more rudder questions

Michael Leone

You call that a sail?
So, I have this beutiful mahogany rudder and I have
already figured out the pull up line for beaching and shallow
water. now I need to keep the rudder down but still allow
it to kick up if I hit something.
Any ideas out there? pictures would be great!
One solution is to add weight to the lower part of the rudder so gravity holds it down. The typical appraoch is to use a hole saw to remove part of the rudder and press in a round piece of lead as shown below.



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Last edited:
Pull downs?

Never used a pull-up.I do use the reverse,a small cleat on the leading edge with light weight bungy through a fairlead on the tiller head to a tie-off somewhere within reach at the stern.Works on beaches and when busy hitting shoals.Now I'm moving to an aluminium plate.String-free.
Good Luck.John
If you find that bungie cord or a weighted rudder blade won't do the job, you can also modify a store-bought plastic Clamcleat to release the downhaul line and allow the rudder to kick-up. The cleat has a V-shaped trench down it's middle where the rope gets grabbed by ridges. Normally the farther down you go in the trench, the narrower it gets. The harder you pull the line, the farther down in the grooves it sinks, making the cleat very secure. To release it, you pull up and back on the rope and it comes up and out of the cleat.

To modify it for self release, you drill a horizontal through-hole along the bottom of the trench that's just a shade bigger in diameter than the line being used. That way the ridges will still grab the line in normal use, but if you hit something hard enough, the line burys deeper into the ridges until it hits the new hole and then runs free. It does take some brain work and maybe a bit of experimentation to get the cleat size, line size and new hole size figured out so that it will hold in normal use and release when needed, but once that's done they work pretty well. The drawing below will show you the basics of how they work (the plastic versions of Clamcleats are actually black). I don't think it will work on the aluminum Clamcleats though as the sidewalls don't have enough flex.


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Thanks Tod that sounds it will work for me.
I will post some pictures of the whole rig when
it's finished