Tag Archives: rudder repair

Rebuilding a Rudder

By Barry Duke

What started out to be a relatively easy job of replacing the motor mounts and cutlass bearing on my 1983 Nelson/Marek 36 turned into building a complete new rudder. Once I removed the rudder, I had planned on fairing and applying a WEST SYSTEM® epoxy barrier coat. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that the rudder appeared to be bent. At one of our Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Continue reading

Rudder Repair

By Tom Pawlak

A typical spade rudder for sailboats is made up of two fiberglass skins that define the shape of the rudder, a metal mandrel that is an extension of the rudder post, and foam core which bridges the space between the skins and mandrel. In order for a rudder like this to work properly, its fiberglass skins must be attached to the core and the core must be attached to the metal mandrel. Side loads on a rudder exert compression loads on the core which transfer into the mandrel. If the components become detached, the rudder can deflect excessively and eventually develop cracks in the fiberglass skins. Continue reading