I received your new semi-balanced rudder for our Potter-19 just as we
were hitting the end-of-quarter swarm at Stanford and some travel, so I
couldn’t get it wet right away. We finally got it out on a gusty enough
day yesterday to really see how it performs and WOW – – What an
The boat’s response to sudden gust-ups was astonishingly altered
compared to the stock Potter beaching rudder. With the old rudder,
every wind change that affected heel angle at all on any tack from a
close reach to pointing as high as possible caused a clear weather-helm
dive needing correction. Before, with any swell and gustiness (both
normal conditions on Monterey Bay) the boat seemed awfully twitchy as
though it were trying to bolt out from under you. Big gusts when close
hauled used to be a real rodeo ride. No more.
Yesterday a gust would blow up (going from say 8 to 12-15 knots) and the
boat would cleanly heel over a bit, settle on her chines and give either
NO or only the slightest helm shift. And in all situations, the force
needed on the tiller is substantially reduced and of course it’s more
responsive in harbor at slow speed too. It’s a different boat.
I was really blown away. AND – we did this purposely with the old
out-of shape mainsail and baggy, half-furled genoa still on to be able
to assess the rudder-only effect. All these improvements are due solely
to the rudder (with only more improvement expected with the new sails).
Nice work John – this thing makes a HUGE difference. The boat sails
better, handles much more easily, is more stable (making the 1st mate
very happy), and easier to manuever.
Thanks Thanks Thanks.
Now… since you’ve got a great Potter-19 semi-balanced design ready to
go, you probably ought to have Dr Judy post to the world that you’re
ready for more orders. This thing rocks (and is lighter than my old one!).
Santa Cruz, California