Big Sloop Features BIG Rudder

Because sailing performance is a key factor in the design brief of Lady B, this 147-foot aluminum-hulled sloop features a towering high-aspect rig, a lifting keel with 4-6 meter (14-20 feet) draft and 240 tonnes displacement. Those factors generate loads on her rudder appendage which are so large that they could only be practically solved with a carbon composite solution.

The lightweight carbon rudder on the left is for a Frers 44, hardly a small boat. It helps you appreciate the size of the carbon rudder on the right, shown just before delivery to Vitters Shipyard in The Netherlands. There, it was installed in the 44.7 meter sloop, a flush-deck sailing yacht designed by Dubois Naval Architects which was launched in 2010.
GMT has worked successfully with both the Dubois office and Vitters on previous superyacht rudders, so it’s natural that they returned to GMT for this critical component. Lady B‘s rudder is 6.1 meters (20 feet) in height, has a chord width of 1.4 meters (4 feet 6 inches) and yet, including the carbon stock, weights only 421 kg (926 pounds). A rudder built with a steel stock and at these dimensions and equivalent strength would weigh 5-times as much.

David Schwartz, shown standing between the two rudders, commented, “This remarkable rudder will be part of an even more remarkable yacht. Lady B is designed to reach speeds of over 20 knots, subjecting this rudder to extreme loads. We are very proud of our association with Vitters and Dubois and with their magnificent yachts.“

For more about GMT rudders, click here.