Is the rudder hardware anodized?

Thread starter #1
Apparently not content with one Sunfish, I was unable to resist a great deal on a 1974 sunfish with a torn sail and a missing daggerboard but a solid hull. The rudder hardware is really corroded. I was thinking i could just sandblast the aluminum while I refinish the rudder—was it anodized when it was new?

Thank you



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You probably know that the corrosion has eliminated any anodizing there might have been. Sandblasting--likewise.

I used a bench-mounted (coarse) wire brush to refinish a corroded De Persia aluminum bailer. (Worked well).

Rather than sand, I'd use use a more gentle "media" to keep refinishing efforts to a minimum.

Re-anodizing or anodizing seems unnecessary to me.
Wire wheel or sandblasting is fine. The Aluminum will build up a anodized layer by itself. If used in fresh water there should be no problem. Before painting aluminum chemicals are used to build up a anodized layer. I use a wire wheel and have no problems when stored indoors. I also use stainless steel bolts.

signal charlie

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Staff member
No, not anodized like the spars were. I'm not familiar with how aggressive sandblasting media are, but try it out and post pictures! What we have done on crusty cheeks is lightly sand and then painted matte black RustOleum, tiller straps too.

We got bored on one boat and painted the hardware hammered bronze, a tribute to the old style rudder assembly.

Thread starter #5
Thank you for all the responses. Your bronze 'tribute" looks good.
This boat will be used only in saltwater. When I do automotive parts I either wire brush, sandblast with an aggressive media or bead blast with a fine glass. Sometimes I will blast then wire wheel for a nice shine. I will probably do the glass media/wire wheel, then use the boat and see how it goes and forego sending it out to be anodized. If it corrodes rapidly I'll do it again and then anodize. The parts are pretty hefty so a couple of refinishing passes should not weaken them. Maybe Ill invest in a cheap soda blaster to see how that comes out. I have seen people have great results with that.
Is the newer black hardware metal or some sort of plastic?


signal charlie

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Staff member
They made some black ?powder coated? cheeks and the latest version is some type of nylon/plastic/HDPE/alphabet soup material. The aluminum versions hold up well, from what we've read a little better than the plastic.

Here's one of our hacks for getting the rudder springs off and on.

rudder spring string.jpg

We also use vise grips to snugly grip one end of the spring right before it loops.

Did we get the boat's name yet?
The aluminum rudder cheeks were cast aluminum and not anodized. Like signal Charlie I lightly sand outside and inside surfaces. Then I use aluminum primer (from Lowes or Home Depot), then the Rust Oleum black enamel paint. The Force 5 and Zuma rudder cheeks were powder coated black but I have never seen a Sunfish powder coated.


Well-Known Member

Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. ... Anodising* increases resistance to corrosion and wear, and provides better adhesion for paint primers and glues than bare metal does.

* as misspelled in Britain...