Since 1978 I have been fortunate to sail wooden boats. In 2006 I set out to find a Drascombe Longboat Cruiser for single-handed expedition sailing. This is the continuing story of how it came to be, our adventures, notes on the maritime world and other things I don't want to forget...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Drascombe's Rudder

I partially disassembled Annie' rudder/ tiller assembly to varnish the tiller and inspect. It is a somewhat different beast when compared to other small boat equipment. In most Drascombe boats- Luggers, Longboats, Coasters- the rudder slides down through a thin well and out the bottom. The configuration affords the mizzen mast and the outboard an amidships position. It does take getting used to.

I made a small, teak, slotted wedge to slip under the pivot section of the rudder when raised in shallow water. The heavy rod portion is covered in split PVC pipe and a thick sleeve bushing keeps the bronze rudder head from grinding in to the deck plate.

It all went back together and its off to the next pre-season task...

stainless steel 'knock-up' rudder

bronze rudder head assembly that accepts the tiller

rudder in raised position



  1. I like small yachts. My own yacht is 30 feet long and I love her. But I also like sailing small center boarders because of the closeness to the sea.
    There is nothing quite like the closeness and feel of the wind and water on your face (providing its not TOO cold lol).

    The Drascombe Lugger is quite a famous design I think. Didn't a guy called Webb Childs sail one of these around the world?

    Good job on the rudder - the thing with yachts is that there is always something more to do all the time!!

  2. Thanks for your thoughts... hope you are warm and having fun 'doing a little' winter maintenance!

  3. Woops... its summer for you. By the way I really liked the Vertue video... a long time favorite of mine.

  4. Yes it is summer and a very nice summer it is this year here in NZ. Yes I am a bit obsessed at the moment with the Vertue - I had better watch out or I might just end up buying one!

  5. Drascombe - I think Churchouse boats used to make a really nifty teak chock to hold the rudder partially up and centered while it was on a mooring - good piece of kit.


  6. Hi Max... I made mine from a pattern I found through the Drascombe Association forum. Probably the same design.