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Old 26-05-2024, 20:43   #1
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Cut the rudder??

I have a Beneteau 41S5. It draws 5-6. Has a 'Wing Keel. Rudder draws 5-0. A last year a prolonged rare east wind blew water out of bays and coasts around Tampa Bay area. This caused my rudder go aground and grind the bottom of it somewhat. Im considering cutting 3-4 inches off the huge rudder so it has a little more clearance as in such situations above. . Boat has great rudder control and I dont think it will affect sailing ability. Comments please.
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Old 26-05-2024, 21:32   #2
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Re: Cut the rudder??

What's the rudder made of? If the rudder has SS internal tang right at the bottom of the rudder it will not be possible to shorten it.






I've done something similar myself



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Old 27-05-2024, 04:42   #3
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Re: Cut the rudder??

It seems to be all Fiberglass-- the rudder post is a hefty machined fiberglass. However I dont know if rudder interior is all non metal. Anyone?
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Old 27-05-2024, 04:54   #4
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Re: Cut the rudder??

Most sailboat rudders have an internal metal structure, foam, and an outside fiberglass skin. Not likely a Bene rudder is solid fiberglass.
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Old 27-05-2024, 05:18   #5
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Re: Cut the rudder??

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
What's the rudder made of? If the rudder has SS internal tang right at the bottom of the rudder it will not be possible to shorten it.






I've done something similar myself



Why would a tang at the bottom prevent shortening it? Just cut it off with the rest of the stainless structure and fiberglass…..

Wise? Maybe not, as the tang is there for a reason…..but possible, yes.
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Old 27-05-2024, 05:32   #6
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Re: Cut the rudder??

Do what I did. I googled the rudder post material for the Bene 41 and it appears to be made from a fiberglass composite.

Quite a few comments and remarks about this rudder on various online chat sites.
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Old 27-05-2024, 05:47   #7
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Re: Cut the rudder??

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Why would a tang at the bottom prevent shortening it? Just cut it off with the rest of the stainless structure and fiberglass…..

Wise? Maybe not, as the tang is there for a reason…..but possible, yes.

So instead of having three tangs just have two? Geeez! I'd like to know where the tangs are before I started cutting.

Maybe contact Beneteau or perhaps a cheap stud finder may pick up the welds. (Of course you could use a small drill to locate the tangs,)
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Old 27-05-2024, 05:49   #8
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Re: Cut the rudder??

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So instead of having three tangs just have two? Geeez! I'd like to know where the tangs are before I started cutting.


Maybe contact Beneteau or perhaps a cheap stud finder may pick up the welds. (Of course you could use a small drill to locate the tangs,"
Test drilling' of course I thought of that just as i saw your post!
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Old 27-05-2024, 06:05   #9
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Re: Cut the rudder??

The mechanical part of cutting the rudder is relatively straightforward.

The concern should be how it will impact the Center of Lateral Resistance and trim.
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Old 27-05-2024, 18:18   #10
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Re: Cut the rudder??

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The mechanical part of cutting the rudder is relatively straightforward.

The concern should be how it will impact the Center of Lateral Resistance and trim.
Uhmm....Have you tried cutting through a 2 in. SS rudder stock?
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Old 27-05-2024, 18:27   #11
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Re: Cut the rudder??

its fiberglass+ I have diamond faced Sawsall blades and right angle grinder discs.
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Old 27-05-2024, 18:33   #12
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Re: Cut the rudder??

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The mechanical part of cutting the rudder is relatively straightforward.

The concern should be how it will impact the Center of Lateral Resistance and trim.
rudder is about 50 inches long 4 inches off would be losing 8%+ bottom is banged up and needs repairing anyway. Boat steers exceptionally well in all conditions so Im gambling that 8% area loss wont hurt steering. Actually its less than 8% as rudder tapers smaller at bottom.
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Old 27-05-2024, 18:44   #13
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Re: Cut the rudder??

Now I am thinking of adding a 3/8-1/2 thick Aluminum 'shoe' to the bottom of the rudder after i cut 4 1/2 inches off just in case it touched bottom again.
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Old 27-05-2024, 18:58   #14
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Re: Cut the rudder??

You're helped by the fact that this is a long spade rudder set way back from the keel. I have trouble believing that you'll notice 3" missing.

If this was an attached rudder on an old fashion full keel boat you might worry.

I'd also be really surprised if there's a tang within 3" of the bottom. They are usually up 12" or more.
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Old 27-05-2024, 19:15   #15
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Re: Cut the rudder??

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You're helped by the fact that this is a long spade rudder set way back from the keel. I have trouble believing that you'll notice 3" missing.

If this was an attached rudder on an old fashion full keel boat you might worry.

I'd also be really surprised if there's a tang within 3" of the bottom. They are usually up 12" or more.
We know the rudder stock is "machined fiberglass" and the rudder is "all fiberglass" I'm not at all sure of this type of rudder construction. Would there be "tangs" as we know them?
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