Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Rudder Modifications On A Prairie 32"
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Thread: "Rudder Modifications On A Prairie 32"

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


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Rudder Modifications On A Prairie 32

Bill and Linda Kenner

I joined your association, since my Prairie 32 has many similarities to the Westsail 32, but the rudder on my Prairie has a flat leading edge for the length of the rudder and prop cutout area. That looks slow to me, and I have thought of rounding that edge. Another issue with the rudder for both boats is that they both diverge considerably from the ideal NASA shape. What would you think of extending the aft edge of the rudder and tapering it down to a fine edge? I have also thought of building up the rudder's leading sections to give it a better foil shape and in the process blend the straps for gudgeons or pentils (whichever) into the rudder's surface. You can see a picture of the Prairie's rudder on the Scanmore/monitor wind vane's website.

What's been your experiences or impressions of the Prairie 32? I got this one at a bargain and so I have room to improve her.

Thanks, Bill

Bud Taplin

I am not familiar with the Prairie 32, so I cannot advise you on her. A tapered trailing edge to the rudder will improve performance. A flat leading edge does cause disturbance. Rounding the leading edge would help. Even more help can be obtained by widening the aft end of the hull, and closing the gap between the hull and rudder. Check with Dave King regarding the method he used to do this on his Westsail 32.

Bill and Linda Kenner

I am not surprised that you haven?t heard of the Prairie 32, since only about 40 boats were produced in Clearwater, FL in the late?70s and early?80s. The manufacturer changed to powerboat production and dropped sailboats completely. The rig dimensions are I=44?, J=15?, P=39.5?, displacement 17,000, ballast 7,000 pounds, sail area 564. If you are interested I can email you photos of her. She looks like an updated version of the WS32 both above and below the waterline. She draws 4.5' with a cutaway forefoot.

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