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Score one for modern materials

Dec 5, 2013
The old (blue) and the new (white) rudder

The old (blue) and the new (white) rudder

GMT Composites

We all know that modern sailboats and equipment are much lighter and stronger than older boats and gear. But this example from GMT Composites really points up that evolution in increased strength and reduced weight.

The owner of a C&C 40 named Zoomer came to GMT in Bristol, R.I., and asked the company to fabricate a new rudder. When GMT put the original 67" by 28" rudder on the scales, workers found that old rudder weighed a solid 203 lbs. It was constructed of a heavy stainless steel post, fiberglass laminate and a web of internal supports.

GMT built a new rudder from carbon fiber with a carbon post instead of stainless steel. The new rudder weighed in at 53 lbs. The company reduced the the foil thickness 20% and the carbon post won't experience crevice corrosion like stainless can. Score one for modern materials! 

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