Drowning in Rudders

When I first started planning the rudder build, Ryan suggested we name the rudder. I believe I shall name it Lucifer, in honor of its lineage. About the only good news I have is that it more or less fits where it’s supposed to…

According to the Pearson Ariel forums, the rudder is most efficient when the upper gap between the rudder and the hull is “about the width of a well worn dime.” Clearly I’ll have to tweak the shape a bit there.

This is what the matching faces of the rudder look like- unfortunately despite trying to be accurate down to the 32nd of an inch, the two halves didn’t quite match up cleanly. I think lining up the guides for the router was the source of error- take + or – a half-width of a pen line and multiply it by 12 (the number of cuts for both faces) and it adds up to just enough to throw everything off. Right now I’m working on a jig to remedy that problem. (I’m on jig v2.5, perhaps the post should have been named “Swimming in Jigs”)


Annnnnd it worked!

Pretty excited that everything lined up, all told I’ve got about 30 hrs invested in the rudder so far, hopefully I’ll be able to get the real one finished up soon. Stay frosty there folks.

Swimming in Rudders

As of this moment, there are 6 different mock-ups of the rudder-to-be out in the shed- the original pattern, the new master template, two screw-ups, and two which will hopefully end up being the completed “practice” rudder. If you are curious and need a rudder refresher, here, here, here, here.

These are the two screw-ups, I messed up some math and they’re 1/2″ off

I’m building the “practice” rudder out of cheap 3/8″ plywood, once I verify everything fits where it’s supposed to, I’ll make the real thing out of marine grade plywood. Marine Ply runs $80-100 per sheet, so I’m happy to butcher some sub-floor until I get it right.

I started with the tracing of the original rudder. The tracing includes the bronze rudder post, so I offset the master template by 1/2″ (the radius of the rudder post) + 1/8″ (the difference between the radius of the router bit and the thickness of the plywood…this took a while to figure out) for a total offset of 5/8″. Part of the reason I’m going into this much detail is so I can remember WTF I did when it comes time for the real thing.

Probably the trickiest bit was matching the curved bit of the rudder stock. I made a jig to guide the router, which I’m using to shape the edge of the plywood to sit flush against the curved surface of the rudder post. What I didn’t remember was something I probably learned in high-school geometry about translating curves or tessellations or some such thing. I initially kept the jig in line with the edge of the plywood, but that ended up shifting the curve down when I routed the edge…a bit hard to describe but I was able to get it close enough like so:

Once I figured out how to line everything up, the routing went very quickly.

The next step is to route out the grooves for the bolts which attach the rudder to the rudder post, tack everything together and see if it fits on the boat! Hopefully I won’t have to add to my collection of rudders.

New Years High-Res

Actually they’re all just ordinary I-phone photos.

The yard is full up now, boats hauled for bottom jobs, overhauls, and winter tasks. We’ve gone from having our own little corner of the boatyard to being surrounded by boats of all shapes and sizes.

“Ivresse” is another Alberg design near us in the yard, I think she’s a Cape Dory, just a bit bigger than us.

Dedicated reader(s?) may recall last year’s resolution was to launch in 2014… clearly we’re gonna have to roll that one over. I’m happy with the progress that’s been made though; supposedly everything takes twice as long and costs three times as much but I think we’ve managed to keep costs down and work moving along nicely. I do occasionally get demoralized by the sheer volume of work remaining- case in point the cabinetry inside the cabin.

I was hoping to just cut a section of this counter top out and use the existing cabinets as a form, but the nailer than runs along the aft bulkhead had completely pulled out, necessating this:

It shouldn’t be significantly more difficult to replace the whole counter top, I’m definitely glad for the hoss jigsaw that some buddies of mine got me for a wedding gift. (Thanks doods)

In an effort to convince myself that we will indeed launch by Spring ( there I said it) here are before and after photos of the work we’ve done this year. Thanks for reading, hopefully we’ll be able to take some of you good folks out this summer!