Misadventures in Epoxy

We took advantage of the nice weather to get some epoxying done. Mixed up a batch with West Marine’s 407 low density fairing dust stuff, pretty much = marine grade bondo. The idea is to work it into the cracks of the gelcoat then fair everything up in preparation for painting. The first application was a bit heavy and will probably require quite a bit of sanding, but the second time around we got the hang of it and I think it looks pretty good. We got about 30% of the underbody done  in about 3 hours.

The 407 mixed with the resin is a reddish color, just about the same shade as the old bottom paint. After all those hours of scraping away at the hull, it now looks like it did when we started. On the bright side, I found a pair of sunglasses on the boat. Sweet!

A Ship Without a Rudder

Greetings, internet user, and welcome to the Middle Peninsula School of Destructive Testing. When last we spoke I was in the process of removing the nuts which affix the prop to the shaft. They were on there pretty good, but I used a trick I learned from an old salt named Charlie (no relation to the boat), and off came the nuts. Gross.

Unsurprisingly, the prop was also firmly stuck on the shaft. I’m sure hammering the pin which snugs the propeller down the wrong way for about 10 minutes didn’t help.

This guy.

Still the prop wasn’t budging so I tried this:

And this:

Which required me to do this:

Still to no avail. I was beginning to suspect the level of jury-riggedness that was resulting, and eventually just decided to have the Marina use their special tool and pull the damn thing off.

With the prop out of the way, I could once more concentrate my efforts on dropping the rudder out of the boat. I was worried that the boat wasn’t high enough off the ground for the top of the rudder shaft to clear the bottom of the hull, which turned out to be rather prescient of me. The rudder shaft is about 6 ft long and is attached to the keel at the bottom, held in place by the aforementioned strap, and runs up a cylindrical hole through the hull and cockpit sole where it attaches to the tiller. The whole assembly is one big unwieldy piece, and apparently boat-owners in this situation often end up having to dig a hole in order to facilitate removing the rudder.  For a number of reasons, mainly I don’t like digging holes, I decided to just cut the rudder in half.

Fun stuff eh? Really I could only get away with this because the rudder shaft is in two pieces, otherwise I would be cutting a perfectly good and very expensive piece of bronze in half.

There you have it, I think fabricating a new rudder will be one of the most technically challenging parts of this renovation. I believe I’ll read up on the forums and ruminate a bit before proceeding. In the meantime, there’s always more sanding to be done.

Rudder: Part 1 of ?

As you can see it has both been cold here and I’ve discovered how to use filters on my iPhone. Got out to the boat this afternoon with the goal of getting the rudder pulled off. First step; drill out the copper (bronze?) pins holding the strap which holds the rudder post in the keel shoe thing, the whole of which the rudder is attached to. Got it?

Whelp that didn’t work so well, so on to plan B courtesy of kindly readers of the last post- cut it out with the dremel! Dremel tools kick ass B T DUBS, and in short order I had the pins cut and the strap removed. I’ll have to grind out and fill the holes and gouges with epoxy once it warms up. With the strap removed, all that was left was to lift the rudder shaft out of the keel shoe and drop the whole assembly on the ground.

Of course it wasn’t meant to be. Turns out the rudder shaft doesn’t quite clear the prop, so I’ll have to pull that off. The prop is affixed to the prop shaft via a clevis pin (cotter pin?) and two threaded nuts about 1 1/4″. Unfortunately I didn’t have any wenches large enough to twist the nuts off the shaft. Sorry, wrenches. That sounds like a job for Super Bowl Sunday!