PBO's marine surveyor, Ben Sutcliffe-Davies, gives us a quick tour of boat rudders in Dell Quay boatyard, Chichester

Do you know rudders? Boatyards are a great place to get to know different types of keels, rudders and other underwater fittings. When Ben Sutcliffe-Davies came down to Chichester to do Maximus’s boat survey, we picked his brains. Here’s what he had to say about some of the rudders in the yard.

Transom-hung rudder

The beauty of this rudder arrangement is that it can lift up if needs be

This is a transom-hung rudder. You can see that it turns freely. You’ve got a pin going all the way through, a gudgeon, a long pintle and a split pin at the bottom that picks up all three in one go. The beauty of this is that it will lift up if needs be. This is quite a nice transom-hung rudder arrangement. 

Balanced spade rudder

A balanced spade rudder – be sure to turn your rudder hard-over to hard-over before launching

Here’s a balanced spade rudder. There’s nothing else supporting this rudder so it’s fixed with a stock through the bottom of hull. It’s quite nicely finished and feathered off. One of my tips is, always, before the boat goes in the water, put the tiller hard-over to hard-over, and mark the position of the rudder either side with chalk to check you’ve got full movement port to starboard. Sometimes the rams inside the rudder or the stops need adjusting to give you better turning ability.

Keel-hung rudder

A keel hung rudder is a nice arrangement on long-keeled boats

This is a keel-hung rudder on a long-keeled boat. The keel has a shoe on the bottom. The bearing on the bottom needs to be checked. Normally there’ll be a bronze washer in there. You have this midway strap, as you can see on this one, the strap has been leaking over a period of time. Again, check the movement and that it clears the prop both ways. This rudder arrangement is very reliable on long-keeled boats.

You can watch more of Ben’s videos on his YouTube channel Ben Sutcliffe Marine

For more videos about the PBO Project Boat Maximus see PBO’s YouTube channel.