Food, fixes and notes from the casual coastal sailor.

Kris Cringle

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The final fit of the new rudder took a little coaxing.
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The structural side looks more like a cut of swiss cheese. This shows the bolt and wood grain logic in the design Rhodes preferred at the time. 2, 7"X 3/8" and 1, 10" X 3/8" bronze machine bolts, washers and nuts (there is also 1 #18X5" FH bronze screw in the middle of the upper rudder post.

The 3 5/16" X 16" bronze drifts now skewer through the 3 planks that taper from 1" at the aft edge forward to 1 3/4" at the bronze rudder posts. Below, in the lower rudder posts (benign, little torque), are 3 3/8" bonze bolts. All I've added is epoxy at the joins.

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Now those nuts and washers are also capped off with dutchman plugs, but in the future, a little paint scraper exploration should uncover the access for tightening or removal for replacement with new bronze bolts.

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Jim in Halifax

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Kudos for doing the job properly. OTOH, my glass skills are better than my carpentry - I probably would have built a FG rudder... I'll get my hat and coat now...
 

Kris Cringle

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Why? Ships have been using wooden rudders for centuries. Sipo is pretty rot-resistant - almost as good as Swietenia Mahogany. As long as there is antifouling to keep the borers at bay, the new rudder should last for a very ling time.
Even on epoxy gluing the planks together, my experienced wooden boat building source said, "Sure, it couldn't hurt". I had to get to work on my boat so I called it done. :)
 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
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Oregon

The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction: Wood and WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy was first published in 1979.

See Chapter 2, Modern Wood/Epoxy Composite Boatbuilding

I'm distracted at the moment so can't be more specific... It's the way wood-epoxy boats have been built for more than forty years.

P.S. Search the PDF I linked to for "encap" (i.e., "encapsulated"), there are 11 cases. I haven't looked at them all but found this on page 12 (Chapter 3):
While wood has many advantages as a structural material, it also has some well-known disadvantages, most of which are caused by the passage of water in and out of its cells. Wood can rot. It shrinks and swells with changes in moisture and temperature, and it loses some of its strength and stiffness when its moisture content is high. In the past, difficulties arose in constructing boats with wood because of changes in the condition of the wood caused by variations in moisture content. As its moisture level increases, the wood changes in dimension and loses some of its strength and stiffness. The design of boats built of wood had to make allowances for this instability.

To a very great extent, the use of WEST SYSTEM Brand epoxy overcomes the problems previously associated with wood construction. All joints in boats built with the methods described in this book are bonded with, and all surfaces encapsulated in, epoxy. In this way, every piece of wood, inside and out, is covered with a barrier coating of WEST SYSTEM epoxy through which no significant amount of water or air can pass. As a result, the moisture content of the wood is stabilized.

This stabilization means that the wood will shrink and swell very little. The moisture level at which the stabilization occurs and at which the wood remains ensures a continuation of design strength and stiffness. Encapsulation in WEST SYSTEM epoxy also prevents dry rot, not only by stabilizing moisture content, but also by restricting oxygen supply to the wood surface

Epoxy is not just a glue, it's a system. I read the Gougeon book decades ago and have worked with epoxy enough to know that all surfaces of the wood should be fully coated.
 
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Jim in Halifax

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Epoxy is not just a glue, it's a system. I read the Gougeon book decades ago and have worked with epoxy enough to know that all surfaces of the wood should be fully coated.
I get that. I use epoxy all the time, WEST, MAS, East, you name it. If I was building a wooden, laminated core boat I would use the sort of method described in the Gougeon book that you like. But this is a timber rudder made of African Mahogany, bronze drifts and bolts. It is 100% immersed in seawater. It does not have places for fresh water to pool and for rot to start. Encapsulating it may well start problems that won't happen if it just antifouled wood. Like water being trapped inside over the winter. As I said: rudders have been built this way for centuries; no need to reinvent the wheel. The timber rudder that this new one replaces was decades old - what, 50 years or so, Kris?
 

