ketch rigged footy

okay I’m here at work, and Ihave the most boring job on the planet. At home I am working on (very slowly) my second footy which will probably be rigged as a two masted ketch to help prevent pitch poling.
It is fun to write about it here because I’m bored mainly but here’s a few questions:

Where’s a good place to find footy sized rudder horns?

my other footy I has a very small hatch opening which was a pain to work on, and Iused duck tape to keep the water out which looked kindof cheezy if you know what Imean. My new footy will have a biger hatch but I want to make a more permanent looking hactch for asthetic reasons that won’t leak. I don’t like the peanut butter jar lid aproach because well, I’m a little bothered by plastic, nothing against it, but I want to make a wooden hatch thats waterproof. I’m thinking of trying a piece of foam rubber around the seam with some sort of screw tightener to press it down. has anybody done this on a footy? did it leak? any other suggestions? thanks

happy sailing!


I had the same trouble finding a suitable rudder control arm. I made one, expoxying a collar with a set screw into an arm I made out of some aluminum sheet I had laying around. Works great.

The hatch on my Razor just has a thin layer of foam glued to the bottom of it. It (the hatch, which is inset into the hatch opening) is held in place with small screws. Hasn’t leaked yet, although expereince tells me that it probably will at some point. Not really a sound design as it sits. I am confident that someone will chime in with a much better solution.


Hi John -
while not even close to a FOOTY, my 36/600 PEAPOD class hatch works great. Basic construction…

  1. Determine size of hatch opening in deck.
  2. apply thin foam rubber gasket around opening - about 1/4" wide and 1/8" thick maximum
  3. Cut thin acrylic plastic sligthly larger than opening in deck
  4. drill center hole for a small bolt
    5 On the underside of the plastic hatch cover, add a thin wooden strip so that by turning the bolt, it turns the stick.
  5. Stick is just a bit wider than hatch opening. (I used a strip of cedar - but on FOOTY think popscicle stick)
  6. glue two small tapered pieces of wood under deck on each side
  7. Add a small flat handle on top to allow you to turn assembly - keep handle aligned with under hatch wood strip
  8. adjust under hatch strip on diagonal to hatch cover
  9. place hatch cover in place on top of foam rubber
  10. twsit handle to turn stick to engage the under deck tapered wood.
  11. continue to twist to tighten hatch cover deck down on foam rubber.

Obviously you will have only a very small clearance of the underhatch wood to the deck, but once adjusted, it works slick. On the PeaPod, the hatch also supported the turning post of mainsheet from deck - 90 degrees upward to main boom. Since you don’t like plastic, just replace the acrylic with some thin, waterproofed plywood.

This quarter turn center bolt with handle will apply sufficient pressure (once adjusted) that you can be assured of a water tight fit, yet a simple 1/4 turn of the handle releases the cover to allow access under deck.

Probably others have their own ideas. This one worked well for me. Optionally, the hatch can be held in place on the foam rubber using rubber bands or elastic across the top of the hatch - but you will need a cleat or two to fasten the band, and anything sticking up is always bound to have a place for mainsheet to catch when gybing.

If difficult to understand, let me know and I’ll post a quick sketch.


ADDED: The tapered wood under the deck on each side just adds more pressure to the stick to hold in place tightly. The more you tuurn the handle, the more the wood strip turns and moves onto the tapered wood. Depending on taper, you can possible split the plywood so just use a small taper. Make the wood strips no more than an inch long - that will provide a lot of pressure on the hatch to foam rubber seal.

thanks for the good ideas, nice idea with the tapered strips.
will give it a try
happy sailing!