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Rudder down-hold rope replacement

Jimlaserboat

New Member
Hi all. I needed to replace my rudder rope and I got a piece of 3/16th Nylon rope. I am not happy with the stretch factor of this rope. With a little pull on the rudder, it moves out a good bit. Is there an acceptable tolerance for line-stretch effecting the position of the rudder?

So my question...what is the proper rope for the rudder down hold? Is there a a non stretching rope? The piece I had fit perfectly in the rudder line hole. I can't seem to find that exact size. 1/4 inch is too fat and 3/16ths seems good, but not as well fitting as my original rope. Is from 1984!

Thanks for any opinions.

JB
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
3 mm is the right thickness for the downhaul line. Any thicker is unnecessary, and won't fit well in the hole in the blade.
I've used Dyneema-core (=low-stretch) rope there for a while, but thinking of changing to a more elastic one to get it cleated tighter. (What kind of cleat do you have?)
Remember that the de facto primary function of the line is to hold the tiller tightly in place. The rudder blade is held down by the friction against the rudder head; tighten the pivot bolt so that you just barely can pull the blade up by one hand.

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Jimlaserboat

New Member
Thanks Wavedancer. I have an old tiller with a small plastic cleat. The rope can seem to get tightly snugged to the cleat, but the rope just seems to stretch too much. This is all for just causal sailing off of a beach. I'll keep looking...
 

Rob Hair

Active Member
I don't think nylon rope is best for this use. A lower stretch line rigged as 3:1 will make a big difference. I think you can find illustrations for that by searching this forum or Google. You may need a better cleat, too.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
I have an old tiller with a small plastic cleat.
A "skinny" (as opposed to "Gorilla" :rolleyes: ) aluminium tiller with an asymmetric horn cleat would be typical for 1984... If the cleat is forward of the traveller, then a 3:1 like Rob mentioned is easy to rig, just tie a small bowline (to act like a block) to the line close to the rudder head when the blade is at its maximum up position. (If the cleat is aft of the traveller, then you need to use a trucker's hitch -type knot and tie and untie it every time.)

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Rob Hair

Active Member
I have the extra purchase placed inside the rudder head. I saw that somewhere but don't recall if it was on this forum or elsewhere. It's worked well but it could be easier to set up external to the head as LaLi described.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
I have the extra purchase placed inside the rudder head.
I've seen people do it like that, too. However, it misses the point that the line is actually unnecessary in holding the blade down (sufficient tension on the pivot bolt does that), but is good for keeping the tiller tightly in the head. To better do that, the 3:1 should be along the tiller. (Although there's nothing that keeps one from having them at both locations!)

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Rob Hair

Active Member
I think my situation favors the opposite, or at least it seems that way to me. My tiller is a very secure fit in the head - I can't imagine it falling out even with no line. But more importantly, I launch from a very sandy beach but have to sail a couple hundred meters through an area with large rocks. Thus I leave the rudder part way up on the way out, and especially when coming in, I release the line and have the pivot bolt loose enough to avoid damage even if the rudder hits a rock. It normally rises from just the water pressure on it.

I have to use the same care with the dagger board, as can be seen from my ID photo.
 
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