2014 © Graham Rabbitts [You are welcome to use original material from this site, but the source should be acknowledged]


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At the end of out first season, I decided that the boat would handle better with a bigger rudder. It was a major piece of timber engineering that I could not have attempted without help from Greg, my brother in law. The rationale for this change is contained in a feature published on the Rustler web site. This is a membership only site, but if anyone is interested, that report  can be made available.

In essence, examinations will show that all Holman and Pye designs have a relatively small rudder. Since the design was drawn, the boats have become heavier because of all our modern cruising equipment, and the propeller aperture has been increased.

The larger rudder helps when on a close fetch (it does not stall as easily) and greatly assists manoeuvring in tight spaces such as marinas, a frequent problem with long keel boats with a cutaway forefoot.

[In the 1950s, Belmore was a 36ft boat with similar hull shape built for the Bermuda Race which is often a close fetch. She had a much bigger rudder than the standard Rustler. Another boat with a similar hull shape and rig was the Giles 38, which had a rudder shape between Belmore and the standard Rustler. Ariadne’s new rudder was broadly modelled on that shape]

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