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.

philip linsell

I've looked at another 275 to see if this problem is more common.

What I found was that there is a hardwood block fitted into the bottom of the rudder stock, for the rotating blade to bump onto when fully down.

With time, use and saltwater this block degrades, allowing the blade to over-rotate until it strikes against the aluminum stock when chips can occur in the blade. Replacing the block looks a simple task.


Martin Watson
Hi Ken. I know it's not exactly the same but I had a somewhat similar problem on Frith when I first bought her. The rudder was over rotating and therefore the rudder was unbalanced, displaying lee helm and difficulty in keeping the rudder central (over controlling). I fixed the problem by replacing the lower pintle bolt with a longer one, onto which I threaded a piece of two inch diameter Delrin which I had centrally drilled and threaded. I had to remove it a few times to remove a little bit ( I made it initially overlong deliberately) but eventually got it just right. It has been on there since 2015 and is still doing its job of course incidentally, stopping the rudder from banging against the stock. Delrin is softer than alloy so it does not appear to have caused any damage to the rudder, and is also of course, further away from the hinge point and impacting on the top of the forward edge the rudder, rather than the vertical face near the hinge bolt.
Martin Watson