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Old 29-11-2020, 06:48   #1
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Building a barn door rudder

]I sail a 14' catboat and am thinking of building a nicer rudder.

Does anyone have experience with such a project?

I'm replacing what is in the picture. (For some reason it rotated).
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Old 29-11-2020, 09:54   #2
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

We had a new rudder built and it has flat stock welded to the round stock to keep the rudder post from rotating inside the rudder. My guess is your old rudder’s flat stock corroded and failed.
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Old 29-11-2020, 10:25   #3
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

There is no vertical stock like you describe.

Tiller slides into two upside down U shaped brackets on the top edge
Of the rudder. These are Visible in the picture.
Front edge has two pintle Hinges.

Rudder is made of high density plastic, heavy and a bit flexible.
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Old 29-11-2020, 11:16   #4
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

I can see they didn't really care much for designing a rudder w/any lift for a cat boat since its basically appears to be a flat board.

We made a new rudder out of Coosa which would be much lighter than a high density plastic. To just reproduce your rudder, you wouldn't need to do hardly any work compared to how we made our rudder.

Did see on a beetle cat, the tiller was strapped in further aft off the top of the rudder. Maybe this would also help w/help stiffen up the rudder.
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Old 29-11-2020, 11:55   #5
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

Is that the original rudder? It looks like it's better for skulling than for steering. Consider the possibility of more depth and less fore and aft. It also could use better tapered leading and trailing edges. It looks like a minimalist job in plywood.

That size, you easily could shape it out of pressure treated plywood and encase it in fiberglass.
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Old 29-11-2020, 13:29   #6
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

Hi. I grew up in the village where Beetle Cats came from. As posted above, the aft strap needs to be further aft. You can see this in early fishing catboats. You can make the rudder out of pine and the straps out of bronze . Look at the catboat book or catboats web pages...it’s a simple rudder that works well.
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Old 29-11-2020, 13:47   #7
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

Bill O. Thanks for the link to your project. That is what I had in mind.

Seems like building up a 1.5” thick piece , then shaping into a foil. , most tapering as it goes aft , a little going forward.



Some questions
do you think the material you used would be strong enough if I router in spots for the tiller attachment and pintles at one inch thick ?

Where did you get the material?

What areas did you glass over once it was shaped? If any.
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Old 29-11-2020, 13:56   #8
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

tkeithlu It does skull pretty well.

It seems the standard design. Big flat board. I’d be happy with a little foil and less weight.

I was considering adding a couple of inches below the keel. Not too much as it gets shallow where I sail. The dagger kicks up but the rudder would either lift off the pintles or just stick into the sand.
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Old 29-11-2020, 13:58   #9
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Re: Building a barn door rudder




Sure enough is! Question being if you are going to race, would an altered rudder blade be acceptable?
https://beetlecat.com/beetle-14/
Another recent rudder discussion:
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ns-242847.html
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Old 29-11-2020, 14:12   #10
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

Manateeman

I have the bronze parts on current rudder.

It works ok but I’m Trying to lose some weight and possibly improve performance a bit with a foil shape.

Also just retiring and I need some projects. Shaping with a an angle grinder and power sander is just my type of messy afternoon. The neighbors consider me a bit eccentric.

I considered plywood or two layers of round and groove flooring laid diagonally to each other. After glassing a wood construction I suspect it will weigh as much as the current one though.

Including picture under sail with my usual crew.
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Old 29-11-2020, 14:12   #11
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfyiii View Post
Bill O. Thanks for the link to your project. That is what I had in mind.

Seems like building up a 1.5” thick piece , then shaping into a foil. , most tapering as it goes aft , a little going forward.



Some questions
do you think the material you used would be strong enough if I router in spots for the tiller attachment and pintles at one inch thick ?

Where did you get the material?

What areas did you glass over once it was shaped? If any.
Yes, it is very strong especially if you get the blue water version of Coosa which has both the F/G strands and sheets embedded in the HDU. As strong as ply, 1/3rd the weight and doesn't absorb water.

In the mid Atlantic area I purchased the Coosa from Harbor Sales

We glassed the whole surface for better impact resistance.


If it's behind the keel or skeg the full foil shape doesn't matter as much as if it were a spade rudder out in the open.
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Old 29-11-2020, 14:30   #12
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

OH ...so you like projects. OK. Go to the catboats.org web pages and get a copy of Fenwick Williams book on catboats. Next, find a source of oak, pine and a place to build. Pick a design for overnights. Slowly but surely, your neighbors will come over to help and when she’s finished, you can just nod when the compliments start about how they all believed you were the man to do it.
PS. Ted Brewer drew my boat but in catboats, I’d go Fenwick Williams.
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Old 30-11-2020, 10:47   #13
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

As a catboat sailor for forty years we have built a rudder or two for our series of catboats. If you are not going to race your Beetle Cat you might try adding a flat plate placed in a horizontal direction (running Fore to Aft) to the bottom of the rudder itself , this will give you a greater bite when the boat is heeled and assist in overcoming the dreaded in ability to tack when the rudder is over powered.
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Old 30-11-2020, 10:49   #14
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Re: Building a barn door rudder

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfyiii View Post
]I sail a 14' catboat and am thinking of building a nicer rudder.

Does anyone have experience with such a project?

I'm replacing what is in the picture. (For some reason it rotated).
If it ain't broke don't fix it. You might make one more pleasing to the eye and less functional.
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