Rudder mounting dilemma Jimmy Skiff

Happy Independance Day everyone.  I am in the final stages of getting my Jimmy Skiff ready for his inagural launch (it's a 'he' given the boat name).

I am trying to decide on a rudder mounting solution with this dilemma:  I want as much brass/bronze hardware on the boat as possible and don't like the look of the stainless steel pintle and gudgeon included with kit, and also dont want the gudgeons covering up the boat's name. They small eyebolts seem much less obtrusive of the lettering.

I would rather have the eyebolt-and-rod system shown in the second image (Apologies to Ron Paro for unauthorized use of his image). Captain John Harris of CLC Boats kindlly spoke to me yesterday about this and said the eyebolts would need to be 'thru-bolted', which I imagine means a nut protruding from the transom pad on the inside of the boat - which I can't imagine would be very comfortable or sightly.

Is the eyebolt system just inferior to the pintle-and-gudgeon setup? Should I just bit the bullet and buy a bronze pintle-and-gudgeon set up and try to avoid the lettering when installing the gudgeons?  

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

6 replies:

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RE: Rudder mounting dilemma Jimmy Skiff


The hardware won't cover up the name, the rudder will.

Seriously, the gudgeons will take up a very small percentage of the transom. The name takes up a lot. It will still be easy to read the boat's name.

Don't try to avoid the name, just put the hardware where it has to go, otherwise you may have strength or control issues. That name is huge and can take care of itself.

On my Brand X dinghy, I put acorn nuts with a custom made copper washer onto the through-bolts for the gudgeons. It looks good and is a large rounded piece of metal to bump against instead of a small sharp point.

In the future, you could attach the hardware and then lay out the name.

Have fun,





RE: Rudder mounting dilemma Jimmy Skiff

The forces on the rudder gudgeons can be considerable.  Whatever you decide to do, you need to figure out some combinations of backing plates, flat washers, etc., to spread that out so the forces don't concentrate on a small area, or you will have all kinds of trouble with the bolts trying to wallow out.  I think that's part of Laszlo's thinking.

The other potential trouble I see would be with the eyescrews on the rudder side.  There really isn't anything for it but to use eyescrews (can't through-bolt), and we talking about screwing into plywood, which is, plywood isn't real good about holding screws like that and, again, we're talkin' a lot of force here.  I'm assuming you're not building your rudder out of some dense hardwood, here, which would work better with eyescrews than would plywood.

My experience with the s.s. pintles and gudgeons as supplied with our Passagemaker kit was that the only trouble I've had with them is with the outer end of the lower pintle straps on the rudder, which have to be screwed rather than through-bolted on account of the slot for the pivoting blade.  They've stripped out, been replaced with larger diameter screws, and now stripped out again.  I'm fixin' to bore them out, fill with thickened epoxy, and then rebore the pilot holes in the hopes that will finally stay put.  Fingers crossed.

I suppose there's no reason to limit yourself to two sets of eyes.  Using three or four would help spread the load, though I imagine that would make is some trickier to get things lined up.

Whatever you decide, as Laszlo said, "have fun."


P.S.  I like the boat name.  <;-)

RE: Rudder mounting dilemma Jimmy Skiff

Thank you for both of your replies.  I swear you are the first person to reply everytime I post here Laszlo!  You are very reliable and prompt.  I see what you are saying about the gudgeons not taking up very much space.  I like your idea about the acorn nuts for the thru-bolt.  If I install gudgeons, my impression was that you only needed to fasten them with #8 (or therabouts) wood screws?  Do you need to thru-bolt with gudgeons too?


Gramps, first off let me say it is an honor to have a man with your venerated name!  I didn't think about the problem of screwing the eyebolts into the 'end grain' of the plywood. My rudder cheek (where the eyebolts would need to go) is 3 pieces of plywood epoxied together. Maybe I should just use gudgeons and pintles.

Do you guys think something like this would work well?

RE: Rudder mounting dilemma Jimmy Skiff

...perhaps, if your rudderhead is thick enough to work with the spacing of the pintle straps.  Looks like the might have some other sizes if the one in your link doesn't match your rudderhead thickness.  It's certainly nice looking hardware.

You will need to come up with somethng to keep the rudder from "floating" the pintles out of the gudgeons.  Our catboat has similar bronze fittings, and uses a large washer and a cotter pin over the lower pintle to keep things in place.

The supplied Passagemaker hardware included a small tab bent into a short-legged L meant to pivot 90 degrees or so to either keep the rudder from floating up or allow it to pass for removal.  The tab is held with a screw into the transom (the knee inside the transom inhibits through-bolting).  This is another screw-into-plywood business which has given me trouble with the screw getting loose with use.  I've tried to improve the arrangement with a slightly longer and larger size screw and a nylon washer to try to get the thing to twist without unscrewing itself, while still keeping enough pressure on the tab so that it will maintain its position.  So far, it's working well enough that I don't remember being irritated about it the last few times out.


RE: Rudder mounting dilemma Jimmy Skiff

   Thank you again Michael.  Do you think I could drill a small hole in the bottom of the pintle spike and put a cotter pin in to keep it from floating up?

RE: Rudder mounting dilemma Jimmy Skiff

I drilled a hole in the upper pintle of my SB rudder mounts.  Somehow lost the cotter pin the first day out and found out first hand why it's a good idea to have the rudder locked into it's mount.  Since then I've used a SS split ring in that hole and it has worked like a charm.  I've been in lots of situations  (already) where I was glad I was not dealing with the rudder unhanging itself on top of all the other things that were keeping me busy! 


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