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Rudder lift lines are frayed

Jul 14, 2016
Hunter 18 Westport, NY
My Hunter 18 has two 1/8" lines on the rudder - to tie it down or lift it. When I leave my boat on the mooring, I leave the rudder on, since it is difficult to remove, it is heavy and there is some risk of dropping any of the pins or even the whole rudder in the lake. I typically try to tie the rudder in the raised position, using the line and tiller cleat. However, it never stays up high enough to eliminate drag and after three summers, the lines for both up and down are seriously frayed where they go over the white rollers inside the runner head. They are apparently molded into the rudder.

Is there any way to replace them, without buying a new $425 rudder? If the down line breaks, will I be able to sail, without the rudder lifting up in high winds? (The two knobs on the side of the rudder do not tighten enough to hold it either up or down.)

Is there any kind of sling or other means of holding the rudder fully up (out of the water) other than these lines? Even if I ties my tiller to both cleats, it swings a lot when on the mooring in heavy seas or wind.


Mar 2, 2011
Compac 14 Charleston, SC
I used a home made sling to keep my rudder up when not sailing. Just drill a hole on the back edge and put a shackle on it to tie a line on it and connected to the end of my boom.
Jul 12, 2011
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
Sorry, but I do not know your boat, but ... from your picture, it appears that the lines are not "... molded into the rudder." but merely held into a recessed hole with a stopper knot (probably a double overhand) - http://www.animatedknots.com/double...png&Website=www.animatedknots.com#ScrollPoint
You can remove this arrangement by pushing along the rope with a small screwdriver to ease the knot out of the hole, then replace the line.

As far as securing this while out of the water, I suggest that the fraying is mainly the result of the line being under tension while it rubs slightly during sailing or mooring. If you remove the tension by supporting the weight of the rudder during mooring, then releasing the tension on the "up haul" line, it will help with the chafing on that line at least. I suggest that you use a length of either light line or even shock-cord, to loop over the raised rudder and tie this off to the stern cleats, the tiller itself, or other convenient inboard place. Once you get the length right, you can tie loops for the rudder and others or the cleats so you do not have to tie new knots every time, just slip the harness over the rudder and securing points. Remember to loosen the up haul line so it has no strain afterwards.
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Jun 10, 2012
Hunter 23.5 Indian Lake
My Hunter 23.5 uses the same setup for rudder up and down haul, I had the same issue but with 3/8" line and replaced it in about 30 minutes without removing the rudder. I had some help from my son who was in the boat while I was in the water. All it took was a pair of needle nose pliers and a utility knife with a new blade.
Jul 14, 2016
Hunter 18 Westport, NY
Thanks all. I was able to remove the lines and replace them. The suggestion of lifting the rudder with a line to the boom is great. I will do that next.
Jul 22, 2021
Hunter 23 Miami
Hi Guys.... Can someone please explain how to disassemble the hunter 23 rudder so I can replace the rope?