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I have recently purchased a J/24 with the old style pintles and gudgeons. A fellow J/24 owner told me that the old style pintles and gudgeons aren't secure and I would need to replace eventually as they fail on the bottom. I've looked at the other pintle/gudgeon design and while I get that the pin through is more secure due to the cotter pin, it seems like there is the same amount of gudgeons on the bottom. So I don't understand why the old style would fail more often? Is it an issue with the the old style not having a cotter pin and thus being less secure? If that is the issue, couldn't one just drill through the old pintle and install a split pin?

The boat is otherwise in good shape, just looking to save some money on non-performance related items. Thanks!

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The issue with the old setup is that the bottom pintle can break where it is welded to the fitting.  I had it happen to me on my old J24.   Drilling a hole for a cotter pin would keep the rudder from lifting up out of the gudgeons, but does nothing to prevent the pintle from snapping off.  

The new setup should have a gudgeon above and below the pintle fitting on the rudder with the pin going through all three.  The cotter pin is just there to retain the pin.  There is a lot more strength there and if the pin ever starts to wear out, it’s replaceable.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

When the lower pin broke out on #187 in the mid Eighties, I really didn’t want to drill more holes in my rudder.  I put the new style gudgeon strap on the rudder in the same place  as the old welded pintle strap  and dropped the new style pin through. 
so my lower pintle gudgeon system did  not have the rudder fitting between the transom fittings. 
it worked just fine for the next thirty years. 
note: The new strap had different hole spacing than the original pintle so I drilled some extra holes in the strap 

Note 2: with the original pintles, we used to use  five layers of discs torn from plastic single use  grocery bag ( the kind cities ban). We put the center of the pile of discs over the  gudgeon hole and shove the pin in. It was so tight one of us would stand on the rudder and turn it back and forth until it settled in place. That created a wiggle free rudder.

For the new drop in pin we loosened one of the transom straps laid a thin stainless wire across the bolts, added fresh caulk, and tightened it a wee bit crooked. 

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If you do need to update the rudder hardware, I can offer some help.

I had a jig made to help me align the rudder in plane with the keel, and drill the mounting holes in the transom square.  On our boat, both pins slide into place, with no play or extra drag on the rudder.  Several boats in our fleet have used it , and its available to anyone.

I'll post a pic later

Four pieces of aluminum(1.5" x1.5") with the hole pattern,  Two pieces without mounting holes to secure things top and bottom.  1/2" rod that runs through all six in the same plane.  Designed so the rod is in the same position as the rudder pins.  It works really well...  I can use the rod in place of rudder pins because it is all aligned



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After all these responses my thought is to get the new style bracket and add an extra transom gudgeon strap above the bottom tiller strap.

Then I'd have three transom gudgeon straps for the bottom and one for the top. The top doesn't seem to need reinforcement from what I've seen. Bottom brackets are often an issue on any boat after all.

With this plan I'd only need to install one extra piece on the transom and so would have minimal room for error. I mean I'm handy but I don't want to get into more than I need to. I think I can get a SS pin from McMaster that is long enough for essentially 4 brackets.

I like gouvernails grocery bag approach to taking out slop, I used to use a plastic shim kit on my former boat and it was a pain to find the right shim. Fortunately for my situation, Wisconsin still uses plastic grocery bags, so they're easy to come by.

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  • 2 weeks later...
18 hours ago, IdahoPhoenix said:


1) Would you be willing to loan that jig to a couple j24s over in Sandpoint Idaho that want to hang their rudders?

2). Do you still have a mast butt adjuster for sale? (i saw that you had made them on another post)

Phoenix, as in DS... welcome, but there are rules.

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