Home Rigging Specifications Mast Rudder Boom Protest Flag Custom Covers


Rudder Keeper for Geary 18
 by Felix Moiteret

There are two pieces to a rudder keeper. The front keeper provides a friction-free bearing for the rudder shaft and the second, or rear keeper, slides in behind the first to hold everything together.

Most rudders have a large washer under the head. The forward keeper is cut away at the top so it can be inserted, then slid forward under the washer. Then the second keeper slides in behind it. The fit is neither tight nor sloppy - just easy.

The plan shows one wide keeper and one thin one. The only reason to have one thinner than the other is to identify one from the other quickly when inserting them.

The drawings describe a pair of keepers that will be lighter than solid wood and just as strong.

Note the bearings - these are critical to a good rudder keeper. One pair at the top and one pair at the bottom. Bearing buttons of Teflon, Delrin, Nylon, or almost any other plastic are screwed into the boat at the top and bottom of the forward end of the well. Similar buttons go on the front of the forward keeper. These four small bearings are all that contact the rudder shaft; letting it turn freely.

In making the keepers, take measurements of the well on your boat - don't build from a different boat's dimensions as they not all the same. If your rudder shaft is a full 7/8", then the opening is slightly wider. Shim the upper and lover spacers to take out excess slop, but don't make a tight fit. It's good to have the bottom spacers fill most of the hole to avoid the drag of wide cracks or protruding corners. There are two pieces to a rudder keeper. The front keeper provides a friction-free bearing for the rudder shaft and the second, or rear keeper, slides in behind the first to hold everything together.

Rudder Keeper Detail Click on Thumbnail to view larger image

Home Rigging Specifications Mast Rudder Boom Protest Flag Custom Covers