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Guide to Resolute Rudders and Skegs

From the beginning, the RESOLUTE hydrodynamicists used their successful America's Cup yacht racing experience, financed by millions of dollars of yacht racing syndicate funding, to design superior skegs and rudders which provide outstanding racing performance and allow you and your crew to go fast under a wide variety of circumstances. That said, some are more suitable for certain crews under certain conditions. This guide should help you choose the skeg/rudder combination that will best help you and your crew get the most out of your RESOLUTE and be more competitive against other boat brands. 

Original vs. New Skeg/Rudder System

The original skeg/rudder system is found on our original boats built in 1995 through boats built in 2012.  It is characterized by a skeg that connects with one breakaway bolt on the skeg.  While the skegs are easy to change, the rudders in the original system can take some time to configure and install.  Instructions are available in our Technical Manual.  New style skeg/rudder systems were introduced on all sweep boats in 2012.  They are easily differentiated from the original style as they are attached with two bolts as opposed to one. They are easily replaced in less than five minutes with no special skills or tools needed.

RESOLUTE Rudders & Skegs

Original Rudder

This rudder may be used in conjunction with our original skeg or our newer weed skeg.  This is our smallest rudder.  It is recommended for 2000/1500 meter straight line courses.  It is not recommended for head racing or bumps where maneuverability is required.

Extended Head Rudder

This rudder also may be used in conjunction with our original skeg or our newer weed skeg.  This rudder provides a larger turning surface than our original rudder.  It can be used on 2000/1500 meter straight line courses and is helpful in the event of cross winds.  It can be used head racing on courses that are relatively straight.


Shark Fin (aka 80% Rudder)

When you want maximum turning capability, this is the rudder to use.  When the Shark Fin is used, the skeg is removed and the skeg box is filled with a Skeg Box Filler.  This is the perfect rudder for bumps racing or head racing courses where maximum maneuverability is required.  The very best crews who win the Head of the Charles Regatta will use the Shark Fin.   An Olympic Gold Medal coxswain estimated that it gave him at least a four second advantage over all other competitors.  His crew has won HOCR two years in a row breaking a 13-year-old course record by over 27 seconds. Practicing with the Shark Fin is recommended as a rookie coxswain could over-control the boat with it.  Because of its extreme maneuverability, very few fours use the Shark Fin.

Original Skeg

The original skeg is a superior design skeg from a hydrodynamics point of view.  It is a very vertical deep design.  Because of the vertical design, it may catch leaves and weeds.  Because of its longer length it also requires a deeper draft.  It is recommended in environments with plenty of depth and few leaves and weeds.

Low Profile / Weed Skeg

The Weed Skeg was inspired by the independent work of boatmen Linda Scherer of Radcliffe and Ricky Schroeder of Northeastern.  This skeg is shorter and has a leading edge that is more gradual than our original design.  It is recommended where the water may be shallower or where weeds and/or leaves are prevalent.  It has approximately the same surface area as our Original Skeg.  The Regular Rudder or the Extended Head Rudder may also be used with the Weed Skeg.

New Style Skeg/Rudder Combo

The New Style Skeg/Rudder became standard on all RESOLUTE Sweep boats in 2012.  It was designed with a gentle angle leading edge that would shed leaves and weeds.  The rudder is integrated into the skeg with a hinge.  The surface area is about the same as the Original Skeg and the Weed Skeg.  Perhaps the greatest benefit of the New Style Skeg/Rudder is the ease of replacement.  Replacement can easily be done in less than five minutes.  The New Style is readily identifiable as it has two bolts for mounting as opposed to the one bolt that was used with the Original Skeg.

Shark Fin (80% Rudder) for New Style Skeg/Rudder System

While many coaches and coxswains swear by the New Style Skeg/Rudder for all applications, some still prefer the Shark Fin for head racing, especially on twisty courses such as the Charles.  For them we have modified the Shark Fin to be compatible with the New Style System.

Carl Douglas AeRowFin™

Carl Douglas has developed a skeg/rudder called the AeRowFin™.  Several high level programs swear by it.  It has a very aggressive shape and an elastomer hinge for the rudder.  The Carl Douglas AeRowFin™ may be one of our more expensive options, but it also fits into our New Style System.

New RESOLUTE High Performance Speed Fin

We are currently working with one of our sister companies to create a carbon fiber skeg/rudder with an elastomer hinge.  This also will be compatible with the New Style System and will be available as an extra cost option in 2016.

Canard Fin (1X)

Adrian Ellison, Olympic Gold Medalist and cox for the HOCR record setting Molesey Boat Club, asked us to put a canard fin on his 2015 HOCR entry.  Essentially, we put one of our 1X fin boxes underneath the bow seat of one of our eights and inserted one of our 1X fins.  Adrian felt that this substantially aided his turning when used in conjunction with the Shark Fin and that it helped him maintain a point during straight sections where he encountered cross winds.  This is an available option on any new eight.

Want more info? Connect with us in the RESOLUTE Zone where you'll find resources galore, plus a way for you to ask us all your burning questions. 





Jeff Sturges – Jeff took the helm at Resolute in the fall of 2010 and brought with him over 25 years of experience coaching and competing, as well as an extensive background in carbon fiber manufacturing. A regular Masters 1x competitor, he has participated in 13 Head of the Charles regattas, is a Level III certified coach, and is Vice President of the Quinsigamond Rowing Club. While his administrative duties, in conjunction with the management of the Northeast Sales, don't leave a lot of extra time, Jeff enjoys getting back out on the soccer field, leading the RESOLUTE downhill ski racing team, and–of course–rowing. Jeff resides in Marlborough, Massachusetts.  You can contact him at: Ofc: 508-490-8616 or Cell: 508-904-1559  E-mail: