Re: installing a rudder

Posted by Dick R on Sep 20, 2004

Yes indeed, there are things I recommend during building if you will add a rudder. (By the way, there is a lot of firmly held opinion about rudders, skegs, or nothing at all. I am glad to have a rudder in strong wind and trailing seas.) Unless the instructions have changed since I purchased my Ches-16 kit in year 2000, a rudder is an after-thought. Built as directed, the stern is too narrow to give adequate strength under any kind of hard conditions. The pivot pin on mine broke through the side when the boat beached upside down before I did in big surf. (My surf skills are now better, but nowhere near perfect.)

What I recommend is that you put a half or even three-quarter inch piece of wood between the two side panels where they come together at the stearn, deck-to-keel. Then do a good solid end-pour of epoxy. You will drill the pivot hole into this epoxy. With the extra width, the epoxy end block should give you sufficient strength for most circumstances.

When I reconstructed the stern of my boat, I added a piece of thick-wall stainless steel tubing from deck to keel, and then did a new epoxy end-pour. With the stainless steel tubing as the pivot hole, I am pretty sure the rudder will break long before the boat does again. Probably over-conservative, but you might consider that too.

Happy building, happy paddling!

In Response to: installing a rudder by Kathrine on Sep 19, 2004