Rudder conversion question

Thread starter #1
I have a pre-1972 Sunfish. I am sorry to those of you who have gone over this in times past but I need to be sure before spending the money. SO here goes...

I am going to convert to the new rudder design. Do I understand correctly that I can't use the old wooden blade? Must I buy the complete conversion kit which includes a new blade and tiller ($385 from APS).

Thanks in advance for your help, Chris

If you are going to upgrade to the "new style" rudder assembly,
you will need the complete assembly to include the rudder head, blade, tiller with extension, and the s.s. "U" bracket that attaches the assembly to the transom. You will also need to install a 6" or larger inspection port on the deck near the existisng rudder hardware so you can gain access to the inards if the hull to install the s.s. mounting bracket. However, check e-bay (key words: "Sunfish" or "sailboat rudder" as
used new style rudder assemblies turn up on e-bay regularly and they typically sell for well uner the APS prices. Also place a "Wanted" ad here on the Sunfish Forum and see what you can find.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY

I will have to disagree with Alan on port size. I have used a 5" port on the boats I have converted and there is plenty of room. Also, you can use an old rudder, but will have to cut it down at the top so the overall length will be shorter. Better to get or make a new style rudder. Check Yahoo Sunfish Sailor in the files and photo sections for more conversion info. Also do a search on here for Rudder, Conversion, Rear Port, I know there are a few threads about coverting, I did post some pictures last summer on one I did.
A one-time advantage of installing a port for a specific repair (or upgrade, in your case) is that you can cut out the hole in the hull, do the repair, and THEN install the port into the hole.

Your hole is cut a little oversize of the port you're installing, and you get a little extra room to work.