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New Style Rudder. What makes it better?

Waterdowg

New Member
I recently purchase a sunfish with the old style rudder. I have read and was told to look for one the new style rudder but I end up with the old style. So my question is what makes the newer style so much better? Is it the shape? The spring? What? I would like some opinions on this. If it that much better. I may keep an eye out for a used one in the area.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
As long as it is not a 50s era old style, shaped like an elephant ear, they both steer fine. The new style stays down in high winds, whereras the old style sometimes decides to pop loose in a blow. Also, when you put the new style in the up position it stays up, where the old style flops around and gets in the way when you have managed to pop it loose for beaching or storage. But if yours stays down when windy, I'd stick with it. BB
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
I agree with Beldar. There is surprisingly little performance difference in the two rudder blades, but the real difference lies in the mechanism that keeps the rudder blade down (when it is supposed to be down) and yet allows the blade to kick up when it hits bottom or an errant tree stump. In this regard, the new style rudder rig is vastly superior to the old style rig.

Converting to the new rig is not that difficult (I have done several - under two hours labor if you are reasonably handy) but it is expensive, $300+ even with used parts. If you don't race and your old rig works, why upgrade to the new style rig?

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Fred P

Member
As long as it is not a 50s era old style, shaped like an elephant ear, they both steer fine. The new style stays down in high winds, whereras the old style sometimes decides to pop loose in a blow. Also, when you put the new style in the up position it stays up, where the old style flops around and gets in the way when you have managed to pop it loose for beaching or storage. But if yours stays down when windy, I'd stick with it. BB
I used the old rudder for many years but as the mechanism got worn the rudder would pop up when going fast in a stiff wind. This was especially true on the ocean with waves. On a lake it will most likely be fine.

Fred
 

cnovark

Member
I think some of the reason people recommend the new style is that if something breaks it's easier to get replacement parts for the new one. By old here I mean pre 72 (I believe).
 

Bman

New Member
I have the old style and it is a pain when the rudder pops up. It only pops when I need it the most-stiff breeze and turning into the wind. Also, when I hike out I always have to be ready to get back in just in case the rudder pops. that said, it would be cheaper to buy a used "newer" boat rather than fix mine and I'm a bit sentimental with mine.
 
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