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Hobie Rudders  Bottom

  • I've got a pair of the stock Lexan/ABS? rudders that came with my 1997 H21sc and frankly they have seen better days. My preference would be to replace them with some of the older black EPO rudders which I have never had problems on H16s however they seem to be pretty pricey. A local Hobie dealer has a pair that they rebuilt for $470. Assuming they were rebuilt/ painted properly it's probably a fair price as a used set is hard to come by.

    The entry level (plastic) rudders from Hobie would be roughly $320 for a set and brand spanking new.

    Any Hobie sailors out there that can comment on the value of getting a used set of EPOs vs. the new plastic rudders?
  • $470 seems a bit pricey for a pair of 25 year old rudders. That said, I really do like the original EPOs. They sail very well (better than the set of EPO2’s I had for a while) and are pretty bomb proof. Just keep them out of the sun. When it comes to performance, I don’t think there’s any comparison between a set of plastic rudders and a set of composite. Maybe keep an eye on ebay for a better price. An old beat set of EPO’s can generally be rehabbed with a little epoxy and elbow grease.

    sm
  • Although EPO rudders are better, the plastic versions have lasted 20 plus years on most boats. I would assume that new ones would last at least that long.
  • HULLFLYERAlthough EPO rudders are better, the plastic versions have lasted 20 plus years on most boats. I would assume that new ones would last at least that long.


    That's a pretty good point. I'm not looking to race, just cruising with this boat. I just want something that is low maintenance and can survive the occasional impact.

    Mine sat exposed in a field for 10 years and seem to be very flexible . The surface is also extremely porous. I would have assumed they would become brittle instead.

    Can anyone speak to how the plastic rudders typically fail?
  • Keep in mind if you are storing on the beach or anywhere uncovered you'll need to spend another $80 on rudder covers for EPOs.

    QuoteCan anyone speak to how the plastic rudders typically fail?


    I have only broken one, it broke off at the upper corner where the hole for the upper casting attaches. It broke super easy like maybe it had already been weakened from poorly secured rudders while trailering. Don't know if that was the case but I don't trailer with rudders anymore regardless.
  • There have been various different materials used for the “plastic” Hobie rudders (technically they’re all plastic, but generally this means the solid injection molded versions rather than the glass/carbon composite versions).

    The old plastic rudders would get brittle from sun exposure and either crack at the top bolt hole or snap off completely just below the lower casting. I can’t speak to the durability of the newer plastic rudders, but I will say that when it comes to performance, nothing beats a composite blade. This is not only a benefit to racers. There are quite a few “racer only” upgrades that the casual sailor could happily skip, but IMO, rudder blades are not one of them. Quality rudders just plain sail better - they don’t stall or flex, they go upwind better, and just give an improved overall feel and connection to the boat. If you’re able, I would stick with a composite blade.

    sm

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