The Rudder:

The rudder is mounted in an arrangement which can be viewed in one of the plans presented in the download section. On these boats there is a nut fixing a long bolt running all the way through the skeg upwards. This nut sits in front of the stuffing box of the rudder shaft inside the hull. This See pictures below.
The Ohlson 38 (see
plans presented) have different arrangements for the rudder. On other boats the lower plate holding the hinge for the rudder is bolted directly into the skeg at the lower end. To see the plate, the wooden tip of the skeg must be carefully taken off (about 2" of the tip is glassed on to the hull) and a bronze plate becomes visible. Releasing the three bolts holding this plate against the keg allows removal of the rudder including the shaft.

This pictures provide a reasonable view into the anatomy of the blade: The blade is manufactured from two parallel halves, the port-half being laminated to stainless steel spokes on the rudder stock. The core is made from foam, which eventually will draw water, most likely from the top where the rudder stock penetrates the blade. The blade is a good deal longer then both the rudder stock and the skeg so if it breaks off it is unlikely to get lost completely but to loose the bottom, unsupported part as it happened to Dutch boat John Martin of Rye after repeated Atlantic Ocean crossings.

Some owners have drilled two holes into the rudder blade to let the water run or drip out but eventually a new rudder needs to be made. For details down-load the respective drawing in the Drawings and Plans Section of the website. Repeatedly owners have decided to add more strength to this construction by designing their own shoe-type base plate as can be seen below for John Martin.


Photos Courtesy of boat owner