Home Automobiles Boats & Boating How to Build a Wooden Rudder

How to Build a Wooden Rudder

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Written by C. L. Easey   

If you have determined that the rudder for your boat is too small, a new one will be needed. You can do this yourself by making a wooden rudder. However, you first need to determine how much bigger the rudder will need to be. Materials then need to be obtained for the project. Everything you need can be found at your local home improvement store.

Things You'll Need - 1/4-inch sheet of plywood, Pencil, Jigsaw, Tongue and groove planks, Wood glue for boat building, Clamps, Sandpaper, Strapping, Nails and roves

Step 1

Draw the pattern for the rudder on the sheet of plywood with the pencil. Cut around the pattern using a the jigsaw.

Step 2

Place the pattern up against the transom of the boat. Make a mark on the pattern for the pintle and the gudgeon.

Step 3

Place pieces of the tongue and groove planks on the pattern. Overlap the planking on the pattern.

Step 4

Apply wood glue to the edge of each plank and secure with the clamp. Allow at least four hours for the glue to dry. This will be the rudder blank

Step 5

Trace the shape of the pattern onto the rudder blank. Cut the shape of the rudder from the blank. Round the leading and tapered edges of the rudder with the sandpaper.

Step 6

Place three pieces of strapping down the height of the rudder. Secure the strapping onto the rudder with nails and roves.

Step 7

Insert the ends of the rudder into the pintle and gudgeon. Fasten the pintles and gudgeon securely onto the rudder.


The pintle and gudgeon allow the blade of the rudder to turn when steering the boat.

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