daggerboard & rudder repairs

UPDATE: see this post for a progress report and some repairs that have been made.

here are some pictures of my rudder and daggerboard from the Sunfish and Super Porpoise.  one of my goals over the winter is to repair and refinish them – 1st priority will be the Sunfish parts, followed up by the Super Porpoise parts.

1st picture – both of the daggerboards.  the Super Porpoise daggerboard is the one on top – it’s about 3 inches longer than the Sunfish daggerboard.  width and thickness were fairly close.  the profile at the edges of the blades are slightly different as well.  the longer blade is probably to help balance the larger sail area on the Super Porpoise (85 square feet vs 75 square feet).  you can also see that the retaining spring has been replaced on the Super Porpoise blade – looks like a custom/home-made job.

2nd picture – this is the Sunfish rudder and tiller.  you can sort of see a small crack right at the center of the rudder, up near the rudder cheek.  a better view is shown in the 3rd picture. aside from the crack, the rudder appears to be in much better condition than the daggerboard.

3rd picture – a close-up shot of the Sunfish rudder.  some noticeable wear from the rudder cheek, and the crack is visible, starting right at the tip of the rudder cheek.

4th picture – another close-up shot of the Sunfish rudder.  another small crack is visible on the left side.  the other crack is just barely visible towards the right-hand side.  this is the same crack that is seen in the picture above (it starts at the top of the rudder, extends behind the rudder cheek, and continues after that).

5th picture – this is the Super Porpoise rudder and tiller.  you can see that the rudder hardware is completely different here.  there is no spring mechanism – the rudder swings freely, which would help with landing on beaches.  I think the circular part on the rudder is actually a weight (lead, maybe?) to keep the rudder from floating.  the rudder attaches to the bracket on the boat with that small pin (see picture 6 as well below).  I think it’s got an old piece of electrical wire to keep it from getting lost!  also – it’s sort of hard to see, but there is a thin gauge piece of metal, U-shaped, at the top of the rudder bracket.  the mainsheet snap connects to this piece (there is no traveler/bridle like a Sunfish would have).


6th picture – close shot of the rudder cheek assembly for the Super Porpoise.  the manufacturer is stamped into the metal: Molded Products Co, Dowagiac, Michigan.

7th picture – a close up shot of the weight in the Super Porpoise rudder.  large crack visible near the weight – that one might be tricky to repair.

I’ll post more pictures as I start working on them.

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5 Responses to “daggerboard & rudder repairs”


  1. 1 messing about November 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks for spotting that the other messing about and I had birthdays close to each other. Spooky!

    • 2 Joe September 15, 2011 at 8:57 am

      I just bought an old Super Porpoise and am planning to ‘rebuild’ parts of it that are damaged. I read…with great interest…your info on the rudder and would like to know how you did with updating it. I plan to buy a new rudder cheek (the rudder assembly was updated to a Sunfish assembly by the original owner) but am thinking of cutting my own rudder and daggerboard. Any help, advice, suggestions, etc. would be really appreciated. Thanks!

      • 3 my2fish September 15, 2011 at 9:36 am

        joe, my refinishing plans were more or less put on hold. I started the stripping and sanding process on the Super Porpoise parts, but didn’t get completed before I got side-tracked with other things. my goal for this upcoming winter is to get back on track with this project, and re-finish all the wooden parts I have right now (2 Sunfish rigs, 1 Super Porpoise rig).

        for building your own, I would try to use a single piece of wood, preferably the mahogany like original (or a similar water resistant wood). you might contact John at JO Woodworks for information – he builds the daggerboards for the Sunfish manufacturer. I’ve emailed him back and forth about refinishing questions – he’s very helpful.

        and if you decide to skip making them on your own, he has the daggerboards for very reasonable prices.

        cheers, my2fish

  2. 4 mark June 20, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I have a question for any one who can help me rig a super porpoise . The question is I can not put the mail sail even with the alum pole that attaches to the boat its self WHY ?I have come to the conclusion that s some pressure is preventing it but where?

  3. 5 chertl lucenti July 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    My dad gave me a sunfish boat. needing a lot of repaires this is the only sight that gave me the best info on how to refinish all the wood almost finished. thank you


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