Rudderboxes and Rudder Fittings

Item 1 – don’t ever forget the bolt through the tiller and rudderbox in my boat plans.

Item 2 – see Item 1

The rudderbox for my boats is tremendously light and tremendously robust.  But If you forget to put the bolt through the tiller and rudderbox junction it will break sooner rather than later.

If you fit the bolt it will have a very long life and be much nice than any swinging rudder blade.

Rudder Fittings discussion from the GIS Facebook group

Patrick Horan:
What size hardware for assembly of the rudder stock?

Michael Storer I like systems that use a single continuous pin from top to bottom. It is much less likely to come off in any forseeable situation. The pin needs to be a minimum of 6mm (1/4″) or a little larger.

If separate fittings with separate pins they probably need to be bigger than 6mm pins.

Patrick Horan I have the correct pintles/gudgeons from duck works. I couldn’t find a spec for the bolts that hold the stock together, other than they must be recessed on the inside face where the rudder slides. 3/16″ ss ?  Btw, it’s currently 14 deg f outside, so I thought the tiller assembly would be a nice warm project!

Michael Storer Ouch. Extensively torture boarding the hull will raise the temp by 10 or so degrees. Where there’s a fitting under the nut or screw head no need for washers.

Did you see the rudder fitting trick of putting the aft countersunk machine screw from inside the rudderbox with a but on the outside.

Please don’t omit the bolt through the tiller!

Patrick Horan One bolt thru the tiller at the leading edge of the stock, and two right aft, countersinking the interior of the stock.

Michael Storer No. Only one bolt through the tiller. No other tiller fastenings required. The ones up from the inside are for the rudder fittings where a through bolt won’t work.

Patrick Horan The sample photos on p. 72 are different from the drawing. I figured on a total of four bolts, plus those of the gudgeons. The rudder is meant to be permanently(glued and screwed) to the stock, right?

There’s a good photo of the stern of “sneaky shark” in the photos section of the group, showing four bolts on corners of rudder stock.

Bronze or stainless steel rod for the pin through the gudgeons?

Michael Storer I doubt that you will find light neat rudder fittings of bronze.

Also bronze pins in this day and age are likely to be cast rather than rolled like the stainless so more prone to bending and breaking.

Circumvent both these problems and bronze would be ok.

Patrick Horan I have the recommended ronstan setup, so a long pin is needed to hinge the four gudgeons. duckworks sells either bronze or ss 1/4″ rod.

Michael Storer Rudder is too important to mess with. If a person was adamant about bronze I would gave to suggest an increase in diameter to compensate for manufacturing uncertainties.

Stainless steel rod is a very consistent product made one way around the world. Bronze is a small scale artisan product so has no consistency of manufacture

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