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  • #3887

    Can anyone offer any advice re options for holding the rudder in the up/horizontal position? Ideally I would like some form of positive uphaul but this would appear to need an additional sheave fitted into the rudder stock, not sure how easy or feasible this would be to do.




    I assume it’s a wooden stock..

    There should be 2 ‘through’ SS bolts. Quick and dirty is to run a line from a hole through the trailing edge of the rudder over one of these bolts and onto a tube or clamcleat on the tiller. If you really want to be clever and reduce friction, remove one of these bolts and thread a small sheave or plastic sleeve over it in the centre of the stock.



    A wooden stock has a groove that leads the downhaul to the sheave that is usually somewhere in the middle. On most rudder stock I have seen, this groove runs all the way to the end and could be used for an uphaul. On a metal stock it is even easier (see picture). The uphaul runs over the same pin as the downhaul.

    On the picture the hole for the uphaul is clearly visible at the rear edge of the rudder, just above the waterline. It works just like the downhaul hole.

    A sheave is not really needed because the leverage is too much to pull it up. It will only hold the rudder in place after it is pushed up by hand (ashore) or after it floated up (at sea). (The rope only moves when it has no load).
    On a wooden stock you may want to add some sheet metal or glass/epoxy over the aft edge of the stock to prevent the line from “eating” in to the wood. On a metal stock the PVC spacers, just below the helm, could be replaced by smaller aluminium ones, creating space to lead the uphaul all the way to the last spacer. This would decrease the leverage.

    In my experience the uphaul isn’t very useful to pull the rudder up but it can hold it up while the boat is carried around on a trolley. Make sure to use strong rope like dyneema. The rudder with its leverage weighs a ton! I always sail with the rudder bolt just on, that way the rudder floats up when the down haul is released. I use the up haul only ashore.

    It has been suggested to me to use a pin to hold the rudder up while ashore, perhaps someone has experience with that solution?

    Colin Parkstone


    I do like to have a wingnut on my pivot bolt if I can but that can only be fitted to a metal stock easily,wood needs a bit more work.

    As been said,do you want to hold rudder up only ashore or for other reasons?
    One problem with a wooden stock is that the insides of the stock doesn’t get enough varnish and swells with the dampness.

    Sand the insides,varnish well and when hard lightly sand the nibs off to make smooth.

    Then if the blade is a loose fit,make some shims or washers out of say,formica or some such stuff(Good Word Colin !) to pack out the blade to the average thickness of the stock.

    The bolt can then be tightened so that the blade can be pulled down but will hold up out of the water when needed.
    Use a bolt with a Nyloc nut on stainless steel bolt.

    I like to also fit a two to one on the downhaul rope but try not to use the very best rope.

    I ones caught an underwater mooring line with the rudder going very fast down wind and with the spinnaker up!
    The boat stopped very fast,swung about a bit but thankgoodness the lighter downhaul broke and the rudder came up before we fell over. 😯

    So the downhaul is sacrificial on my boat now and I still have the wing nut.

    Sorry Liam if you have heard that story before!!!

    C P 🙂


    I just followed my own advice and replaced all the PVC spacers for thinner aluminium ones. The angle the control line makes is now much better (better leverage) and the line stays nicely clear from the helm due to the thinner spacers. The aft most spacer can be seen in the picture below.

    Maybe it can now be used while sailing? I’ll update this message after I tried.


    Thanks for the interesting replies – yes the stock is a wooden one.

    I primarily want to hold the blade horizontally for moving the boat around on the trolley – as has been mentioned – but also for steering when using the outboard. On my previous boat (mk11) I found I could hang the motor on the transom and then steer with the rudder held in the up position without risk of it being fouled by the prop. I would like to replicate this on my new boat (mk1).

    Colin – you mention downhauls, my mk1 has a rope downhaul attached to a length of reasonably heavy duty bungee which hooks onto the side of the tiller. It looks like it should allow the rudder to kick up if it hits something – we’ll see how we get on with it or maybe change it for one of those auto release cleats.

    Swiebertje – I actually had a pin through the stock and blade on my mk11 (the holes were already there in the stock and I just drilled through the blade and then used a simple pin on the end of short line) which worked quite well other than having to lean over the transom in order to engage / disengage the pin. That is an option for the new boat but something that can be done from the cockpit would be preferable.



    I’ve gone for a simple solution of drilling a horizontal hole through the stock just underneath where the tiller rests and then running a line from the trailing edge of the blade through the new hole along to a small cleat on the side of the tiller. So far it works really well and it’s a great improvement.


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