Old and new rudders - fiberglass replaced with 1/2" steel!
The fabricator deliberately rounded the shaft ends to balls for speed. I have 670 HP and he felt he needed to go to 1/2" vs 3/8 to avoid the potential to havw the rudder fold in a hard turn.
He cut it to the size of the old rudder and rounded the trailing edge a bit. His view is better to strong and cut it down; then have to repair it because it was too weak.
We discussed the bolts on the shaft bearing, the consensus is that it wont be a huge drag compared to the old setup. Time will tell on that.
I asked about cutting a hole for the shaft to come out and the fabricator was not comfortable with a 2 1/4" hole in the rudder.