The rudder on an Pearson
Ariel is a nice piece of furniture. The Mahogany planks were joined with sintered bronze rods driven in from the ends. THis made for a strong piece, which could expand and contract
when removed from the water
The ones that have had trouble were either beat to death, or destroyed when the boat was hauled and the seems in the rudder were filled when they opened up as the rudder dried. One failed after the boat was run up on the great barrier reef
and pounded on the reef for over an hour, which is pretty much what it takes to break one. Many have been destroyed by well meaning folks filling in the seems with epoxy
The nice thing is that there is a 'manual' available from the Pearson Ariel Owners Association.
It has a blue print of the rudder, and a new section (or complete rudder) can be made by someone with basic wood working skills.
Several folks have made rudders using different methods of construction (many listed in the link Gord posted above). None have had results that were reported to be any better then the original. One of the best was done on Ariel #3, Ariel Spirit. Keith built a nice rudder out of fiberglass
, and I personally sailed that boat from Deale, MD to Jacksonville
, NC on a delivery
. The rudder was shaped like the original, and steered well but had a vibration approaching hull speed
that was not present in the original.
Even if Foss foam does make one (and I don't doubt they do) I would think the original rudder would be preferable for strength, and for performance consistent with the original.