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 Post subject: Rudder types
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:44 am
Posts: 21
I thought there were two types of rudder.

White plastic which I have that can't be repaired and black fibreglass ones which are fiberglass and better.

I seem to have a White fiberglass set, what are they?


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 Post subject: Re: Rudder types
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 4576
Location: Detroit, MI
There are at least 11 different types of rudders:

When Hobie 16s were introduced, they used the ABS plastic rudders that were on the 14s. These had a bad tendency to break off right below the rudder casting. They're a yellowish white, and yellow badly in the sun.

As a consequence, a booming aftermarket developed in polyester/fiberglass rudders. These were often made in a variety of colors and were fairly heavy.

Hobie Cat changed the 16s rudders to injection molded Lexan in the mid/late '70s. Flexible and heavy. They have a waxy appearance, are whiter than the ABS rudders, but also yellow in the sun.

Hobie Cat introduced the EPO rudder in 1983. Black, epoxy foam core fiberglass. Thicker than the older rudders and very light. The only drawback was they hummed badly out of the box. With proper trailing edge treatment to eliminate the humming, these are still the ultimate Hobie rudder. Left in the sun, the outer coating deteriorates, allowing the glass fibers to show.

When Coleman sold Hobie Cat in late 1988, Hobie Cat lost the capability to make EPOs. They came out with black plastic (PCG) rudders and both black and white fiberglass "Racing Rudders" (this is probably what you have).

The PCG rudders were replaced with white nylon rudders in the mid-90's (white, similar characteristics of the Lexan rudders of the late '70s).

In ~2003, Hobie Cat Europe started making carbon fiber rudders. Easily identified by the gray "Hobie Cat" and flying H logo on each side.

In ~2004, Hobie Cat introduced the EPO2 rudder - same shape as the original (with the trailing edge problems fixed). These came in 3 versions - white, carbon fiber and carbon/Kevlar. The carbon/Kevlar version has been discontinued. Easily ID'd by the "EPO2" logo.

Some Brazilians made their own rudders from wood - they were beautiful, but probably not technically superior, especially when compared to the EPOs.


Last edited by MBounds on Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder types
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:18 am
Posts: 746
Location: Virginia Beach VA
Moderator should move this to the FAQ. Seems like rudder composition questions come up a lot. First time I've seen all the answers in one place.


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 Post subject: Re: Rudder types
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Charlottesville, VA
My 2000 came to me with what seems to be black plastic rudders. My '78 has the racing rudders. Which are better, and what was originally on my 2000?

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'00 H16 #104691 - '78 H16 #32692 ex-rental - Old Holsclaw trailer
My Hobie 16 pages


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 Post subject: Re: Rudder types
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:23 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
AntonLargiader wrote:
My 2000 came to me with what seems to be black plastic rudders. My '78 has the racing rudders. Which are better, and what was originally on my 2000?
Racing (fiberglass) rudders are better than plastic (stiffer, thicker = better control and more forgiving (don't stall as easily)).

Your 2000 probably came with plastic rudders (either white or black). Racer rudders were a + cost option at the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Rudder types
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Thanks, I will swap between boats when I do the rest of the spruce-up (I have a lot of tune-up parts on the way).

Sailed the 2000 today, had a DEAFENING rudder hum. Never heard anything like it! I think I will take time to buff out the yellowing on the racing rudders and pay some attention to the trailing edge before I call it a day.

BTW MMiller, the rudder hum link in the FAQ is dead.

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'00 H16 #104691 - '78 H16 #32692 ex-rental - Old Holsclaw trailer
My Hobie 16 pages


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 Post subject: Re: Rudder types
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 731
Location: Indianapolis, IN
I may be refinishing some original EPOs. What should I do to keep them from humming? I know I need to fair down the trailing edge but how much and to what profile? I guess I could slap them on my boat before I finish them and see if they hummmmmmm....

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