rudder or no rudder


Hello Folks,

I am building my wife a Chesapeake 16 this winter.  She has paddled my Shearwater and prefers more initial stability.  Her current boat is a Perception Carolina 14 (with rudder) that she likes.  She infrequently uses the rudder when she gets pushed around by wind and waves.  I would not put a rudder on my Shearwater, but I am not so sure about the Chesapeake.

I can't help but notice the first picture that you see on this website shows a Chessie with a rudder (in the up position).


4 replies:

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RE: rudder or no rudder

I have a c 16 without a rudder.  Your wife will find that it is directionaly more stable than her perception.  The combination of added length and hard chines make a big difference.  I did add a clc skeg kit which helps in a cross wind as it is a high volume slab sided boat, but it is not a required and I often paddle with the skeg up.  If you are carefull with the stern durring construction a rudder can be added after the boat is complete and she has tried it out first without.

RE: rudder or no rudder

"If you are carefull with the stern durring construction"

Please explain a little more.  I am not quite sure what you mean by this statement,

Thank you,



RE: rudder or no rudder


You need to build the stern as if you were going to actually mount a rudder in it, then not mount the rudder. One good thing to do is to abandon the end pour and use a shaped piece of wood bedded in epoxy as a stern piece. It's lighter and cheaper than the end pour and gives better support for a rudder. The shape can be pretty rough, since epoxy putty is gap filling.

BTW, my wife doesn't have a rudder on her 16LT and doesn't miss it. She does all her steering with a combination of paddle strokes and leaning and is quite happy doing it that way.


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