Kris Cringle

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I get that. I use epoxy all the time, WEST, MAS, East, you name it. If I was building a wooden, laminated core boat I would use the sort of method described in the Gougeon book that you like. But this is a timber rudder made of African Mahogany, bronze drifts and bolts. It is 100% immersed in seawater. It does not have places for fresh water to pool and for rot to start. Encapsulating it may well start problems that won't happen if it just antifouled wood. Like water being trapped inside over the winter. As I said: rudders have been built this way for centuries; no need to reinvent the wheel. The timber rudder that this new one replaces was decades old - what, 50 years or so, Kris?
It was originally from the mid 60's. I'm not sure why the wood was showing the age it was. May have been inferior to start?

The rudder in the far background here (my boat) is original mahogany from 1961. Maybe the difference between a Pearson and Alden specs?

The wood is strong as new and only gets bottom paint annually. Sort of like planking which tends to last longer than the framing which isn't immersed in water much of the time.

I didn't ask my wooden boat gurus about encapsulating the rudder. I'll try to at some point.

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Kris Cringle

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Meanwhile, as we struggle with getting the bigger boats into the water this week, NAMO the $1 sailboat is putting miles under it's keel. Our son helped his sister bend on sails and rigging last week and took his sister out on Friday night to familiarize her with the (more than $1) systems.

She and boyfriend then loaded the boat with provisions and headed out Saturday afternoon on her first solo. Wisely cautious, it was evident, she can sail.

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No 4KtShtBox, she quickly sailed to nearby Pulpit Harbor in a couple hours. She treats the boyfriends dog as her own. Tony has the makings of a boat dog.

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Then a return trip the next morning just as quickly. The $1 boat is an annuity. NAMO never had its ancient mainsail flaked so neatly,...

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Kris Cringle

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On a road trip to visit friends and family in Vermont, we took the direct line route, across the remote New England states.

Maine and New Hampshire have a lot in common; especially inland. Naturally beautiful with a healthy dash of rural poverty.

Consider our eclectic license plate mottos; Vacationland, for Maine; Live Free or Die, for NH.
Sort of sums things up.

Seeing a few bizarre shrines along the backroads to the latest stolen election conspiracy, I might add to NH's motto: Live Free - and in self-imposed ignorance, if you so choose - or Die.

At the VINS facility in Quechee Vermont we checked out the Raptor display (these birds in captivity are all recovered from injuries that won't allow them to be re-introduced into the wild).

The American Bald Eagle was, rightly, the first raptor in the line-up. Nearly extinct when I grew up, we saw several in the wild during our road trip, all thanks largely to Rachel Carson and her book (instrumental in banning DDT), Silent Spring.

Vermont stands alone in beauty and quirkiness and that is especially so with current events: The land of Bernie Sanders and a leader in a woman's right to choose, all with a Republican Governor.

Think about that.

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There was sailing. We visited our old mooring field on Lake Champlain in VT. The visit reaffirmed what we still feel; there is no water body more beautiful than Lake Champlain.

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Lined by the Adirondack Mountains on the West and the Green Mountains to the East, it's a deep, cold lake. We spent a few days on the Willsboro NY side with two dear old friends, one of whom recently passed away.

They have a modest camp that's been in her family since 1892. The three of us sat on the lake edge locked in what's referred to as the 'Willsboro stare', looking out across the broad lake toward Burlington VT.

We might still be sailing there had we not gone down the Hudson for a trip along the East Coast many years ago, that ultimately took us to the coast of Maine and into Penobscot Bay.

It was peaceful on the edge of the big lake. My dear friend David was the master of the 'Willsboro Stare'.

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accnick

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I am packing the car today, leaving the land of Florida Man for Maine tomorrow. Launching late this year because of sailing the Newport Bermuda Race, but I am ready for a bit of New England rationality.

The wife and I talk more and more about moving back. Florida is nice in winter, but the political climate wears on us.
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
I am packing the car today, leaving the land of Florida Man for Maine tomorrow. Launching late this year because of sailing the Newport Bermuda Race, but I am ready for a bit of New England rationality.

The wife and I talk more and more about moving back. Florida is nice in winter, but the political climate wears on us.
We’ll be following you up next week. We’ll be using a mail forwarding service from down here for now, but we’re most likely not coming back.
 

Kris Cringle

Super Anarchist
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In North Haven yesterday, lobster boats full of locals were cueing up around the harbor.

One cheeky young tart was giving us ‘yachties’ the queens wave from her boyfriends fishing boat.

After they paraded through harbor village they turned around at the end and cracked them all wide open and ripped the tight harbor to shreds.

This was ‘the blessing of the fleet’.
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