Sea Sure designs lifting rudder for OK dinghy

Sea Sure, the Warsash-based manufacturer of dinghy transom products like pintles, gudgeons and rudder stocks, has collaborated with Ovington Boats to design and manufacture a lifting rudder to fit to an OK dinghy.

This comes after the OK class requested a lifting rudder option so that launching, and recovery, are straightforward and safe, particularly in shallow areas.

Typically, the OK dinghy has a fixed rudder. This works well in sailing areas where boats are launched straight into deep water. However, in locations with shallow launching areas, sailors have to rudderless-sail away from the launching area – which can be quite difficult even for the best of sailors.

Ovington Boats asked Sea Sure to design and manufacture a solution as Sea Sure has previously designed bespoke rudderstock for many classes and boat builders across the world.

The process for the OK dinghy was similar, looking at the bearing surface from top pintle to lower pintle, the rudder pivot point position, tiller length and angle, and blade width.

Key to getting a rudderstock with no ‘slop’, so that the helm’s input is instant, is having a rudder blade to work with, so Chris Turner, Ovington Boats MD, dropped one at Sea Sure prior to the 2020 lockdown.

From that, the sample rudderstock was designed and dispatched. Although the first sample fitted and worked perfectly, the decision was taken to remove some weight from the stock while maintaining its stiffness.

Material was removed from the side plates and one was shaped to the OK dinghy logo. A return was added to the lower part of the stock to increase stiffness.

“The process from conception to reality has been efficient and straightforward,” says Nathan Batchelor, sales manager, Ovington Boats.

“We came to Sea Sure with what we were after, and relatively soon we got the product back. It was a quick turnaround. It is a great piece of kit and means our OK dinghy customers can have one fitted on a new boat, or buy one separately to retro-fit to their existing OK dinghy. The end product looks fantastic and is already in use with sailors around the UK and worldwide. It is exclusively available from us here at Ovington.”

“We love challenges like these,” says Graham Brown, Sea Sure MD. “We’ve been working with boat builders for many years, helping them to perfect their offerings in the transom dinghy market. We’re now the largest manufacturer of transom gear worldwide and have 200 different designs of rudder stocks for dinghies all around the world. Boat builders come to us if they’ve got a problem on the back end of their boats.

“Working on the OK design with one of the world’s leading dinghy manufacturers was our pleasure. We have a lovely looking product at the end of it all that will be on the back of the Ovington OK, and what’s more, will add an extra element of safety for those launching and returning in shallow waters.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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