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The Eventide Rudder Modification.

  Since the earliest Eventides sailed, there was a call for improvements to the rudder.

I am very pleased to say that Maurice was aware of this  and willing to offer help straight away, he drew this modification in 1964, and when ever he had a rudder query sent the correspondent a copy of this drawing.  It was much later, included with the plans, when I was handling them.

Click on pic for larger version

The drawing above is part of one he did as an add on,  for both the Eventide 24 and the 26.

If you use the general dimensions as a guide, you will not go far wrong.  When I converted my 24ft Eventides rudder it was almost exactly this size, however when I built my Eventide 26, that stretched a bit to 27'3", the rudder was a bit deeper, as the keel was also modified to be 3" deeper than the plan.  the reason for this was simply the requirement of extra ballast, outside, where it does more good!  so I built my keel to be the same as the Steel version of the Eventide 26.

The net result is the rudder needed to be that little bit deeper to match to the keel and skeg.  When I lowered the keel, I did not extend the deep part right to the rudder, but instead left the rudder heel about 3" higher than the bottom of the keel, reasoning that if I touched bottom hard, I wanted to do so with the keel first!   I took my idea for this from the 'Vancouver 27', for those that know the design.

In the end the rudder was about 3" deeper than shown in the drawing. Bear in mind that the waterline shown o the sketch is a deal lower than most Eventides!  Make the top of the rudder blade to the WL or near enough. Mine is approx.  an inch below.

My first rudder for my 24, was based on a sheet of 5mm sheet steel!  I had it cut the exact size of blade and stock.  I drilled large holes through it and then laminated up a timber, Iroko stock and a multi layered ply blade.  Each lamination of ply, cut in duplicate, one for each side, was smaller than the last. Once glued in place with Epoxy, and screwed through using the holes I had made in the steel base, it was then faired off with a  belt sander and coated in epoxy.  the idea was to create a pair of Aero foil sections, back to back.  this makes the rudder far more efficient and takes out the flutter you get from a flat blade.

More recently I repeated this for the E.26+ and used exactly the same technique but based on a sheet of 3mm ply!  It worked out a deal lighter and just as strong.

The Rudder fittings were designed by me to fit in with the shape of the transom, it is slightly curved, and the locations of the beams on the inside.  All fittings above the W.L. are S/S.  

The heel fitting was mild steel, welded to the original  skeg fitting and regalvanised.  I made up a rudder heel fitting  in mild steel with a pin to locate in a tuphnol bush let into the skeg extension.


15 years on there is now enough play to feel, so I will be removing the rudder and fittings to fit bushes, tuphnol I expect, and replacing the S/S long pivot rod.  The mild steel fittings on the underwater sections are fine, but the tuphnol bearing has gone, 15 years is not bad for that, so I will make a replacement in tuphnol.

I have dug out some pics of the rudder for you to see the fittings and the shape, it works!

The added bonus is that a transom hung rudder allows the tiller to be just into rather than dominate the cockpit, and at the same time increases lateral resistance aft, thus reducing further that weather-helm.  Add to that the ease of inspection and I cannot think why all Eventides are not built or converted to this style.


John Williams,

Fiddler's Green.