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Yeah, the toll on mine after 50 years was one broken drift and general looseness. While it was still operable, I took that apart 10+ years ago.If the blade is attached using threaded drifts, you may need to use similar construction to the original. That was the way many yacht rudders were built until all-glass rudder become common. The annual shrinking and swelling of a rudder built that way takes its toll, however.
Alden in 59 designed it to be built more substantially than Pearson in the early 60's. Price of course.
One of the toughest tasks was drilling out the 3/8" drift that would not come out of the mahogany. I abused a 1/2" drill with a bar clamp. That Makita drill still works 30 years on!
The mahogany was like new. I replaced the drifts and up-sized a couple drilling out the rudder stock (that was oversized so took the increase easily). It was surprisingly easy work and fun!
It's fascinating to learn and understand how the designers used the grainy longitudinal strength of wood spec'ing thickness here and there to handle the torque.
This one tapers into a flush covering bronze edge that finishes down to 1/2" thickness from a start of 2-2 1/2" stock at the rudder stock.
Alden had pretty much abandoned the traditional shape of the Pearson Vanguard years before. Still has the vestiges though
All the original mahogany and bronze, just needed a couple new drifts after 50 seasons.
It's a whole different building concept to a composite, better in many ways and a good idea for the Pearson.
But it would have required re-engineering another rudder stock that could handle a web/frame.
Some of the big old wooden tubs get composite rudders, I think this went on the Bermuda schooner. It's cheaper for a new build today I'd bet.
The boys could spend a few thousand to have a composite built, re-engineer the rudder stock, change the shape, etc.
But it's still a Pearson Vanguard and will sail like a Pearson Vanguard, either way.
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