Over the years we have increased the sail area of Ruffian and in turn, when fully loaded makes the auto-pilot work even harder, using an increased amount of limited energy from the batteries. To overcome this problem, we have built a new, more balanced rudder by this we mean the rudder stock is further aft into the body of the rudder.

After having the plans blown up to full size, we started the very lengthy process of building a plug (a full size model of the rudder made from MFD, foam, GRP and filler paste)



First the shape was cut.




Next the individual profiles, which vary every 100mm throughout it’s length were cut.




Then we used a router to make groves in the basic shape and glued them in place.




Everything was roughly ‘faired in’





Next builders sheet foam was roughly cut to shape and glued into position on both sides.




Again this was ‘faired in’ and covered with GRP resin, before two thicknesses of GRP




Followed by a covering of filler paste








Final fairing and polished with release wax. Plug complete!





From the plug the molds were made, first gel coated.





Given a few thicknesses of GRP , laminate extra ribs in for strength




Then cut from the plug.






After filling any imperfections and polishing again with release wax.The ‘shells’ of the rudder were finally made.

This time we used orange gelcoat


The stainless steel work was prepared and glassed to one shell





Before the two halves were bonded together with thickened epoxy glue




And finally filled with expanding foam, and re- sealed to prevent any ingress of water.









The old rudder was removed and replaced .