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Forums / Technical / Replacing Rudder  
The discussions for this thread include the following:

Posted: 11 Aug 2008 at 2:23pm
I'm a new member on the forum. I have a Pacific Dolphin with a swing keel. I'm in the midst of replacing the rudder and rudder shoe (electrolysis has riddled both). I am looking at the option of replacement with a carbon fiber composite rudder that would be considerably lighter (the original is around 80 or more pounds). My concern is altering the balance of the boat, i.e.; ballast. I do have a 100 pound Yamaha in the outboard well where I'm sure something lighter was originally intended. A discussion with a company that builds these rudders suggested the lighter rudder weight often reduces "hobby horsing" in seas, and generally improves preformance (less weight, period). I'm here hoping I might gain some perspective and / or opinions from the Dolphin fleet. I did read the 1963 Olin Stephens letter concerning ballast.

Pacific Dolphin #273

Posted: 12 Aug 2008 at 6:46am
Hi Jim
There is some information about these subjects in the Technical Section of the website. Check the Index. The Technical Section has a good description of a fabricated ss rudder heel fitting we made for Passage. The old bronze fitting was bably corroded. The corrosion risk is still there with an aluminum stock and a SS fitting but this will take years to happen and we felt the SS was a lot stronger tham aluminum if the keel grounded.

I am surprised that your rudder/rudder stock weighs in at 80 lbs. Passage's (O'Day #12)had an aluminum rudder and stock and it weighs only 30 lbs. Maybe the 80 lbs referred to your centerboard?

I don't know what the relative costs are but I'll bet carbon fiber is expensive? Maybe a properly shaped wood rudder wrapped in fiberglass with an aluminum stock would work work well as a cost/weight compromise? The fastening of the rudder to the stock is tricky and a good builder is key.

We don't have your boat in our database. If you have some history and photos please send them in. Thanks

Ron Breault, webmaster (ronBreault@cs.com)

Posted: 12 Aug 2008 at 9:53am
Thanks Ron,

The rudder appears to be resin filled, thus the weight. The carbon fiber is expensive, around $1800.00. Having a new frame built and using wood is a good idea. I travel quite a bit so I need to "source out" much of the repair long distance. I'm operate out of the central coast of California (Morro Bay) and finding those sources has been problematic. I hear a lot of "you wanta a what?".

I have read about Passage's new rudder shoe. You've done an awesome job with this site. I will send pictures and info on my Dolphin next time I land.

Thanks again,
Pacific Dolphin #273

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