I began cruising with an inboard rudder . I sailed a tank tested boat to New Zealand
singlehanded, broaching continuously all the way.There I moved the rudder six feet further aft ,without changing the balance in any noticeable way. It became far more efficient.
Spending an extra ten thousand dollars on something which is far more complex and fragile, with no real benefits is stupid , period. An ouboard rudder is far stronger than any inboard rudder. You can make the pins as thick as you want with no disadvantage, and the rudder head
can easily be made much stronger than any shaft you could fit inboard . Exposed ? To what? Is anyone suggesting that a piece of steel
square tubing making up the rudder head
,6 inches by 2 inches can be dammaged by a dollop of water
6 inches by 3 ft? How much pressure does a 6 inch by 3 ft dollop of water
exert? Not enough to dammage steel
. The position of the rudder blade makes it no more exposed that one under the counter , unless one believes that what you can't see the sea can't see either.
Is a monitor hung off the stern less vulnerable than a steel rudder head of an outboard rudder? Hard to imagine anything flimsier than a monitor when it comes to impact resistance.
Yes I do lock my trimtab when docking
. The locking mechanism lets me fine tune it for absolutly no helm
.The further aft the rudder is the more efficient it, is especially when reversing. Further aft means more leverage on the hull
. I believe tests which show any increased efficiency of inboard rudders may be tersting the rudder in isolation without considering the extra leverage of their being further aft.
I can easily unship my rudder for a paint
job while the boat remains in the water.
The area of the trimtab going the opposite direction does reduce the effectiveness of the rudder by the equivalent of reducing the rudder area by the area of the trimtab, but that's a small price
to pay for the simplicity and super reliability
of trimtab steering.The reduction is negligible.
I've slid backwards down many a steep swell in 9 pacific crossings over 35 years . No problem .It only pushes the rudder post against the transom ,harmlessly.Only the bottom pin takes the load ,and that's overbuilt.
When I read in "Log of the Mahina", about the skipper
having to tie a reef in the main ,almost permanently I lookd at the transom rake , perfect for an outboard rudder on a skeg and thought how much simpler that would have made the average Vega.
When I read David Lewis's book "Icebird " I couldn't help but notice how much easier his voayge would have been if he had got rid of that goofy keel attached rudder and put a skeg hung rudder over the stern, with inside steering hooked up to a trimtab.