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.


4 thoughts on “A Ship Without a Rudder

  1. JC needs to come down and help you out, but his classes don’t end until May and his Spring Break is now nonexistant, due to so many snow cancellations. I do admire youre persistence, though.

  2. Pingback: Rudder Decisions | The Bonnie Boat

  3. Pingback: Swimming in Rudders | The Bonnie Boat

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