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Split mahogany rudder - repairable? FRP instead?

Fish76

New Member
My '76 rudder split at the spring pin line. This was my dad's boat, and I was surprised to see a pin in the blade (see 2nd photo), not remembering a repair being done on the boat. He only owned it for 6 years before he passed away, so it's been there since at least 1982. Is the pin part of the design to strengthen the blade?

I'm thinking this is not repairable. While a friend of mine is up for making one, I'm thinking about going the FRP route. I found this blade from Intensity Sails, which is significantly less than from other places. A "replica"? Any thoughts on this for recreational use? I do like to sail in higher winds when I get the chance.... Intensity Sails FRP Rudder

Also, can an FRP blade be mounted without issues in the original cast aluminum cheeks?

Thank you!

IMG_4549.jpgIMG_4563.jpg
 

tag

my2fish
You *could* fix it with epoxy and probably another couple drilled in and epoxied wooden or threaded rod dowels.
But you’ll be happy with the frp version, and it should bolt right up as the dimensions are identical. It won’t be “race legal”, but if you sail recreational only it’ll be just fine.
 

Fish76

New Member
You *could* fix it with epoxy and probably another couple drilled in and epoxied wooden or threaded rod dowels.
But you’ll be happy with the frp version, and it should bolt right up as the dimensions are identical. It won’t be “race legal”, but if you sail recreational only it’ll be just fine.
Thanks. This boat will never be raced again, lol. Definitely not competitive. Still sailing the original sail, but that's going to be upgraded shortly.
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
You *could* fix it with epoxy and probably another couple drilled in and epoxied wooden or threaded rod dowels.
But you’ll be happy with the frp version, and it should bolt right up as the dimensions are identical. It won’t be “race legal”, but if you sail recreational only it’ll be just fine.
Nice grain--straight-split--and salvageable!

I'd run a metal-cutting sabersaw blade the full length of the split to freshen the surface, then epoxy the new edges. Clamp with pony clamps (if you have them), or bungee cords and zip-ties. Drill fresh holes. Sand--replace hardware. Reinforce with long screw from the back surface.

Try not to float backwards into shallows. (Again!) :confused:
 

Fish76

New Member
Nice grain--straight-split--and salvageable!

I'd run a metal-cutting sabersaw blade the full length of the split to freshen the surface, then epoxy the new edges. Clamp with pony clamps (if you have them), or bungee cords and zip-ties. Drill fresh holes. Sand--replace hardware. Reinforce with long screw from the back surface.

Try not to float backwards into shallows. (Again!) :confused:
LOL - Guilty as charged. The rudder was left on the boat in the upright position, tied to the wrapped rigging so it couldn't swing. It was in Barnstable (cape cod) Bay and tied to an on-shore anchor, but the aft anchor was a cinder block with what I thought was plenty of line. I hadn't realized that the wind had shifted around at high tide so dragged the block, so the boat got blown/washed (sideways) into a bank. Entirely my own fault as I don't normally leave the hardware on the boat when left overnight. Next time, a second real anchor, tied off further out.
 

Weston

Active Member
I'm thinking about going the FRP route. I found this blade from Intensity Sails, which is significantly less than from other places. A "replica"? Any thoughts on this for recreational use? I do like to sail in higher winds when I get the chance.... Intensity Sails FRP Rudder

Also, can an FRP blade be mounted without issues in the original cast aluminum cheeks?
I have the intensitysails FRP rudder and I like it a lot. It fits just fine into the original sunfish aluminum rudder cheeks. I do like the looks of the mahogany better, though. :). Your 76 rudder looks in great shape considering it’s age. I believe it is repairable. My suggestion is buy the FRP rudder (and “practice race sail”) so that you can get out sailing now. And over the winter repair of the mahogany one.
 

Fish76

New Member
I have the intensitysails FRP rudder and I like it a lot. It fits just fine into the original sunfish aluminum rudder cheeks. I do like the looks of the mahogany better, though. :). Your 76 rudder looks in great shape considering it’s age. I believe it is repairable. My suggestion is buy the FRP rudder (and “practice race sail”) so that you can get out sailing now. And over the winter repair of the mahogany one.
Thank you. That's exactly what I'm doing. Ordered the FRP blade and a new sail (why not after 45 years) and a few other things from Intensity. I'll post repair photos sometime this winter when we get around to doing it, perhaps along the lines of what L&VW suggested.

Thanks to all for helping me out!
 
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Mary1976

New Member
I have a 1976 Mini with the original mahogany rudder and was hoping to restore it this winter. Any suggestions on how to do that? Thank you.
 
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