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 The Catalina 250 rudder story
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Arlyn Stewart
Master Marine Consultant

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Initially Posted - 04/08/2002 :  13:18:58  Show Profile  Visit Arlyn Stewart's Homepage  Send Arlyn Stewart an AOL message  Send Arlyn Stewart a Yahoo! Message
This has been covered many times, but repeated here for those who may be new to the site and or not savvy to the past sites archives.

The 250 was released with the '95 model and I think actually started production in '94. I ordered in Dec '95 and received hull number 224 in January '96. All boats prior to and a few following that number were equipped with the first generation rudder either a spade or beaching. It was a balanced (at least the beaching was) rudder but had inadequate lift.

Catalina responded with the second generation having greater depth and breadth and much more lift in both a blade and beaching (kick up) version. This rudder had the lift needed, but was unbalanced. It's a mystery to me why Catalina designed an unbalanced rudder. It may be that they had molds for this from a Capri 26 or some other boat... I don't know.

This rudder was/is very effective at providing the lift needed but requires too much torque, more than autohelms and many skippers could cope with. In fact, enough at times that tillers and rudders were broke.

Catalina again responded with the third generation rudder. It is a balanced rudder and is made only in the blade configuration. It is shorter than the second to reduce draft but has adequate lift and of course balanced, it solved the torque issue.

The C250 needs a high lift rudder and with that amount of lift, it needs to be balanced. So, those with older years (pre 2000) should asses what they have and upgrade accordingly.

If you have a blade rudder, then its a no brainer, upgrade to the third generation.

If you have the first generation kick up... then upgrade to the third generation as well, keeping in mind it will be to a blade. The only other option here is to possibly get a 2nd generation from someone upgrading their 2nd generation kickup to a third generation rudder. I doubt if Catalina is willing to supply the 2nd generation kickup.

If however, you have the 2nd generation kickup...and like and want to keep the kickup...then you can simply modify the rudder head and thus balance the rudder. The mods are in the tech section and are not difficult.

If your unsure of what you have, describe yours in a question to the board... and you will get help in determining.

Catalina will work with you on the cost of these upgrades.

Arlyn C-250 W/B #224

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cathluk
Admiral

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513 Posts

Response Posted - 04/08/2002 :  14:41:09  Show Profile
We took our first sail with the new 3rd generation balanced rudder this weekend and it was great! I highly recommend this upgrade: no weather helm even heeled 15-20 degrees, more responsive steeting, & a better "feel" at the wheel. The best thing we ever did to this boat!<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>

Cathy
"Blown Away"
'97 C250WK #253

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acierno
1st Mate

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62 Posts

Response Posted - 04/08/2002 :  22:28:03  Show Profile
my boat is a 2000 wk and the hull is number 463. the blade reaches about the same draft as the bottom of the wing keel (maybe 2 inches less)....what generation do you think i have?
ron

ron

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cathluk
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Response Posted - 04/09/2002 :  08:06:45  Show Profile
If the rudder extends forward under the boat and not just straight down off the post then its probably the balanced 3rd generation rudder. If the rudder extends straight down off the post its not the balanced rudder. The length was about the same on both our rudders.

Cathy
"Blown Away"
'97 C250WK #253

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Bryan Beamer
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Response Posted - 04/09/2002 :  22:11:14  Show Profile
Hi Ron,

Your C250wk is the same year as mine. I had the same rudder you described. Reading the previous reply I believe the 2000 model has the second generation rudder. The rudder I have now is about 1" shorter and it extends under the stern. It is a little difficult to install the rudder and to take it off for trailering, but well worth the sail performance.

Bryan Beamer
Daylight Again
C250wk #495

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acierno
1st Mate

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62 Posts

Response Posted - 04/09/2002 :  23:36:42  Show Profile
yes, the description implies that mine is also a second generation, in that it does not protrude under the hull at all. i will contact catalina to check out the price to see if it is what it was (as mentioned in previous threads). has anyone thought that the third gen rudder was NOT worth it?

ron

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ssteakley
Captain

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467 Posts

Response Posted - 04/10/2002 :  21:55:06  Show Profile
I have a 99 250 WK #385, it had the beaching knife like rudder, I ordered the upgrade from Catalina in August and recieved it at the end of Sept. 2001. It extends about 1 1/2" under the stern. it is rectangular but I am not sure what "blade" refers to in the previous post. It definitly helped the weather helm a lot if you keep the healing angle 20-25 degrees or below, from 25 degrees and above (I have wheel steering) you have to use a lot of muscle to keep it on course.
The new generation rudder is worth the little bit of hassel for sure!
Steve Steakley
Moon Chaser #385


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acierno
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Response Posted - 04/11/2002 :  10:39:42  Show Profile
a catalina rep just told me the price (he was not directly in service) for the rudder was about $550. that seems alot higher than what I heard--is that what you guys paid?

ron

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Arlyn Stewart
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Response Posted - 04/11/2002 :  10:54:58  Show Profile  Visit Arlyn Stewart's Homepage  Send Arlyn Stewart an AOL message  Send Arlyn Stewart a Yahoo! Message
Steve, a blade rudder is a one piece rudder compared to the beaching which has a rudder head and a pivoting foil. I think there have been beaching rudders (not many) which had foils that lifted vertically. This of course would be a great advantage because the rudder could be effectively used for shoal draft. These were on smaller boats not needing large balanced rudders.

