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Sailboat KnowledgeBase

Rudder to Outboard steering link

Author
Ron Mehringer
Article
This year I decided to link my rudder and outboard to make steering while under power easier. Here you can see the whole system viewed from above.

The rod is 1/4" aluminum from Home Depot.

View from above

The connection to the outboard was simple on my Honda Four Stroke. I simply drilled a 5/16" hole in the existing metal tab. The connecting rod, 1/4" aluminum, was hammered to a right angle bend and then just dropped into the hole.

Outboard connection

To make the rudder connection I fashioned an attachment plate from a simple piece of galvanized metal from the Home Depot. It started as a flat plate. I think they are used to join two pieces of wood framing. Folded it half, then folded out one quarter of the material on each side of the initial fold 90 degrees. Drilled a 5/16" hole in the tab to accept the connecting rod. Using the existing holes in the metal plate as guides I drilled four 3/16" holes thru the rudder sideplates. Then rivetted the plate to the rudder. I put an extra 90 degree bend in the connecting rod on this side to prevent it from accidentally falling out. Right now a corner of the metal plate extends dangerously past the rear edge of the rudder side plates. I plan to cut that off to avoid having that sharp edge sticking out.

Rudder connection

Here's another view of the system.

The project was pretty easy, done on land. My main concern is wear at the joints. Now that I see how well this concept works, I might try to improve on it by using tie rods or something similar. All in all, this proved to be a very easy project.

Ron Mehringer
s/v Hydro-Therapy

Complete system, another view.
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Rudder to Outboard steering link
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