Life expectancy of rudder or outboard motor

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Tijs Eysermans, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. Tijs Eysermans
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Tijs Eysermans Junior Member

    Dear boat fanatics,

    As I am researching the difference between rudder and motor steering I was wondering the following.

    What is the life expectancy of an average rudder? (perhaps in hours?)
    And what is the life expectancy of an average outboard motor?

    What is it that cause them to be replaced then?

    Thank you in advance and I hope for a soon reply!

    Tijs Eysermans
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Unusual question, I would expect a rudder made properly to outlast an outboard motor, simply because one has a very simple consruction, the other rather more intricate. Outboard motors typically succumb to salt water intrusion, and general corrosive effects of it, rather than wear out mechanically.
     
  3. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    I would think that for a meaningful answer more parameters are needed...
    2hp outboard? daily use? salt/fresh water?

    Just say out loud what you are after
     
  4. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    An outboard will last as long as good maintenance permits. Same with a rudder, though of course while these have fewer moving parts to attend to they are probably only seen in their entirely on haul out.

    I now find myself wondering if being seen as removable (and more easily maintenanced) or just easily replaceable more often helps or hurts outboards ... I guess that depends on the owner.

    But then what doesn't?

    (side note: pods ... as far as maintenance goes the worst of both worlds?)
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Durability has much less to do with the element or assembly, than the maintenance routine it sees in its life time.

    A normally built wooden rudder, hanging on a transom, with simple pintles and gudgeons, can rot away in a few years with little care. On the other hand I have exactly this on a yacht built in 1960 and it's fine, though has seen some repair over the years.

    The same is true of an engine, electrical system, plumbing, hull planking, framing, structure, decking, etc. It doesn't matter what it is, but how it's cared for, pretty much like people.
     
  6. Trent hink
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    Trent hink Junior Member

    It would not surprise me one bit if there are still some rudders in use that have been around since before outboard motors were invented.
     
  7. yofish

    yofish Previous Member

    You're joking, right?
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The USS Constitution had it's original rudder hung in 1797, but it was replaced several times in it's life. The current rudder is the one fitted in 1877, which easily pre-dates the outboard motor. You don't have much experience at this sort of thing do you Yo?
     
  9. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    I imagine Warrior's rudder is kinda old too.
     
  10. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    It is very rare for an outboard motor to fail in service because the swivel assembly seizes, or the tiller arm falls off, so yes, rudders are more reliable, but how that helps a comparison between rudder steered motor boats and outboards, I don't know.
     
  11. Tijs Eysermans
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    Tijs Eysermans Junior Member

    Thank you for your reply,

    For our particular purpose we have an electric motor equivalent to a 5 Hp gasoline engine. It would be used on a daily basis in fresh water.
     
  12. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member


  13. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Is that run from a battery or is it high voltage A/C? A low voltage 5HP motor has to be huge.
     
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