Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Removing the rudder

To get the rudder out we needed to either dig a hole under the boat or lift her. I didn't think the boss would approve of us jack hammering a hole in the shop floor so we set about lifting her instead.
We fabricated some lifting tabs and welded them onto the cradle to make it easier to pick up with the yard-arm jacks. The rudder fittings were removed and the vessel was lifted about fourteen inches to give the necessary clearances to drop the rudder. We cribbed the vessel in place and supported her well with boat stands.
The rudder was being stubborn and did not want to come out easily so we sanded the stock above the packing gland with 220 then 320 then 600 grit and sprayed some silicone lubricant down the stock. A hydraulic wedge was placed above the rudder and used to gently coax the rudder down and out.
Once out the rudder was placed on the table and sanded down and filled and faired where required.
The "pin" at the bottom of the rudder was completely corroded away, the rest of the fittings were in pretty good shape considering their age.

welding on tabs

going up

removing rudder

down and out

sand, fill, and fair

cockpit lockers

The past few weeks I have not had as much time to work on my boat as I'd like. The boating season is starting early here this year. Its a good thing........last winter brought record snowfall and the season started very late. That short season combined with the recession caused three boat shops here to close their doors this winter. We managed to hang on and are still here but it was a tough year. And although it means a greater market share for us with the other shops gone we will miss the people who worked them. Northern Idaho still has a friendly, small town feel and the shops would help each other out if one had a part in stock the other needed etc.

I have been focusing on finishing the inside of the cockpit lockers.
It seems that I crawl into them and do a bunch of work and at days end I declare the lockers to finally be finished! .........only to poke my head in there the next day and see "one more thing" that I should do before I paint, and back in I go.

There was evidence of the vessel leaking water between the liner in the little compartment below the forward winches. We climbed into the locker and cut out the poorly fitted fiberglass that was used as the bottom of the pocket and then used a small sanding disk in an air die grinder to clean up the pocket.
There was a significant gap in the forward end of the pocket where water had been leaking in so we mixed up some west system epoxy with west 403 chopped fibers into a snowball like consistency and pressed it into the gap. When mixed like that the epoxy doesn't drip and can be handled and formed easily and when compressed into the gap it oozes some resin out of the edges making it easy to tool and adheres and seals really well.
Once the epoxy had cured it was scuffed and two layers of bi-axial cloth was applied.
We laid up two layers of cloth into sheets and while waiting for it to cure we made templates in the locker for the new compartment. We made them deeper, angled slightly aft and put a drain in them. Once the sheets had cured we cut out the pieces and hot glued them in place and filleted them with west systems on the inside and glassed the seams on the outside of the pockets. 

Several holes were filled and repaired where gauges had once lived and the flange of the starboard locker was rebuilt where someone had decided to rough cut the opening to enlarge it to fit something into the locker that was larger than the original opening.

A thru-hull pad and assembly was made as described in an earlier post and one was installed in the aft portion of each locker, the lockers were painted and the deck and winch pocket drains were plumbed.

winch pocket with drain