help_outline Skip to main content

 Owners ...The Website

    Tartan Owners Northeast, Inc.




Tartan 3700 Rudder Issue
Author Last Post


I researched replacing my T-33 rudder last January. I may still do it, as I have a similar rust-leaking crack on my T-33 (#73). I contacted Foss Company in California and was quoted $2800 plus $300 shipping.

They had the stock T-33 rudder and a modernized rudder profile that was a little too deep for my Sheel-keeled boat.

Email me your email address and I'll forward the quote. I suspect it may have gone up with cost of materials but should still be better than the quote you referenced.

Larry Luck

We had an issue with our 1982 Tartan '33 rudder. Horizontal crack appeared about 4 years ago with minor rust staining. I put a two inch patch over crack which lasted one season. Yard then did a major patch which lasted another season. At the end of the second season with the large patch rudder broke about 12" below the hull. Now replacing the rudder to the tune of about $5,200 for the rudder alone. Suggest you take any cracking, especially if rust stained, seriously.

Hi Charles,

Your rudder looks similar to our 372 and they may be made the same way. We stopped at Tartan last Spring where we studied diagrams of our rudder. Its basically a SS tube/pipe welded closed at the bottom. About 4 thick SS horizontal straps/ribs are welded to the rudder tube like a giant rake. This structure is sandwiched by the two fiberglass shells and filled with foam. I asked if water penetration is an issue and the answer was 'not really' because the water generally won't permeate through the foam. But like you discovered, it can be an issue. I have a couple caulked drain ports on the bottom of my rudder but haven't seen any drips.

One path to consider is to drain the rudder for a couple months then rebuild the crack with a fiberglass patch. You should be able to do this while the rudder stays attached. Water may still get in because the foam core may have lost integrity. Plan to drain it every year with weep holes.

Another path is to contact Tartan and buy a new rudder assembly. They will make a replacement for you.

Hope this helps.


I have a 2006 3700. My boat is on the hard every winter. We have had a lot of freeze and thaw over the past few weeks. Today I discovered a crack in the fiberglass just forward of the rudder post. It seems as if some water got in, and now the fiberglass is cracked. Has anyone else run into this issue? I am thinking the rudder might have to be dropped and the crack fully explored. I have attached a photo.Any suggestions / comments appreciated. Thanks

Return to Forum

 TONE's Mission: To provide forums for all Tartan owners to exchange information, enjoy boating and social events together,
 and create a sense of fellowship in order to enhance our ownership experiences.

Feedback Note: You must log in to get the feedback forms.