Interesting Rudder and Tiller

Max Peterson

LOVES Wooden Canoes
I'm posting some photos of an 18' Old Town Guide with rudder and tiller. Has anyone seen a rudder this large or this kind of tiller arrangement before?


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More photos

The last picture shows this rudder with the Old Town rudder from another 18' in front for contrast. Also, the next to last shows a logo painted on. Anyone recognize it? There is a rectangular plate on the bow deck with the number 312 which I assume might be a livery number. The tiller mechanism looks to be home-made using an oarlock, but quite sophisticated. The horns on the rudder and tiller were connected with steel cables and the location shown is accurate. The mast step and partner are not as refined and much overbuilt. It came without mast, spars, sails, or leeboards. I would assume that it carried a rather large sail. The canoe was shipped to R. C. Price & Co. at the foot of Federal St., Pittsburgh, PA on June 23, 1937. Any ideas and information would be appreciated.


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It has occurred to me that the reason for this extra large rudder may be an attempt to counteract a balance problem. Page 177 of Todd Bradshaw's book "Canoe Rig - The Essence and the Art" describes the dynamics of this. I have had to get a larger rudder for my 1927 sailing canoe described at to correct a "weather helm" problem.

The picture at shows a small sailing canoe rudder which had the gudgeons reversed. This amused me and may have also been done by someone who wanted to increase the size of the rudder below the water line.