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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:54 pm 
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I sail over a reef and at mid to low tide I often kick up my rudders. I have the rudder return system, but, still this is not a great situation. I'm thinking of a pair of rudders that don't go as deep but compensate by being a little wider. Has this ever been done? Is it a bad idea? I know I'll lose some performance by not having the ideal taper to them, but I can spare a bit of speed.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:46 pm 
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Location: Clinton Lake, KS
I say go for it. Worse thing which might happen is you learn something and you end up going back to stock.

They wouldnt be class legal, and you may run into less low speed control or stalling going to whether ect. But you might find with a good design having less rudder might make the boat faster in terms of outright speed?

Cutting and sanding some old lexan rudders would be an easy way to start.

Maybe copy a tornado rudder?


Sent from my stone tablet


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:56 am 
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
Anything is worth trying but a few things to consider:
A chap in my sailing group recently bought a H14 with cut down rudders. The seller lived and sailed in shallow water channels with lots of sand bars.
It's not speed which has been compromised but steering ability and comfort. The steering is there but less responsive, always pulling and in no way as smooth as it should be.

Also here in Australia we have an old cat named the 14ft Caper Cat. Great little cats which were released with 'spade' shaped rudders suited for those in shallow waters and just easy to beach without the hassle and worry. Over the years these rudders were retro fitted with must longer (standard looking) rudders to add performance/steering etc.
If you have anything like this in the US you should give them a try. A pics here for you: http://bluepeteraustralia.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/jan12-080.jpg

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:48 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
Wider rudders are a bad idea. The force on the rudders has to balance at the rudder pin or else you'll pull your arm out of it's socket. (Think about trying to steer with rudders that aren't locked down.) To do it properly, the rudders would need to extend forward as well as back to maintain balance. Very tricky engineering required.

Trimming 6" or so off the tip of plastic rudders (as Ron suggested) is probably the best way to go - but steering ability will suffer some.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:04 am 
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Location: Lake Norman NC
rudders kick up as designed What is the problem here The Hobie 16 rudders are very easy and quick to lock down Try sailing off the SC coast in jelly fish season the rudders kick up every few minutes Try sailing on the backside of the Florida Keys I sailed for a entire day with the rudders kicked up in the very shallow water
Altering the rudders is just not a good idea
Just my opinion Former Hobie Admiral Gary


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Some folks that I see most years at the OBX have a 16 with shortened rudders just for sailing in the Pamlico Sound. They're pretty experienced people and IIRC they didn't have huge problems with the steering. It is a newer boat so it probably has better rudder rake than a pre-'85 boat, and therefore less weather helm.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:53 pm 
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Thanks so much for the input guys....

I have a spare set of hand made wooden rudders that the P.O. made and used for a while and then retired when the glass around the bottom ends started to go. Perhaps a good way to start would just be to shorten them a bit and try it out. One reason why I am interested in this is that folks in Hawaii seem to worry about the reefs. If you run a large boat into the reefs you can be looking at a hefty fine for damaging it. Right now I am the only one that sails in the area I do. Nobody has hassled me yet, and I would like to keep it that way.

Anton, do you have a rough idea how much the folks at Pamlico took off their rudders?

Gary, I have several sets of rudders and I would keep all but one set stock, with one modified set for when I wanted to go shallow. I always have to setup my boat from bare hulls and take it back apart when I am done so choosing the rudders according the tide is not a problem. I don't much mind the kickup as I have the rudder return bungees, but I don't want to go around smacking the reefs and get people angry.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:15 pm 
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KarlR wrote:
Anton, do you have a rough idea how much the folks at Pamlico took off their rudders?


Not really. If I had to guess based on how I remember the rudder ends looking, I'd say that 6" is about right. It was quite noticeable, relative to the shape we expect to see at the rudder tip.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:16 pm 
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Location: Maryland/Outer Banks, N.C.
I sail almost entirely in the sound, and shorter rudders would often be the ticket! I've thought about trying this, but was kind of waiting to meet or talk with someone who has actually done it! A lot of the older, local boats get some funny wear on the rudder tips (my 14 included) from dragging the sand bottom so often, but I've never met anyone who purposely shortened them. A 14 is tricky enough to tack when the rudders are full length!

Dave


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