Westerly 22 rudder design
In the spring of 2009 our Westerly 22 lost its rudder to drying out on a very uneven sandbank in very uneven weather. Luckily, it was still possible to steer her with the outboard to the lift out position. As soon as she came out it was obvious, even to an inexperienced sailer, that a crucial part of the yacht was missing. Further inspection revealed that the steel rudder bar had also been eaten away over the years at the water line.
Welding a new rudder blade onto the existing rudder bar was unlikely to produce a a strong construction due to the lack proper access. It was decided the new rudder had to
- be a stainless steel construction
- be mountable in situ at the drying mooring
Being part of a fantastically supportive sailing community, a fellow sailer offered to get a new rudder designed and build. The following drawings were made by Terry McMennamim for which I am very greatful.
The design is such that the stainless steel rudder bar slides in from the top through the rudder blade mountings. The rudder is then fixed to the bar by tightening the clamp construction and inserting grub screws. The construction has been tried and tested for the past 3 seasons. In anything over F4 and our Westerly requires 2 hands due to exessive weather helm and we managed to keep a reasonably straight course so far.
Fig 1 shows the complete system put together. One could possibly skip the anti-lift ring as the weight of the construction has never lifted the rudder bar out of the existing (40 year old) heel bearing in the past 3 years.
The actual rudder blade was cut out of 2.5cm marine ply (no dimensions available) and covered in expoxy (see Fig 2).
The tiller mounting was welded on top of the rudder bar. Over it will fit the tiller pivot mounting (see Fig 4).
The rudder bar heel bearing was designed but never fitted as the new stainless steel rudder bar fitted well in the existing socket mounted on the skeg.
A PDF file with this information can be downloaded here Media:Westerly_22_rudder_design.pdfâ€Ž.
The final construction looks like this.