Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "W32 Rudder"
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Thread: "W32 Rudder"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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W32 Rudder

Mark Penny

Hi Bud thanks for such a great site. Am about to but a w32 which needs a new rudder. Can I buy a complete unit new (how much $!), or are there plans available to build one myself. Also, can you get a brochure and service manual to me here in the uk (and for what cost) or shall I wait until I arrive in the States

Bud Taplin


I sent you an email already. A new rudder is not available, since the mold is long gone. I would recommend building one from high density foam, with a fiberglass covering. I can measure a rudder on a W32 that is in a storage yard close to my office.

James Housel


My boat just came out in Sydney BC and has experieced a delamination of the rudder skin from the foam core. A very pricey repair. Any wisdom to offer?

Bud Taplin

It should not be that difficult a repair. Cut away the loose fiberglass skin, and let the foam dry out. Fill any voids with foam, and seal the foam with epoxy resin. You should then be able to lay up new skins on the foam of the rudder.

Alan and Sue Johnson

Bud: I will be removing the rudder on my W32 "High Cotton" for restoration work. I have noticed that some rudders have modifications, such as thining the leading and trailing edge and lenghting and squaring the lower portion. Is this something you recommend and are ther other modifications that you suggest?

Bud Taplin

If you want to do some modification to the rudder, then I would recommend shaping it similar to the rudder on the majority of the W32's. I can send you a drawing of the rudder if you want. Thinning the trailing edge would also give you slightly better performance. Doing the Dave King modification to the stern of the boat would give you a much greater performance enhancement.

Alan and Sue Johnson

Bud: I have now completed the modifications and fairing out the rudder. I am ready to replace the cheeks. The original Ash cheeks have way too much rot and will need to be replaced. I have a source of custom milled clear Oak that I could use without doing any laminations. I understood that there is a piece of steel that takes the load from the tiller to the rudder and that the cheeks were more cosmetic. There is no such steel thing on my rudder. My question is: should I have one and can I get one from you?

Bud Taplin

Alan, I have one of the stainless steel fabrications available in stock. It will properly transmit the load from the tiller to the rudder. The wood cheeks are cosmetic only, and they can be made from Starboard plastic material and will last forever. Oak will rot if not kept well protected.

Contact me directly by email if you want the SS fabrication.

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This site is provided as service to Westsail Owners by Jack Webb on Westsail 32, Hull #438, at http://HighSeasDrifter.net,
This site is provided as service to Westsail Owners by  Jack Webb (s/v Drifter, Westsail 32, Hull #438)