I have been a recreational sailor for many years, with a particular interest in small sailing craft; therefore much of the content of my 'blog' will be related to this subject.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Rudder Retainer for ‘Sandpiper’
‘Sandpiper’s’ plastic rudder retainer broke because it had become brittle over the years. Plastic of that type can degrade if subjected to sunlight for any length of time. Before the boat could be launched, one of my priorities was replacing the retainer; therefore I either had to buy another or make my own. I thought I would have a go at making one.
I looked through a number of items I keep for this sort of thing, and I selected a few odds and ends that might be suitable. At first I tried making a stainless steel retainer, but drilling holes through exceptionally tough metal proved too much for my drills. A piece of plastic similar to the sort from which the old retainer was made seemed the next best thing. I found a bit and cut it to shape after drilling holes for the fixing screws. Instead of copying the shape of the old retainer I made mine stronger by shaping it rectangular. To achieve a permanent bend in the plastic I gently heated it over a flame while flexing the material.
When I attached the retainer to the transom I sealed the fixing screws with clear silicone sealant. I tested the device, and I think it should do the job well. If the gadget fails, I only have myself to blame. A sailing boat without a rudder is like a lame duck; consequently I hope my faith in the fixture will be justified.