Reply To: Rudder Profiles
Hi Nick, welcome to OKs! Did you mean sections rather than profiles? The profile is fairly tightly controlled, but the section is free (max thickness 20mm). I think the current thinking is that foam is lighter but it’s easier to make a stiff rudder in wood. current sections are mostly fairly blunt at the front with a sharp trailing edge. i think the idea is to avoid stalling with a blunt entry, minimise drag with a sharp trailing edge. Finish is regarded as pretty crucial. UK tillers are mostly carbon, glassed onto the top of the rudder stock, but NZ sailors are using tillers that are hinged on the stock: makes it easier to sit on the stern deck when you are surfing downwind in a breeze.
I think that’s roughly the state of play. I’ve been using a rudder with a sharp entry this year, which I like: I think it gives better feedback. Can’t claim to have gone any faster but that’s probably pointing the boat in silly directions rather than anything to do with the shape of the rudder!