3231Hrs – Ruddy Rudders Day
A tough day at the office today, there was only one reason, I was doing things that really needed an extra pair of hands but I only had mine to work with.
Working alone for so long I’ve learned to be resourceful, calling for help isn’t always my immediate reaction to a challenge, I like to find ways of doing things myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to get help if it’s readily available but today that wasn’t an option.
My challenge today was to trim the rudders so that they fitted nicely to the sterns with something approaching a consistent 4mm gap. Sounds easy enough but it turned out to be a bit of a mare.
I reckoned I’d be able to use the jigsaw to trim where necessary whilst the rudders were in situ, that didn’t work, I couldn’t hold everything steady and I couldn’t get a clean square cut.
This meant that I had no choice but to mark where cuts were needed, drop the rudder down onto the bench, cut it, offer it back into position, see how it fitted, mark again, drop it down ………. and repeat, about 5 times for each rudder.
I’ve mentioned several times how heavy they are, I reckon about 35kg (77lb) and awkward with it, particularly when standing on a step ladder trying to hold it on the skeg block whilst at the same time positioning and tightening a ratchet strap to hold it in place. There was some considerable effing and jeffing I can tell you.
I persevered though and eventually got them both fitting really well, better than I’d thought actually. Once all the edges were routed off they started to look like they were meant to be there and I was able to check mark the hinge point positions.
Here’s the starboard rudder sitting pretty:
Here’s a close up of one of the hinge points:
My thanks must go to Beat for his comment last night giving me some practical advice. His Tiki 38 ‘Aluna’ has sailed thousands of miles now so his words of wisdom are highly valued. Here’s what he said;
Contrary to intuition they must hang from the hinges and not sit on the ledge on the bottom. Don’t worry, once submerged a good portion of them provides lift, so they’re not heavy anymore. If they rest too much on the ledge they will wear through the cushioning pretty quickly. The main load on them is lateral. They are being pushed sideways considerably, especially in heavy seas. So it is crucial that once they are in their definite place that you epoxy the hinge ropes into their holes, otherwise they will slide. Aluna still has one of her rudders off center, because she has not been out of the water since Hawaii, where I repaired one rudder with the epoxy treatment of the hinge ropes, but unfortunately not the other. As soon as we were underway again on some waves that rudder slid to the side and has been there ever since. Not that it affects its function much…
It’s interesting to hear that the weight is not such a big issue, but it’s concerning to hear about the lateral movement. I don’t fully understand how epoxy on the hinge ropes helps. I’d have expected that to hinder the intended ‘hinge’ motion. If you’re reading this Beat could you give me more explanation please?
It struck me today that the lateral movement at the bottom could be removed by fitting a stainless steel pin into the skeg support block and putting a hole into the bottom of the rudder notch so that it is positively located there. Something like this —>
Any thoughts on that guys?
None of the above is of immediate concern, my next task is to machine the hinge points and epoxy/drill the holes , then I’ve got glassing and painting to do, got to keep moving!