Rudder Number 2

Rudder ready for cleanup and shaping


(to start of project)

The second rudder went together a little easier than the first. On the first one, to save time, I tried to glue up the whole thing all at once. It came out okay, but it was a pain. With no reason to rush, this one went together in stages – the core was glued up first, then the cheeks and outer layers sandwiched on later.








After a week to cure, the whole thing could be clamped in a vice for shaping and sanding. The shaping takes a combination of block plane, angle grinder, rasp, and belt sander, all before you get to the actual smooth sanding. I never had a carpenters bench vice before, but finally picked one up late last year. Don’t know why I struggled so long without one. It really comes in handy, much easier than holding the work with one hand while trying to wield a power tool with the other.

The blades on these rudders are overbuilt, in terms of strength – a blade half as thick would be plenty. The extra width is there at the leading edge to match the profile of the skeg, for a smooth flow of water off the keel, along the skeg, past the rudder off the end of the boat. They’ll probably be rounded over some when fitted to the transom, and the shape refined some to match the skegs.


















melonseed skiff, mellonseed skiff, melon seed, mellon seed   

2 Replies to “Rudder Number 2”

  1. Yes, overbuilt in terms of strength, but it’s big for a different reason. The thickness was built up to match the width of the skeg and make for a smooth flow of water all the way past the rudders. I figured a thin rudder would always cause turbulence and drag where they meet. What did Herreshoff say? Something like “Water does not like to be surprised” ?

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