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Old 13-05-2010, 16:34   #1
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Bronze Rudder for Westsail 32

OK I was considering what to do about replacing a rudder on a westsail 32 without rebuilding with using the existing glass covered foam and had what (I hope) is a stroke of genius.

The W32's rudder is very thick (wider eventhan where it attaches at the hull) and therefore creates a significant amount of drag and is prone to becoming water logged. My solution is to eliminate that big ass rudder and replace it with a much thinner bronze rudder thereby eliminating the drag and solving the water intrusion issue.

Someone suggested that a bronze rudder may vibrate and the cost would be very high? I think it would a uniquely beautiful addition.

Here is a photo of a Westsail rudder so you can see the size and configuration.
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Old 13-05-2010, 17:50   #2
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The weight would give you good reason to carry your spare anchors in the chain locker! It would eventually turn green too...

I think that one of the W32 performance improvements that has been advertised is in fact streamlining the fore edge of the rudder.

Is your W32 on the hard in Virginia? I ask because I want to laser scan the aft 1/3, hull and cockpit, of a W32. From this I can 3D model it and analyze it for possible fabrication of a custom arch/davits/boomkin (I am a land surveyor with a laser scanner). Let me know if this is something you might be willing to let me do. I would share any info I gather and post scan ideas.

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Old 13-05-2010, 18:06   #3
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There's a very extensive discussion on the rudder topic on the WOA website. You might start by checking out the link http://www.westsail.org/discus/messages/11/201.html?1240090660 which will provide you with a starting point and will lead you to other discussion threads.
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Old 13-05-2010, 18:24   #4
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The weight would give you good reason to carry your spare anchors in the chain locker! It would eventually turn green too...
I would love for the rudder to turn green! It would look awsome with some wooden rudder cheeks on the upper half.

There's a very extensive discussion on the rudder topic on the WOA website. You might start by checking out the link

I have reviewed every article on the westsail site including the rudder discusions (no kidding all of em) and found a lot of info about rebuilding or repairing rudders but nowhere have I heard of anyone even mentioning a metal alloy one.

The reason I ask id that I'm very close to purchasing one, would like to turn it into a one of a kind, creative masterpiece and am trying to figure refit costs.

Should I speak to a foundry about weights and strengths of bronze or who? I'm not so great at engineering. Or if ya ask my wife...not so good at thinking in general. haha
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Old 14-05-2010, 00:50   #5
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The reason I ask id that I'm very close to purchasing one, would like to turn it into a one of a kind, creative masterpiece . [/QUOTE]

Mate, IMHO adding that much weight that far aft on a W-32 would turn it into a one of a kind disaster, besides putting you into the poorhouse,

Rethink this one yourself, or ask a naval architect for an opinion!

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 14-05-2010, 07:21   #6
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Just a quick bit of estimation here to see how heavy this really would be:
Bronze is ~500lbs/ft^3
Assume the rudder dimensions will be 8'X2'X1"
It will weigh somewhere on the order of 666lbs which is an awful lot. This is certainly not a precise calculation but it gets you in the ball park.

And I would hate to see the cost.
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