Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Even More Rudder

Today I finally finished the rudder and installed the ram.

I had to modify the rudder fixing as my original idea to keep it concealed turned out to be very difficult to fit and remove the rudder.  I wanted to fit it and remove it to be sure it could be done.  Whilst it could be done it was very fiddly, so in the end I filled the tapped holes and re-dilled so that the bolts are accessible from the outside.  Much easier, but not as pretty, but it will be under water so hopefully I won't see it that often.

As this is a Shilling type rudder its main advantage is that it will operate at angles over 35º  to give better stearing especially at low speeds.  The rudder arm supplied was calculated to move through 35º each way with a pre-drilled pivot point at 140mm but by re-drilling the pivot point to 104mm an angle of 50º each way was achieved. 




 This shows why I created the extra borrowed space

I'm glad that's done now it was pretty heavy work in an awkward space both inside the boat and outside.  

The whole assembly moves very smoothly and freely.  The bottom bearing is a simple steel on steel cup and plug set up and the top bearing is a self aligning pillow block bearing. 

I now consider myself an expert on the construction and installation of a Schilling type rudder.  I just hope it works as well as they are said to in this article.


  1. Hi Kevin, your rudder is looking good.

    One thing I can't see on the photos is : the seal that stops water coming through your rudder tube, specially when reversing.

    Good luck with your project.

    Peter. (bargemast)

  2. Hello Peter

    I did wonder about that. On my now sold NB water would come up the tube on very hard reverse. How necessary is this?

    I can fairly easily add one. I did think about using expanding foam to make a seal and covering the shaft in tin foil to stop adhesion.

  3. Hi Kevin,

    as you've had this happening with your narrowboat already, where the tube comes all the way to the rear-deck, and now the open section will be much further down, I really think that it's very necessary, and preferably with a real seal like your propshaft has.

    Succes with the job.

    Cheers, Peter (bargemast)

  4. Hi Kevin,

    I see that you've been back on the CWDF, where you've seen that you're not the only one with the same problem.

    You can see, and probably have seen already what I wanted to say with "a seal like your propshaft", by looking at the photo I put in about the way this watertight seal was made on my rudder shafts.

    There will surely be cheaper solutions to solve this problem.

    Good luck with finding the right one,


  5. Hello Peter. Yes I have, funny how it has been raised just as I was considering this issue.

    I will apply myself to the problem and blog my solution. The main issue I have is the shaft is not central to the tube so getting something turned will be out of the question. I think I will endnup putting some form of baffle plate at the bottom of the rudder.