Geoffs Rudder

rudder from Jim Michalak Mayfly 14

The rudders basic design was taken from Michalak's mayfly 14 design in his book. Some features of the kick up design came from my memory of the Glen-l 8 ball. The tiller is made up of four pieces of 1/2" ply scraps with the two inner ones shorter than the outer ones so it will fit over the head of the rudder head. The rudder blade is 1/2" ply that is 12"x 30" with a 10" half curve at the top to give it the step shape. A 5" radius at the forward bottom corner and a 2 1/2" radius at the aft lower corner give it the rest of it's shape. The head is made of three pieces, two outer "cheek" pieces of 1/4" and an inner core of 1/2". Don't forget to paint the inner sides of the cheeks where the blade will be before you glue them to the core. It's extremely difficult to paint it later!

Two halves of the rudder stock

I'm using inexpensive zinc plated hardware for the blade and tiller pivots, 3/8"x 1 1/2" for the blade pivot and 1/4"x 2 1/2" for the tiller. Both pivot bolts have nylon stop nuts so there will be no loosening up after setting. Also PL premium adhesive is being used exclusively throughout this project. I've used 5 of the 10.2 oz. tubes so far and expect to need at least one more at this point. They are only $2.88 at my local homedepot.

glue rudder stock together

I have not found the problem of wasted glue as others seem to have. I just use a little duct tape to wrap the end of the tube when I'm finished gluing something and make sure to pinch the end of the tape tightly together (leave some tape overhang beyond the end of the tube for this). When you unwrap the tape for the next glue session it has pulled out a little "plug" of hard glue and the tube is ready to use once again.

assembled rudder

Drywall screws in various lengths (1" to 2 1/2") and a few clamps have sufficed to hold things together while the glue sets. I have yet to decide what to use to fill all the holes after removing the majority of screws. Some screws were left in places where I felt they would be beneficial. Usually decided at the time of removal, sort of by gut feeling, ya know?

close up of pivot bolt

rudder mounted on boat