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24' Sportsman Rudder Size

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Mark Christensen
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24' Sportsman Rudder Size

Post by Mark Christensen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:12 am

I have a '61 24' Sportsman. I love the boat, but I notice that it gets super squirrely when crossing wakes at about 45 degrees. Before I get blasted for crossing waves at 45 degrees, I know, I shouldn't do that, but sometimes it's inevitable. I was talking to another 24' owner and he said that the rudder on that boat was always a little too small. I've got the boat upside down at the moment and am considering having the rudder made larger. Is it worth doing this? or should I just buy another rudder? Can you add to cast bronze? Am I just being crazy? Looking for any input.
1961 24' Chris Craft Sportsman - CUA-24-0007C
1940's Homebuilt 14' Racing Hydroplane

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Bilge Rat
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Re: 24' Sportsman Rudder Size

Post by Bilge Rat » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:58 am

The original rudder design is a compromise of not creating too much drag at high speed balanced by somewhat reasonable handling at slow speed dock maneuvers. Any single screw inboard owner knows the situations that the boat should not be put in when docking, because she won't be able to get out of that gracefully. Know what she cannot do, like back to starboard with a right hand wheel. A big "barn door" rudder may help with the slow speed handling but totally ruin high speed capability.

Modifying the rudder to help with one thing may cause other unwanted affects at different speeds. The "squirrely" behavior when crossing a wake at 45 degrees may have more to do with the relatively flat aft planning section of the 24 foot Sportman hull rather than the rudder design. During the crossing, you might be getting knocked off plane and temporarily being affected by bow-steer, which will be squirrely until you get back up on plane.
1966 Lyman Cruisette 25 foot "Serenity Now!"
1953 Chris Craft Sportsman 22 foot "Summerwind"

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Re: 24' Sportsman Rudder Size

Post by mfine » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:58 am

I agree that the hull has more to do with the issue than the rudder and that you will pay a price for a larger rudder.

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