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Rudder Upgrade

Eric VB

New Member
I have the old style rudder on my 1970 which has been frustrating at best and want to upgrade it to the new style. Can I use the old tiller with the new rudder or do I need to upgrade both at the same time? Not the best photo but all I have at the moment.
rudder.jpg
 
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Eric VB

New Member
Hi, Thanks for the response. Yes, I bought the "official" white plastic tube on ebay. I even tried the piece of intertube recommended by the Sunfish Bible and the rudder still pops off even in moderate winds. I was out yesterday spinning in circles on a windy day and it was really frustrating.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You already have the "new style" rudder blade, tiller straps and tiller. Someone put the "old style" vertical hinge plate and rudder straps on the new style parts.

So yes, you can use that rudder blade, tiller straps and tiller if you decide to convert.

As for the old style rudder releasing mechanism, problems can arise...
-if thumb nut tension is too loose for the sailing conditions.
-if the beveled bottom tip of the vertical hinge plate is worn, or if the cup on the keel latch plate is worn, or both.
-if any deck or hull mounting screws are loose.
-if the rectangular spring plate that sits on top of the deck horizontal hinge plate is bent.
-if keel latch plate is loose or bent.
-if incorrect hardware or fasteners are used.

On a properly tuned rudder releasing mechanism, you can tighten the thumb screw down tight enough that the blade might break before the mechanism released. How tight are you tightening the thumb screw?
 

Eric VB

New Member
Wow, so I already have the most expensive pieces to convert to the new rudder style? Are these the only pieces I need to make the conversion?

Rudder cheek with springs
Gudgeon with backer plate
Inspection port

I have the thumb screw on there really tight now and it's even bending the top spring plate a bit. Is that too tight? I havent tried it this tight yet.
 

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Yep that's too tight. Maybe even bent. Take a photo of the spring plate with no tension on it. And photos of the lower tip of the vertical hinge plate and the cup of the latch plate.

To convert you need
Entire rudder cheek with pintle and spring
2 side springs
Rudder spring pin
Gudgeon
Backer plate with bump to properly fit inside face of transom

gudgeon backing plate.jpg

Inspection port
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The spring plate looks okay.

Is there something in that latch plate cup? The edge of the cup looks a little worn.

Can you get a photo of the lower tip of the vertical hinge plate?

And does the keel latch plate look straight, and screw snug?
 

Eric VB

New Member
The spring plate looks okay.

Is there something in that latch plate cup? The edge of the cup looks a little worn.

Can you get a photo of the lower tip of the vertical hinge plate?

And does the keel latch plate look straight, and screw snug?
Yes, I'll take some more pictures. It's a little tricky because it's in the water.

I found this set up on Craigslist for $225. I don't need the rudder blade and tiller but rudder cheek, springs and pintle sold new is about the same price. What do you think of this option?
 

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Eric VB

New Member
I bought the new rudder assembly from the seller on Craigslist. I pick it up in about 10 days since it's a bit of a drive. Should be a fun project doing the upgrade. I really appreciate the advice.

This is the best photo I can get of that lower latch cup. There is a little water in it. Not sure if this is considered worn or not. If anyone has any ideas to get me by until I do the upgrade.

Thanks
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
I found this set up on Craigslist for $225. I don't need the rudder blade and tiller but rudder cheek, springs and pintle sold new is about the same price. What do you think of this option?
Somebody here might like the good rudder blade. ($100?)

Or list here on this forum.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Ideas.
-You'd need to check the keel latch plate to make sure it is not bent.
-Look at the bottom tip of the vertical hinge plate to see if it is worn. If it is a little worn AND the cup in the latch plate is worn, that's an issue.

vertical hinge plate.jpeg

-Maybe put a few wraps of tape around the nylon sleeve on the carriage bolt, to keep it as centered as possible in the transom cove.
- Also make sure there is no play in the non OEM rudder pin you are using.
 

Eric VB

New Member
Ideas.
-You'd need to check the keel latch plate to make sure it is not bent.
-Look at the bottom tip of the vertical hinge plate to see if it is worn. If it is a little worn AND the cup in the latch plate is worn, that's an issue.

View attachment 52528

-Maybe put a few wraps of tape around the nylon sleeve on the carriage bolt, to keep it as centered as possible in the transom cove.
- Also make sure there is no play in the non OEM rudder pin you are using.
Thanks for the great suggestions. I'm going to look at it and test it extensively today. 90F in Maine today provides a good reason to get in the water.
 

Eric VB

New Member
Nice. That's a beautiful area. I'm just on a small pond in Raymond about 30 miles from the coast. I hope they have a great time.
 

Nicholson58

I’d Rather Be Sailing My Tornado
I have the vintage parts on the “free“ Sunfish we’ve been sailing for about 30 years. The brackets and bits were in tough shape. Pre internet but I worked at a machine builder So I made up this hack using aluminum and SS pintles. It is now so warn as to be a PITA. It’s all going away for new stuff, under way now. The original boat had no spars, sails, CB or rudder so my wood bits are a hack too. I opted for vertical on the rudder years ago and have kept to the plan. I will be adding a 4” port in the aft deck in order to add glass and a backing plate.

A bit of serendipity, the extreme aft end of the tiller bumps the blade down if you raise the handle end. No reaching over the transom.

I inverted the rudder pin so there is no interference or pinch on top. The protruding pin has a corresponding counter bore in the rudder blade for when the blade is up. I think the new design parts and plan are far superior to the old bronze spring stuff that I wish I’d done this years ago. Use a factory blade If y want to keep in spec.

good luck with your project
 

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