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From: Bret Hart
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 4:01 PM
Subject: RE: All Broke Up
I wonder if I'm a bit late in replying here but I had to replace my full length, non folding rudder a few years back and I bought one from Gene Adams. I was in a time crunch and I am local to him so I had reason to justify the expense. I too thought about building one and have experience doing this but once I saw Gene's rudder I couldn't beat the ease of install. I bought it, painted it to match, replaced both pintles and gudgeons (mine were very worn and I have a local marine store that carries the exact Racelite parts ) and was sailing in a couple days. It has held up to a lot of foul weather days, racing hard and I take it off the boat everytime I get back to the dock. It needs a new coat of paint now after three years but the integrity is as solid as the day I bought it. It still rings well when you tap it.
However as I said I take it off every time I get back to the dock. This way I don't need bottom paint and there is less chance of water intrusion which killed my last one. It had cracked down the center line, as they do, and the previous owner didn't patch it back properly. Eventually the two halves started to come apart and the thing was water heavy and dead.
I would recommend Gene's solution before building one. I have worked with him a few times and everytime the parts worked perfectly. Also I think it would be hard to make a wood one as light as Gene's with equlal strength and the unless you want to experiement, the shape he uses is what the design calls for. Good Luck!