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Learn How to Sail a Small Sailboat – 2. How to Rig the Boat

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Install (or Check) the Rudder
Install Rudder

Photo © Tom Lochhaas - sailor Tom Gynan

In this lesson we will describe how to rig a small sailboat to prepare for sailing. We will use the same Hunter 140 daysailer described in Part 1 of this learn-to sail course.

Typically the rudder of a small sailboat like this one is removed after sailing, to prevent wear and tear while the boat remains in the water. You need to reinstall it before sailing, or if it is already in place, check that that it is firmly attached (with optional safety lanyard securing it to the boat).

On most small boats, the top of the leading edge of the rudder has attached pins (called pintles) that are inserted downward into round rings (called gudgeons) attached to the stern. This is rather like the familiar “Insert tab A into slot B.” While the exact configuration may vary among different boat models, it’s usually obvious how the rudder mounts to the stern when you hold the rudder beside the stern.

The rudder may or may not already have a tiller mounted on it. The next page shows how to attach the tiller on this boat.

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