Ken Surplice
I would appreciate your thoughts on how to manage chips on my Parker 275 rudder blade. The rudder is the long version of the 275 rudder, with aluminium cheeks. During the season, the rudder is just fine, steering, lowering and raising without fuss. There is a light clunk on lowering when it reaches the end of travel.

At the bottom of the aluminium cheeks of the rudder stock there is a small transverse plate. I don’t yet have a photo of this. This is the end stop the rudder touches when it is fully down. When the boat comes out for its autumn break each year, there are chips in the fibre glass in this area where it touches the transverse plate. The chips appear at the side of the rudder while the flat forward facing portion of the rudder is undamaged.

A friend was with me while I was lifting off the rudder. He suggested that instead of doing my annual patching of the damaged area, I trimmed it back so that it would not hit whatever was damaging the fibreglass.

My questions
- Is the chipped area of the rudder suitable for a light cutting back and re-sealing (do you see what I did there 😃?)
- Have you encountered chips and found a way to prevent them?

Rudder chips overview

Rudder chips port

Rudder chips starboard
Ken Surplice
Problem solved, or at least understood. Where the transverse plate in the rudder stock stops the rudder when fully down, there are bulky vertical welds either side. These oversize welds are chipping the sides of my rudder. I've thinned the sides of the rudder a little as this is easier and probably safer than trying to grind down the welds.