Stacking up.

Pathfinder project post – April 2022 ; skegs and rudder.

As i write it’s a cool and dry April morning, looks to warm up mid afternoon for a while so iv’e had an early start finishing the gluing-up stage of making the stack laminates for the twin skegs and in the workshop are all of the pieces for the rudder assembly. This morning’s slightly rude shock was a summons for Jury service right in the middle of boatbuilding project time, right at the start of a planned holiday and 20 miles and 2 buses away via an unreliable rural route ! – iv’e had to request a deferral and iv’e still to work out how to get there and back again every day on time just when the local bus service is halved once again.

Twin skegs….stack laminate

On the bench.

Actually on the bench this morning are all of the parts for the rudder assembly but minus the tiller and rudder hangings – that’s the blade which i made last year, the 2 cheeks and the pads that form the cheek spacers. Right now i’m slowly fettling and adjusting the crown of the rudder blade curvature such that it rotates up inside the cheeks – somewhere i made a small mistake when drilling, epoxy casting and then drilling again for the pivot point. That small mistake i then ‘corrected’ but in the wrong direction and so had to spend most of a day slowly correcting my ‘correction’ : it’s getting there, just taking time. Yesterday i had a look at the prices for cast bronze rudder fittings that will fit….and then gulped a bit, even wondered a bit about asking my best mate in NZ to cost up making a custom set in stainless steel.

Rudder components.

On the bench – 2.

My big job outside is fitting, gluing and as of this morning, planing the 2 skegs. My build is slightly ‘off piste’ in that iv’e gone with a single centerboard but not in the centre….i call it my ‘offcenterboard-board’ and because of that i’m fitting 2 slightly shorter skegs that take a line along the inner edge of the board slot on the board side and an equivalent off-centre line on the opposite side. Thus far iv’e stacked and glued the 3 lengths of Douglas Fir , marked in a straight line on one skeg and am now busy on the planes – if nothing else we’ll be getting a nice bag of shavings for tinder out of the work. My intention is to finish each skeg with a length of Iroko – that will form a ‘shoe’ each side, full length and 50mm x 20mm in section ; i haven’t decided yet whether to epoxy glue the shoes on or have them as slightly replaceable and removable with a thick layer of adhesive Sikaflex.

Below – second day of planing, third bag of shavings coming along and just taking a coffee break.

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