Valiant Rudder Position Indicator

On EGRET, our Valiant 40 #112, we have replaced the opaque pry-out deck plate that covers the emergency tiller attachment point with a transparent one. We then added some plastic parts to make a simple rudder position indicator. The following three photos show the indicator in action.

Full Starboard Centered Full Port

We cut a circle of thin white plastic to cover the underside of the deck plate. We found the center of the rudder post (which was not the center of the deck plate) and cut a segment out of the white plastic to expose the pointer over the travel of the rudder. The plastic circle is held in place on the underside of the deck plate by a bead of silicone.

Transparent lid removed and inverted.

We made an odd-shaped white plastic disk to ride on top of the rudder post and carry the indicator strip. The indicator is a thin black plastic piece inlayed into the white plastic so that it won't catch on the edges of the cut-out segment in the lid. The indicator disk is not quite circular because, with the rudder post off-center, we wanted to maximize the area that the indicator would sweep.

Rudder post.

Finally, a plastic plumbing pipe connector was notched out and attached to the underside of the indicator disk. The indicator disk assembly slips over the rudder post, guided by the horizontal bolts. If the emergency tiller is needed, the indicator can be quickly removed.

The parts exposed on a black background.

In the above picture, you can see that the indicator disk is actually a thin white sheet covering a thicker black plastic disk. This construction was used because our rudder post is cut off flush with the deck and so the thick black plastic disk is cut out in the center so that only the thin white disk covers the top of the post. Also, we found it necessary to raise the flange of the deck plate with a 1/4" ring of white plastic to gain enough clearance for the post and disk (see "Transparent Lid Removed" photo). If your rudder post is shorter, you could use a single thicker white disk in place of our "sandwich" and you would not need to raise the flange.

If you have questions, please e-mail me: g216 "at"

73, Gary Fariss