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Rudder upgrade - Gudgeon Bracket Location


New Member
Looking for some advice from folks who have done multiple sunfish rudder upgrades
I have a pre-1970 sunfish. I decided to replace the grudgeon and rudder with the newer assembly. I made the inspection port hole, removed the old hardware and was doing well.
Then I dropped the ball and drilled my holes for the grudgeon install about 1cm too low. So - based on every post and u tube I’ve watched, you want the new grudgeon right up against the top of the sunfish. I kind of centered it and put my 4 holes about 1cm lower than that (and then realized I’d gone astray)
My question to others who have done the upgrade- should I just move forward? Or is it worth patching and drilling 4 new holes?

Any strong opinions?



Upside down?
Staff member
I wouldn't bother.
Moreover, on newer hulls with the deck overhang, the gudgeon is placed a bit lower, with the top almost touching the overhang.


New Member
You may end up with the tiller dragging on the deck or possibly not clearing the deck.
Thanks. Yeah- I’m worried about that. If it does rub, would you move the rudder higher on the cheek? Or move the gudgeon up? I’m thinking moving the rudder up would be better (fewer holes in the boat)

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Note in the photo at the link that the rudder cheeks marry up to the tiller straps. So you need to keep this geometry right. I'd think that the hull can take a lot more holes without a problem, esp since the new ones would be 1 cm from the old ones. The stern is pretty sturdy. Some others may have their own thoughts on this. Maybe the tiller will clear the deck with where you have the holes right now and it all will be fine - probably best to figure that out before drilling more holes anywhere.

Photo link: maxresdefault.jpg (1280×720) (ytimg.com)


Well-Known Member
1) The transom is astonishingly thin where I put in a transom drain. :eek: Unless the boat is stored on a ramp--where gravity is your friend--I'd put-off installing one.

2) Every hole I've drilled in my ex-racer Sunfish has generated a fresh set of spider-cracks. :(

All that said, I'd Thixo those present holes, drill again, and get the proper geometry back.

You don't want "deck-rash".


New Member
Thanks for the input. I finally finished this project (a lot of rainy days and heat waves slowed it down). I was able to leave the holes as is. I still have a good bit of clearance . Hopefully there will be no issues when I finally get her in the water



signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Nice work, especially with the generous amount of sealant. The current boats have quite a bit of sealant, so much that the screws are almost not needed :)

When you seal the aft deck plate, don't screw it flush all the way around, or it will be hard to unscrew the cap. Use a lot of sealant there as well to fill the resulting small gaps on the sides.