a DIY Sunfish rudder build [video]

saw this video posted on the Sunfish Forum.

thoughts? it certainly is pretty creative.  also quite simple and fairly low cost.

I didn’t realize you could flatten PVC like that – but I’d worry about it’s long term strength. pine and plywood also don’t strike me as the best suited for exposure to water, or having very much structural strength and stiffness.

it seems like old rudders are pretty readily available if you look around, so I’m not sure I’d try to recreate something that works if I can find an old one nearby to buy and maybe refinish if need be.  plus, I sail enough on the Great Lakes that I don’t think I’d trust sailing in heavy wind and waves with a home-made creation that might not hold up under the heavier loading from heavy sailing.

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5 Responses to “a DIY Sunfish rudder build [video]”


  1. 1 Pandabonium July 12, 2014 at 12:23 am

    As he says in the video, it’s for light duty only. Pretty nice for an economical rudder.

    The centerboard and rudder on the Lido 14 I sailed as a kid were both made of mahogany and lasted well with just refinishing and varnish after some years.

    • 2 my2fish July 12, 2014 at 6:58 am

      Very good point, Panda. Sometimes I am overly critical, forgetting that what works for another person is a fine solution! The wood parts on Sunfish are mahogany as well. Philippine mahogany, I think. Supposed to be well suited to time in the water.

  2. 3 Dan July 13, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I guys. I appreciate the comments. Just saw the cross post of my rudder video. It was used on a very protected 100 acre lake and was very responsive and sailed well. I’ve since built a slightly larger one using some different parts that were lying around. I agree that for any ‘real’ waters something more beefy would be a better idea. Also – bending PVC is really useful for all kinds of boat things; washers, backings, places that get wet for reinforcement, and…as odd as it sounds I’ve even made CNC cut lithopanes from it. Here’s the lithopane test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfg01Lq2b2M


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