The $10 Emergency Rudder
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If your rudder is damaged it could spell the end of your sailing day or maybe a weekend; but the real problem is the long trip home. Without a rudder you can only go about 2mph under power because the H260 yaws from side to side as soon as you try to go faster than that.
Losing a rudder on the H260 is really not a big deal if you have a spare. It takes only a few minutes to slap a new one on. On trips out of town I carry a spare in the aft bunk. The OEM replacement is about $600 and IdaSailor makes a poly blade for about $500 that is less prone to breaking. I wanted to see if I could make a cheap replacement. I wanted to see if I could make a one time use emergency rudder that would get would get me home in short order.
I'm confident the result is plenty strong. I made both a 48" and a 36" version. I'm confident you could sail with the longer version but not sure how the shorter one will perform. The advantage of the shorter version is that it is lighter and easier to stow. I thought about making the rudder more streamlined and could do that easily by grinding a sharper edge but for now I just want to see how well each version performs. Then I can try refinements like an fiberglass cover.
As soon as the ice melts I'll try them both out and report back.
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