Rudder blade repair

Thread starter #1
The wooden rudder blade of my 1978 Sunfish has split a chunk off down through the attachment holes. I am thinking of cutting a larger piece out of it , so the holes are not in line with the repair. Then attaching a new piece in place, with pins and epoxy. Then shape the new piece.

I see the blade had a pin of some sort inserted above the top hole. Any information about what it was made of?

I bet others have done this but I can't find any reference to it. Do you think it will stand up to use in the real world? Or any other suggestions.
Thanks Gary
 

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Webfoot1

Active Member
#2
Use brass bushings in the pivot holes to keep from splitting. If you have the
piece that split off you can epoxy and clamp it back together. If not I'd
square off the broken edge with a table saw and dowel the holes closed
before glueing on a new strip.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#3
The wood rudder of my 1978 Sunfish has split a chunk off down through the attachment holes. I am thinking of cutting a larger piece out of it , so the holes are not in line with the repair. Then attaching a new piece in place, with pins and epoxy. Then shape the new piece.
I see the rudder had a pin of some sort inserted above the top hole. Any information about what it was made of?
I bet others have done this but I can't find any reference to it. Do you think it will stand up to use in the real world? Or any other suggestions. Thanks Gary
As to the pin—I'll have to check outside—as I have three rudders here. Can you tell it's raining right now? :(

Try this link—a plus, as it comes with an additional link:
Repairing Split Rudder

Talking fix and/or replacement:
Rudder Cracked Today

.
 
#4
, so the holes are not in line with the repair.
I think a good repair will be stronger than most wood fiber, so I would cut to leave the best possible mating surface regardless of where the holes are. I think it’s cool that you are going to pin it too!
What Webfoot1 says I agree 100% now you have me thinking that maybe I need some metal reinforced holes in my dagger board.
 
Thread starter #5
Thanks, I will cut it out to get square surfaces , put three pins in and epoxy it all together. I'll practice on the old rudder first and then see if I want to put some long pins in a new rudder I have cut and shaped out of a nice piece of sapele. I think I will also look around for some brass bushings for the attachment holes also. They all seem to get worn out after a while. The old style rudders used plastic bushings for the tiller bolt.
 

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#7
Your idea would work but I would use thickened epoxy to mate the fracture surfaces back together and then put a hardwood dowel crossgrain just above the top hole. The splits we have seen run grainwise from the top, usually from slamming rudder up.

Then clean up the holes and fill them with thickened epoxy, drill new holes. The epoxy will be your bushing

The "pin" you mention is a hardwood dowel that is there to help prevent the grainwise split.

Either repair will be good. Long term if you use metal bushings you have to keep an eye out for dissimilar metal corrosion, esp around salt water.

Cheers!
 
#8
The new style rudder have a tendency to crack if you pulled them up by the tiller handle and they snap up. When they were just cracked it could be repaired with fiberglass both side at the top and it would still fit in the tiller handle. Your repair will work and with carefully raising and lowering it will last a long time. Even with the new all white fiberglass rudder I'm still careful on the raising and lowering.

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