Author Topic: Vertical Rudder Assessment  (Read 405 times)

John Leyland

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Vertical Rudder Assessment
« on: July 09, 2017, 12:53:17 PM »
For those of you who have already received and installed the new vertical rudder brackets, what is your assessment of the upgrade?   Do you notice a difference upwind as well as downwind?
Viper 191 - "Moistened Bint"
Vancouver, BC

Michelle Lee

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Re: Vertical Rudder Assessment
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2017, 10:35:53 AM »
I sailed with the vertical rudder for the first time this weekend at the Fort Walton Beach GYA Meigs regatta (thanks, FWB for hosting such a fun event!)  Nice test with the range of wind conditions, from 4-6 Sunday morning on the way out to the course, averaging 10-15 during most of the racing and even a little squall Saturday that brought gusts topping out at 40 and causing the last race to be abandoned.

The vertical rudder was noticeably easier to control in high wind.  I'm a small woman and often sail with my friends who happen to also be small women, so being a light team we've had more than our share of broaching excitement in the past.  Even when the squall brought the high gusts this weekend, the vertical rudder was much more stable and easier to handle.  We never came close to broaching or being out of control in the gusts and the additional rudder stability was a big factor in that. 

On the flip side, I missed some of the information that the swept back rudder used to give me.  With the swept back rudder, we often made adjustments to the crew weight placement, rig tune and sail trim based on what I would feel on the tiller.  Especially in light to moderate air, small changes on the boat translated into large changes on how the swept back rudder responded, so we used that feedback for tuning.  The vertical rudder does not provide that same level of feedback.  In other words, the vertical rudder feels very neutral and made the boat feel balanced, even when I suspect there were slight tweaks that could have been made; in the past we made those small tweaks because the swept back rudder didn't always feel neutral, which prompted us to know when something was off.  And... it just sounds different.  This weekend, even when our speed was fine, the vertical rudder was making noises that I would have interpreted as "slow" if the swept back rudder had been making them.  Hard to describe and the sound obviously isn't a problem, just something new to get used to.

In heavy air and for those that don't use tiller/rudder feedback to make tuning adjustments, the vertical rudder is awesome.  In light to moderate air and for those of us who used tiller/rudder feedback to know when the boat was well tuned and balanced, we might have a little nostalgia for the swept back rudder.

Overall, I liked the vertical rudder and think it will be an improvement.

John Leyland

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Re: Vertical Rudder Assessment
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 03:03:39 PM »
Great info! Thanks Michelle.
Viper 191 - "Moistened Bint"
Vancouver, BC

Jason Hyerstay

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  • Streetwise - Viper 640 #195
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Re: Vertical Rudder Assessment
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 09:26:05 PM »
We installed the new bracket. Overall, it is a great improvement.

Helm is very neutral. Drivers will have to adjust. There are new sounds.

It was hard to center the tiller with no marks. I think Rondar should make vertical marks on both ends.

The curved tiller is higher and presses more on the split-tail main sheet and rear bridle. I would rather have a lower profile tiller. I would pay for a lower tiller.

The bracket has scored the rudder on both sides. It might even be worth it for owners to press the rudder max starboard and max port, and then re-seal the rudder.

Our old ring ding does not fit the new top pintle without distortion. I would love to have a right-sized pin solution.

The lower pintle rudder hardware is now in the water flow. We are trying to move even further forward in many conditions.

I recommend 4200 instead of 5200 in case you need to take the bracket off to re-adjust or test tiller alignment in a shop. Our bracket actually has a slight curve to it, so surface adhesion probably wouldn't even be effective. There is probably 1-2 mm of daylight.

I am happy that the class supports improvements in Viper 640 ergonomics and boat-handling.

Cheers,

Jason
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 10:34:22 PM by Jason Hyerstay »
Jason Hyerstay - Streetwise - Viper 640 #195 - Lake Champlain Yacht Club, Shelburne, Vermont, USA, http://lcyc.info/racing/viper_640