dinghy rudder hardware

Moderator: Moderator

Post Reply

dinghy rudder hardware

Post by darrylk500 »

I've seen one nice way to have a solid rudder that can be easily attached while the boat is in the water, maybe being blown around. It was on a Scandanavian dinghy, and consisted of a brass rod attached to the transom. The gudgeons were attached to the rudder, one of which was held horizontally to fit onto the bar, then the rudder was rotated vertically to attach the upper gudgeon.
I haven't explained this very well, but maybe someone knows what I'm talking about, and knows what they are called, and more importantly, where to get one.
I'm also interested in other creative ways to accomplish the same thing, ie. attaching a rudder while in the water.
The option is of course a lifting rudder.
Appreciate any wisdom.
User avatar
Recognized Old Salt
Posts: 697
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:55 am
Location: Port Ludlow, Washington

Re: dinghy rudder hardware

Post by simeoniii »

Darryl, that sound really interesting.

Here's a link to something I recently stumbled on which is in the same vein and I quote below from their ad. Scroll down to see the photo re the "Rudder Fittings"

"We build more wherries than anything else. And the one thing they all share in common is that typical rudder fittings aren't really suitable.

It's a problem common to every boat where there is narrow bearing for the lower rudder fitting. That includes double enders, Whitehalls, and even dories.

This is a set of bronze rudder fittings for a wherry. We use gudgeons only. Rudder gudgeons, as seen at the top, attach to the body of the rudder with #10 rivets. We only offer one size, and these are designed for a 3/4" thick rudder. The transom gudgeon (2nd one up) works well up high on the transom. The sternpost gudgeon (at the bottom of the photo) is unique. It is just the ticket for down low on a wherry transom where it's narrow. If you think they're unusual, you're right. It is our design, and we make them. A piece of 5/16" bronze rod passes through all four fittings and acts as a hinge pin.

Why no pintles? Because they have a nasty tendency to become unshipped. Attached using the rod, should the rudder strike bottom, it can jump and then drop right back down in place. We've been using this system for years, and never had a problem"
Even though they are not as you envision and are suited for a mere 3/4" rudder, I hope this help you or someone else.

Voyaging with Noddy, #11
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:21 pm

Re: dinghy rudder hardware

Post by ILikeRust »

Another option is a little spring clip which is easy to make yourself.

An old boat-builder showed me this trick when I was fixing up an Ocean Yachts Islands 17.

It's just a flat strip of metal, maybe 1" wide and 4 or 5" long. Clamp the first inch or so in a vise and put a slight bend in it, so that when you screw that small end to the transom, the remaining 3 or 4 inches sticks out at an angle. Drill a couple holes through the small, flat end to attach it to the transom.

Install the strip with the long piece that angles out away from the transom pointing down, directly above one of the rudder pintles.

When you ship the rudder, you push that little strip forward, against the transom, to allow the pintles to slide down into the gudgeons. Once they're in place, the strip springs back out, with the end of the strip over the pintle. So there's no way for the rudder to unship itself.

To remove the rudder, press the strip of metal in, against the transom, to push it forward out of the way of the pintle, and lift the rudder off.

It's so simple, and yet it works perfectly well.

I made one out of some flat stainless steel stock that I had bought from McMaster-Carr.
New Contributor
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:53 pm

Re: dinghy rudder hardware

Post by sunbird10201 »

I guess I'm answering this long after the question was asked, but.....
What you describe, a rod mounted to the outside of the transom with gudgeons mounted to the rudder is/was standard setup on the DYER dinghies for many years. That hardware is available through the WOODENBOAT Catalog, they offer it as an option for the NUTSHELL PRAMS and the SHELLBACK DINGHY, they sell plans to build these dinghies as well as kits of all the wood parts pre-cut.

But, anyway, the rudder hardware as you describe is available there www.woodenboatstore.com

price is $124.00, a bit steep.... but?

My small sailboats have all had pintles on the rudder and gudgeons on hte transom. The lower pintle is always longer than hte top one, the idea being that you insert the lower pintle into the lower gudgeon first, then insert the upper pintle into the upper gudgeon. This makes it easier to install the rudder, since yo uare only trying to line up one pintle at a time, and getting the lower one in first makes getting the rudder on much easier.
User avatar
Regular Contributor
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:12 pm

Re: dinghy rudder hardware

Post by PAR »

Have a look here . . .


Several to choose from, depending on rudder head size and transom configuration. The KB hardware for the NutShell is nice, but pricey bronze castings. I think it's clever, but unnecessary, when a simple and much lighter lanyard can be rigged to avoid the rudder floating off. The little "keeper" thing mentioned above, is standard fare for small boat rudders and will prevent the rudder from coming free, unless you forget to flip the little tab down when you hang the rudder.
Post Reply