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Making of a rudder for a Dockrell 22 by Dave (Dockrell website owner) - 20/05/2022






Back in 2003 my wife and I were sailing our Dockrell 22 when the rudder snapped off at the point where the lower pintle is bolted on.

We were very fortunate because, although it was a bit embarrassing, several boats including a pleasure boat full of passengers came to our aid, the RNLI rescue

team towed us back to our mooring with their inflatable boat which was very kind of them.

Anyway to cut a long story short, after trying to find someone to make a new rudder at a sensible price, I decided to make one myself. I was recently asked about replacing a rudder so I hope this article may be of use.

As you will see in the photos, I first epoxied several layers of marine ply together and then using the broken rudder as a template I cut them to the basic shape. What the photos don't show though, because I forget to take them,is inside the rudder I sandwiched two stainless steel bars approx 40mm x 5mm x 450mm between the middle two layers. The bars were positioned inside along the length of the rudder near the pintle brackets to reinforce which is the weakest part of the rudder. Next came the hard work, shaping of the rudder. I used NACA 0012 foil tables to make a template of the rudder blade profile.

After a lot of planning, filling with epoxy mixing with microfibres as thickening additive which is good for bonding to wood, I gave the rudder several coats of epoxy.

Finally I painted the whole thing with white topcoat and then drilled the holes for the pintle brackets and bolted them on.


Click here once to download the excel spreadsheet showing the values and profile that I used for the rudder blade. You can then open the excel file in your downloads (top right of Firefox or Opera browsers).
If you are using Internet Explorer you will be prompted to open or save the file.
Click here to view a photo showing dimensions of an original dockrell 22 rudder.

Despite never having make a rudder before or used epoxy, filler and topcoat, I was very pleased how the rudder turned out It performed much better than the original probably due to the rudder blade profile that I used.














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1) Marine ply cut to basic shape then layers of ply epoxied together


2) Rudder blade planed and starting to take shape


3) Foil template used as guide to planning rudder blade























5) More Epoxy and filler - sanded smooth to shape and then coated in clear epoxy resin


6) After more sanding , I applied a final epoxy coat followed by two coats of white topcoat




















4) Marine ply epoxied onto stock to thickness of tiller bracket.

Filler and epoxy added to blade




























Finished at last with pintles fitted



























Hooray, happy to be back sailing again