We've just bought 3146 (Sledgehammer), and are currently getting used to it on our small lake. However - depth is an issue. Our lake is no more than 3 ft deep over about a third of it's area, and we've got problems with the rudder being too long.
Tomorrow I'm hoping to do a small non-permanent downhaul mod with a few pulleys and rope/bungee, but if we decide to keep the boat permanently and persist we need to do something a little more permanent, i.e. use a smaller rudder, even though this will affect handling etc.
Our current two options are:
1) find a rudder off another boat with a similar stock that would fit, or
2) use the shape of the current rudder, altered, to design a template for a smaller rudder which I'd make out of marine ply.
Has anyone got recommendations on either of the above? Never made a rudder before, I'm sure it won't be easy, but I'm willing to give it a try. A friend of mine has a friend with a hinged rudder, so the entire blade is lifting as usual, but halfway down the blade the entire blade hinges as he also sails on a smaller lake - but this strikes me as the most difficult option of all.
Nobody has done it in merlins yet to my knowledge, but a daggerboard style stock would be the best option. Larks and N12s use it so you could copy one of their blades.
I used to sail an OK at Crawley Mariners YC, similar problem 3' round the edges, bout 6' max in the middle (handy if you capsize)!. I made a rudder stock with a self lifting system with bungee etc,etc. Seemed to work very well. I have an image of it somewhere which I can forward to you, or i'll post it to Mags (website manager) and he can stick it somewhere on the website.
I plan to sail my Merlin 908 at CMYC and will be faced with the same problem so will have to adapt the rudder to suit.
hi.I have experienced similar problems on a river. I now use a fireball rudder which works well. you may want to use a shorer but fatter rudder. the enterprise circit always used to use ovalled rudders in heavy winds due to more control when theirs more power.
I fixed up a 2:1 downhaul secured through an auto release clam cleat on the tiller. When the rudder hits someting it just pops open - no damage. Haven't had any premature releases either!
I would find a deeper lake, or stay on the bank and sail a radio controlled merlin.
However if the rudder is too long surely the center board is also a problem as it is longer?
Chris M: but then we'd have to have a rudder blade that would be short enough for the shallowest depth as we'd have to lift it in and out, we definitely need a hinged/lifting solution of some sort.
Richard B: Had a tinker around with the rudder tonight, just trying to jury-rig a temp solution so we can sail it and try it out, with a couple of small pulleys arranged from the tiller/rudder pintles. We'll see the weekend hopefully how well it works (or not)
Jon: We've got a few enterprise rudders hanging around at our club, so I may try to borrow one and try it, I suspect the tiller extensions won't be anywhere near long enough though.
John: yep, centreboard won't work well either, that's easier though as I'll just rig up a piece of rope+bungee going to one of the many jammer cleats we have, to hold it down.
Richard B: if you want to send the image, send it to the email address I'm posting with, and many thanks.
Hey - where do I get a radio controlled merlin rocket? could solve all my crew problems.