Rudder

  • Present at Launch - Probably
  • Present at Trafalgar - Probably
  • Present Pre-1923 - Yes
  • Rarity - It is one of the largest surviving wooden rudders in the world.
  • Completeness - 90% - All gudgeons and pintles (hinged fixings which attach it to the ship) are present, as are all the copper clench bolts

Victory’s massive rudder is made from four upright timbers of oak and pitch pine, fastened together with large copper clench bolts. It is nearly 12 metres tall.

The main body of the rudder is believed to be original. However the rudder stock (top) was extended in 1922 with a 1-metre extension, which extends up through an opening in the middle deck.

The rudder is hung from the stern post using pairs of large bronze fixings called gudgeons and pintles. The large pin of the pintle on the rudder fits neatly into the eye hole of the gudgeon on the stern post, allowing the rudder to swing freely from side to side. The gudgeons are fastened to the stern post with original copper fixings. The pintles are fastened to the rudder with a mix of original copper fixings and modern steel bolts added during repairs. Both the gudgeons and the pintles are thought to be original to launch.