it on its side.  I found that the post goes down about11/2 the rudder makes a dog leg and goes about 1/3 of the way down the rudder then stops. The channel go all the way down the rudder and was filled with open cell form that sucked up water. This was were the water was coming from. I then removed all the form from in side the rudder and replaced with marine grade plywood and west system. I still have some problem that needs to be addressed.


From: Bill Huseby, Sting Date: Fri, Jan 10, 2003
Subject: RE: Rudder Post & Internal Rudder Supports

I have dug through my files for information and have a "print" that I got from Mark Soverel back in 1996 when I designed the carbon fiber rudder that I currently have. It is a bit vague as what was all the "insight" I got from Mark during my discussions with him.

Original Soverel 33 Rudder Details
pdf Image click to open Adobe PDF Image


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