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Scimitar rudders

Dec 7, 2018
C&C 27 Mk V Vancouver
Like the ones on the old Pearsons/C&C's.
What's the helm like? Balanced or heavy/dead....?
Jun 25, 2004
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Like the ones on Pearson 30's? (see below)
I'll take an educated guess about this rudder. It;s just a guess, since I've never sailed this boat and paid attention to the helm that I can remember.....

I think helm balance would depend on many factor including how much rudder area is in front of the shaft as well as rig tune, sail trim and heel.

In general, though, the scimitar shape is very fast looking, but not doesn[t produce a lot of lift vs drag. The top third creates very drag, but also very little lift, because it a) the chord from front to back is very short, and b) it doesn't extend to meet the hull, which acts like an endplate.

Modern designs extend up right to the hull, so the high pressure on one side of the rudder can't leak over to the low pressure side. The hull acts like an endplate and helps to keep the flow attached to the rudder

It is what it is. If you like the way the boat handles, keep the rudder. If you ever have need to replace it, a more modern planform would decrease leeway ( and generate less tiller tug)

View attachment 174302
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Dec 7, 2018
C&C 27 Mk V Vancouver
Like the ones on the P26OD. My old SJ24 handled like a dinghy but to fit a similar rudder on a P I'd have to do cockpit surgery to get the shaft vertical.


Jan 26, 2005
C&C 110 Bay Shore, Long Island, NY
I've only sailed on two boats with a scimitar rudder. (C&C 30mkI and Pearson 26) By design it is not a balanced rudder. Both of those boats had a very heavy helm as compared to a similar size boat (C&C 29 mkll) with a balanced rudder. The heavy helm made the boats with the scimitar rudder tiring to steer.
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