Rudder Suppliers Comparison – Ordering

CCI Experience So Far

I have sent off a deposit for the new balanced rudder to Competition Composites (CCI) via TransferWise.

TransferWise is a service I use when I need to wire money internationally. It has great rates and very low fees. Best of all, TransferWise is fast, especially to Canada where CCI is located.

CCI contacted me right away with necessary documents and measurements as soon as they received the transfer. It’s still the middle of the week, but I’m going to go sneak out down to the marina to make measurements.

I am certain that my rudder order is not a significant amount of business for CCI, but they have answered my pre-sales questions in a timely and clear manner and gave me a quote right away. The experience has been good so far.

Other Companies

I contacted several companies who advertise to produce J29/J30 rudders. Here are my experiences with them:

Waterline Systems

Waterline Systems manufactured some J/Boat models, and even own some molds from J/Boats according to a post on J/30 class forum from 2012. They have J30 rudder and gudgeon listed on their online store site. Screenshot below, prices as of July 2019.

J29/J30 parts listed on Waterline Systems, price as of July 2019.

I contacted them via email a week ago and received no reply. I contacted them again about gudgeons, we’ll see if there’s any response.

Although there’s no response to my inquiry, their automated email keeps popping up in my inbox encouraging me to buy J/Boat parts from them.

Rudder Craft

Rudder Craft specializes in replacement transom hung rudders. Their web site lists rudders for numerous models with pictures of actual rudders they produced. J29/J30 rudder is listed, and they also offer balanced rudder for J/29.

J/29 Balanced Rudder listed on Rudder Craft site, price as of July 2019.

Rudder Craft website is pretty good. The listing is clear with all the ordering options already set up. They listed the balanced rudder which is what I wanted. This was going to be an easy process if I were to order them.

Unfortunately, they didn’t respond to my inquiry, and CCI did. Update: Rudder Craft did respond by calling and leaving me a voice mail. Unfortunately, I don’t pay much attention to unknown callers and voice mails due to all the scammers these days.

By the time I noticed, I was already in contact with CCI via email. So I’d like to make clear that it was me overlooking my voice mail which resulted in me not connecting with Rudder Craft. While I went with CCI in the end, I do think Rudder Craft deserves consideration if you are looking for a transom hung rudder or other related parts.

Ordering a Rudder – Summary

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think there is a huge difference in the rudder itself as long as it is built properly. Consider the original rudder on BlackJack. It wasn’t built all that well. Yet it has lasted 35 years and still going strong. A well-made rudder is going to perform well and last a very long time as long we don’t let water get into the core.

Since J29 rudder is transom hung, I was concerned with the fit of the replacement rudder. If gudgeon is mounted imprecisely, it can cause undue stress and break things over the long term. I don’t trust myself to drill and attach the gudgeon at the precise location in a watertight manner.

So it was important that I be able to communicate with someone who can explain how this was going to work for me. I wanted to order a rudder, the only obstacle holding me back was that I wanted to be relatively sure that there was going to be a successful outcome for me and BlackJack.

When I contacted these three companies, CCI came back with a reply quickly but gave me a comfort level about my concern. I could just as easily gone with Rudder Craft or Waterline Systems if I was able to talk with them before CCI.

Of course, ordering is just the first step, we’ll see how things go from here.

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