Postcards of the Hanging

The rudder hanging that is.

All kinds of malarkey afoot over yonder at the Bonnie Boat these days, been busy enough between working on the boat and IRL work that bloggarting has fallen to the wayside… Getting the rudder attached was definitely the single most stressful task so far. In order to ensure the rudder remains watertight and rot-proof,I painted  the joint where the upper half of the rudder post meets the rudder with thickened epoxy. This means we had to get the rudder into position, drive home the bolts attaching the rudder to the post, and tighten everything up within the working time of the epoxy, about 25 minutes. Of course the last bolt didn’t quite want to go, I don’t quite remember the sequence of everything from the haze of stress and chemical fumes, but significant amounts of brute force were applied and everything did finally go where it was supposed to. All that’s left is to fill in the holes and glass around the stock and the rudder will be FINISHED.

I think I’m trying to give a thumbs up

It ain’t perfect- there’s a few little things that will probably bug me for a bit, but it is robust and I’m reasonably confident it will steer the boat.

A neat addition that one of the previous owners made was a bushing/bearing that fits down into the rudder-post-shaft that is then covered with a metal collar…you can’t see the bushing in these pictures, but it prevents water from shooting up the rudder post shaft and into the cockpit if there’s a bit of a chop running.

Let’s see what else…found some flares buried in a locker in the boat

Pretty cool. They’re all expired so I guess I’ll take the kayak into the middle of the Rapp and test them out, that’s a good idea right?

Mostly I’ve been working on getting the deck prepped for painting, everything has been cleaned, sanded, painted with epoxy, and had fairing compound applied.

Everything needs to get cleaned and sanded one more time, then we’ll be ready to paint!

Many books on seamanship stress the need for orderliness aboard ship. A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Many skilled craftsman feel a tidy shop is the calling card of a professional. I do not fall into these categories. In college, my roommate and I won a campus-wide contest for the dirtiest room.

I should probably be embarrassed by this

I like to have all of my tools instantly accessible, by having them strewn about in haphazard fashion.

This is the living room during the rudder build. Hopefully the landlords don’t read my blog.

Supposedly Einstein said that if a messy desk is the sign of a messy mind, then what is an empty desk indicative of? Who am I to argue with Einstein? At any rate, I allowed the boat to get completely out of control, and Ryan was having none of it, so she came out and helped me clean and organize. It’s much, much better.

With everything cleaned and organized, the interior feels much closer to being complete. We’re hitting the Annapolis boat show next weekend in search of a composting toilet, halyards and running rigging, and a few other sundries. Progress!


2 thoughts on “Postcards of the Hanging

  1. Firstly–Fantastic Blog over these years–I’ve been binge reading since discovering it only this past summer. Now a rudder question for you or anyone: Did you ever find or read about a LOWER bushing/bearing for where the Ariel rudder shaft exists the hull? My rudder waggles a bit (sort of a clunking, free-play feel) and the source seems to be flex and thumping/bumping at the point the rudder leaves the lower part of the tube, as if it was meant to have a bearing there. I’ve found no mention of such a part, no evidence in other boats I can find locally…except once– a boat in a boneyard in Maine with a little bushing thingy stuck into that spot through which the rudder shaft went (couldn’t tell if it was plastic or bronze.. What are your thoughts as a, now, rudder expert?
    Bruce (in Portland Maine)

    • Hey Bruce, thanks for reading. I haven’t ever heard about a bushing/bearing for the rudder post where it exits the hull. “Firefly” and many other Ariels have been retrofitted with a bushing where the rudder stock comes through the cockpit sole…my understanding is the purpose of that bushing is to prevent water from squirting up through the stern tube around the rudder pos, but maybe it helps
      to keep the rudderpost from rattling around as well. I would check with the guys at, there’s usually someone over there with good advice. Fair winds!

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