SV Scot Free III – Frank Mulholland UK

Dear Peter, It has been more than 3 years since we installed your excellent Windpilot and we have travelled from the UK, across the Atlantic, all over the Caribbean and now up the West coast of the USA. The Windpilot has steered most of the way and has performed outstandingly.

This year, with the large amount off Sargasso Weed in the Atlantic, we have had problems stopping the servo rudder from kicking up when weed collects on it.

I have two ideas which may help with this. What is your opinion?

1. In order to replace the nylon “fuse” screw, the servo blade must be removed so that the broken-off piece can be extracted. I was thinking of drilling the hole straight through the cheeks of the rudder fork (430) and the rudder blade head (440) so that the broken piece of nylon can be pushed through, and out, with a small screwdriver and a new nylon screw inserted without removing the rudder blade. This could then be done quickly at the back of the boat without risking dropping the rudder blade in the water. Do you see any problems in me doing this?
2. An idea to stop weed from collecting in the first place could be by making the leading edge of the rudder blade look like a very blunt hacksaw blade (with the teeth pointing down). When a piece of weed collects the serrations would stop the weed from sliding up the blade and as the boat rises and falls the weed would be forced further down with each rise and dip. It would eventually be washed away from the bottom of the blade. I have watched the weed gather and it is only when several pieces start to accumulate that it becomes too heavy for the nylon “fuse” screw.
I may experiment with a temporary wooden blade with the serrations cut into the leading edge or perhaps by glueing a couple of strips of ski “skins” (used by ski mountaineers on the soles of their skis, to enable them to slide skis uphill) to the sides of the blade.
Of course, I may just have been at sea and in the sun too long 😄
Kind Regards
Frank Mulholland
SV Scot Free III

Good morning Frank,
seaweed seems to be the sailors pain … eventhough any of us will be aware that any of us is responsible about its reason: no clean ocean any longer…
Basicly the plastic screw is has been considered not as kind of  „fuse“ but more a small hint about the perfect positioning of the rudder relevant to its holding shaft…. as other wise you may have a need of about 100 spare srews… If you have been trained for the perfect alignment … just no further need of new screws…

My advice: please do not turn / lock the bolt 435 too hard … enabling the rudder oar to tilt to the aft … avoiding any risk of getting snapped …

You will realize soon oncen the rudder has tilted to the aft … as pull will get very poor almost suddenly.

I have intentionally designed to rudder shaft at 10 degree to the aft … enabling better clearance from flotsam of any kind …
best from Germany

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