Making new style rudder for old style boat

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by wjejr, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Sailflow

    Sailflow Member

    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    wjejr do you sail where there are weeds?
     
  2. wjejr

    wjejr Member

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hi SF,

    I live on the north shore of Boston. I usually sail the boat in Chebacco Lake which is shared between the towns of Hamilton and Essex. I also belong to a club in Gloucester, and I sail there occasionally.

    Weeds aplenty in the lake, not so much in Gloucester, although I do have some fancy bailers in another boat that suck up saw grass left, right and center.
     
  3. wjejr

    wjejr Member

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Home from travellin until 2nd week in April, so progress on the rudder continues. Here's the final fairing using the large block sander. The foils shape seems pretty good when you run your hand over it. It's tempting to try for perfection, but I think I've got it as "perfect" as I can.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. wjejr

    wjejr Member

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hi everyone,

    Back again. I'm making this up as I go along, but the next step seemed to be to cut the bottom of the rudder to size. After working so hard to get the foil shape right, I thought about keeping it a little longer, but then I thought about hitting the bottom with it, and I shortened it to the prescribed lenght. I made a test cut on the pine dummy to make sure the angle was right and then made the final cut on the mahogany rudder. I added tape to the top and bottom of the rudder to minimize tearout. Because of the foil shape, the bottom of the cut is not supported.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  5. wjejr

    wjejr Member

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hi everyone,

    The next step was to position the rudder hardware and then mark where the holes are supposed to be. I used welding clamps to hold the bronze hardware in place, as the clamps had enough tension to hold the pieces firmly. I then used the largest brad point bit that would fit into the holes to mark the center. I twisted the drill counter clockwise so that the bits would not dig into the bronze. I did the hole for the tiller attachment last.

    Note that in pictures 1 and 2 it shows the hardware tight against the wood. After thinking about it a bit, I moved the pieces out by 1/8" so that the tilller can swing down to the rest plate on the bronze rudder head.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. wjejr

    wjejr Member

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hello fellow Sunfishers,

    Well, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing to excess. It's complete overkill, but I decided to use G10 tubing to line the gudgeioin mounting holes so that the threads of the screws never touch the wood. The theory is that the threads cannot scrape into the epoxy barrier coat I will put on later. If the screws cut through the barrier water could get under the epoxy and make a mess. Secondarily, it also prevents the hardware from compressing the mahogany. The screws would shear long before there would be compression of the G10.

    I had the G10 tubing lying around from another project, so no added expense; just a little more time. You can cut G10 with a regular saw blade, but here I used a diamond saw blade to cut it. You will see the pictures show that I use tape before drilling. This helps to prevent tearout (bottom) and is also easier to see the marks of where to drill (top). In the last picture you will see the G10 tubing in place. I sanded the edges of the tubing so that it forms a slight indentation where the epoxy can sit and soak in. Nex step will be to shape the rudder head, but that can't be done until the rudder head is mounted in it's permanent position.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. wjejr

    wjejr Member

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hello fello Sunfishers. A little more progress to report. After mounting the rudder gudgeons, I traced the top one and then created a curve to merge into the rudder shape. I then cut to the line using a bandsaw being careful to leave a little extra. Once that was done then I mounted a sanding drum in the drill press and fine tuned the shape. After that I clamped the rudder in a vice and sanded out any marks from the drum.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. wjejr

    wjejr Member

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hi everyone, I had a chance to mount the new rudder on the boat. To me it looks pretty good. I did notice, and you can clearly see in the second picture, that the old style hardware does not mount the rudder perpendicular to the water line, but instead it angles the rudder down. A few posts ago, I was wondering whether to keep the angle of the rudder bottom as shown in the plans or cut it to be perendicular to the edge where the gudgeons are mounted. The perpendicular cut would have been the wrong move.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    looks beautiful... stay off the bottom now!
     
  10. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    63
    You're going to put this rudder in WATER??? :eek:

    .
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  11. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I was thinking the same thing. Your swinging way below your
    level. Head over to Glen-L plans and check out a boat like
    the Lord Nelson. I'd enjoy watching you construct one of
    these beauty's. You could make you own website for what would
    probably be a 10 year project.

    33' Lord Nelson - world cruising sailboat-boatdesign
     
  12. wjejr

    wjejr Member

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hello everyone,

    It's been awhile since I last posted, but I have been making some progress on the rudder. I decided to fiberglass the rudder to make the rudder a bit stronger and more importantly to give it more durability. The other factor was that I had never tried to have the glass "see-through" and was keen to try it. So the first step was the barrier coat. I use MAS epoxy as I like the two to one properties. I've used MAS resins as a barrier coat before, and my experience is the surface must be absolutely clean and the thinner the coat the better. Thicker coats for me resulted in too much sanding. Speaking of sanding, from here on I wet sanded using mineral spirits and Klingspor wet/dry sandpaper. Here are the pictures from the barrier coating.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  13. wjejr

    wjejr Member

    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hello fellow Sunfishers. After barrier coating in the last post, the next step was to apply the fiberglass. I used 4 oz. cloth that I purchased from Jamestown Distributors. I have used fiberglass before, but have never tried on a complex, at least for me, shape. I found that it was difficult to get the glass to lay flat when trying to lay it over a 90 degree edge (e.g. leading edge, rudder head edge). Maybe staples would have worked, but by then the cloth was already wetted out, and it seemed to be risky to try it then.

    You will see in the picture that I used scissors to cut the partially cured (i.e. green) glass which made the job much easier.

    I debated about whether this step was worth the effort, and although I am glad I gained some experience, if I had it to do over again, I would not bother.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page