I am not surprized by your comment that torque becomes an issue on the 3rd generation rudder at healing angles exceeding 20-25 deg. This is one reason I decided to stay with the 2nd generation (beaching).

I received a print of the 3rd showing an aft sloping leading edge, meaning that as the rudder is lifted out of the water during healing, the forward balancing portion becomes less. With the 2nd generation (beaching) raked forward to balance... when the boat heals, the balancing percentage actually increases. I can heal up to 40 deg with very little helm effort.

The other reason was of course the forgivness of a beaching rudder.

Climbing on soap box. A beaching rudder was one my attractions to the c250. They provide two great advantages, the rudder doesn't need to be removed during shoal work and they forgive an accidental grounding. I think its unfortunate that this option has been lost on the c250. It's even more unfortunate that its likely been lost for the wrong reasons, design flaws that are easily fixable.

The point of my comments is to ensure that those having the 2nd generation beaching rudder realize the value. Modifications are needed to realize that value...but those are easy and effective.

Arlyn C-250 W/B #224

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cathluk
Admiral

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Response Posted - 04/11/2002 :  11:18:00  Show Profile
I agree that if you have a WB & trailer or sail near shallows then the beaching rudder would be a great benefit & the decision whether to change rudders would be a difficult one. If you have a WK and keep your boat in the water then the decision is simple - choose the new balanced rudder! We paid under $200 for ours this fall directly from Catalina.



Cathy
"Blown Away"
'97 C250WK #253

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acierno
1st Mate

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Response Posted - 04/11/2002 :  11:21:02  Show Profile
cathy, do you have a catalina name and number contact i could use--the price i was getting seems way off. i want to get this thing ordered before the season really takes off. thanks, ron


ron

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acierno
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Response Posted - 04/11/2002 :  11:21:06  Show Profile
cathy, do you have a catalina name and number contact i could use--the price i was getting seems way off. i want to get this thing ordered before the season really takes off. thanks, ron


ron

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acierno
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Response Posted - 04/11/2002 :  11:21:08  Show Profile
cathy, do you have a catalina name and number contact i could use--the price i was getting seems way off. i want to get this thing ordered before the season really takes off. thanks, ron


ron

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Arlyn Stewart
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 04/11/2002 :  14:00:47  Show Profile  Visit Arlyn Stewart's Homepage  Send Arlyn Stewart an AOL message  Send Arlyn Stewart a Yahoo! Message
Cathy, I don't think it's a simple decision in favor of the upgrade if a wing is equipped with a kick up. This is especially true if it has the wheel. Here's why, and to fully cover this forgive the windy response to follow.

One of the reasons for the 3rd design was that wingers were grounding and damaging their rudders because it protruded below the wing. When I talked with Gerry Douglas when the rudder was still in design, he offered that it would be shorter to prevent this. So, Catalina had four or more goals to accomplish in the new design.

1. Shorten it to the depth of the wing keel.
2. Balance it
3. Offer it only in the blade.
4. Open the way to re-introduce the popular wheel steering.

I was under the impression from that conversation that the 3rd was to be a good bit shorter than the 2nd... but have not heard the draft figures that confirm it to be no deeper than the keel. If it remains deeper, then one of its original design goals were compromised. Gerry did confess to me, that with greater heal, it would not have as much lift as the 2nd. I wonder now, if in the testing process, design goal #1 listed above had to be compromised to keep adequate lift. Does any one know the draft relative to the wing?


Comments on #3.

This was a goal of Catalina because of the problems with great torque on the beaching rudder. This was suspected by Catalina to be the result of owners wrongly locking the rudder raked aft to helm in shoal waters. I shared with Gerry that was not my problem....that the rivet detent hold down system was the issue, allowing the rudder to position with an aft rake.

Comments on #4

Edson had become annoyed at the amount of warranty work it was having to provide on the cable system and I believe either urged, mandated or agreed with Catalina to drop the wheel option untill something was done. The primary blame of Edson was that there was too much torque for their system, and its likly that Gerry's belief that we were all using our rudders wrongly sounded better than he messed up with the rivet detent design. Anyone can appreciate by this time that Catalina was looking for a one design fix all solution. And, the wing was now outselling the water ballast anyway, the beaching rudder was expendible.

A big point remains, a beaching rudder was one of the design goals of the C250 water ballast and for good reasons. That the C250 was later designed into a wing form that became the leading seller...doesn't remove those reasons.

There is one more issue regarding the wing, beaching rudders and the wheel. Having a wheel, effectively eliminates any chance that a grounding will kick the rudder up and out of the gudgeons and avoid damage. The actuator arm has it locked down.

Installing the 3rd generation blade must involve more work and more expense than the simple modifications for those who now have the 2nd generation kickup and in my opinion offer less regardless of center board or wing. Yes, for those who are replacing a blade...its the right thing to do.

Arlyn C-250 W/B #224

Edited by - arlyn stewart on 04/11/2002 14:32:41

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acierno
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Response Posted - 04/12/2002 :  08:51:45  Show Profile
arlyn, the draft of the rudder on my 2000 wk relative to the wing is two inches or so shorter. and yes, the 2000 has a fixed blade, not a kickup

ron

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