View Full Version : Q? on Penobscot 14

01-26-2003, 05:42 PM
I've just started building a Penobscot 14, have the stem, bulkheads, and frames done. I'd like to build the rudder and centerboard before clearing out the garage to make room for the building frame. What material should I use for the rudder and centerboard? John Garner seemed to favor oak, this doesn't seem to be a bad idea in light of all the oyster reefs where I sail. The oak would be more expensive than pine, but give better abrasion resistance. Also, is it necessary to add a lead counterweight? Arch Davis doesn't show any on his plans, but I'm having problems with the rudder blade "floating" on my other sailboat (an f-glass boat). Thanks for any advice.

01-26-2003, 08:22 PM
Personaly I'd opt for 3/4 ply with epoxy and cloth and stay away from solid stock of any kind for both the rudder and cenerboard. By doing this you won't have to worry about, swelling, twisting, etc. Go ahead and put your lead plug in for weight and then encapsulate.

01-26-2003, 10:10 PM
You may want to consider gluing up the rudder from pieces of hard and soft wood which should solve the warping problem, and look quite nice. We did this for our Sand Dollar (Mahogony & Fir)and think it was worth the effort.

Arch recommends tightening the rudder blade bolt to keep it down which works well for us. My old GP14 had a rope and cleat arrangement to hold the blade down which was effective but more complex to build than the lead idea.

[ 01-26-2003, 10:14 PM: Message edited by: Shalfleet ]

John M
01-27-2003, 01:07 PM
I'm building the Penobscot 17 and find that Arch Davis is very helpful. I suggest that you ask him these questions also.

John M.

01-27-2003, 01:15 PM
I was worried about warping, twisting, etc also, and was thinking about edge gluing three or four pieces with the grains alternating rather than carve rudder and centerboard from one 12" wide piece. The instructions call for the centerboard to be glassed and epoxied; this might not be such a bad idea on the rudder blade also. Does anyone know if Arch Davis has an e-mail address? I understand he is very helpful but with my crazy work hours and the time difference he might be less than understanding if I call him in the middle of the night.

John M
01-27-2003, 01:30 PM
Call him at your convenience and if he's not there, leave a message for him to call you at a convenient time. He's always returned my calls. I remember calling him a 9 PM EST. He was actually there. I believe that his shop is next to his house.

John M.

01-27-2003, 06:02 PM

I had trouble finding stock wide enough that wasn't already warping for my Penobscot 14, so I laminated like you are suggesting. It has worked fine, and looks pretty. I also have not had any problem with the rudder floating, using a simple wing nut on the pivot point to tighten the rudder withing the housing. I'm sure there are lots of ways to skin that cat, and most will probably work fine.

01-27-2003, 07:20 PM
This is how the glued-up version looks, with the contrasting wood. We have since painted the sheerstrake black which looks a little better.


[ 01-27-2003, 07:21 PM: Message edited by: Shalfleet ]

01-27-2003, 07:38 PM
Pretty job, Shalfleet, I was thinking about doing the same thing with all the same wood to control the possibility of warping (see Oughtred's book). Hadn't thought about using different types of wood. The first thought that comes to mind is differing rates of shrinking/swelling due to the different types of wood (I'd probably use a mix of pine and oak or pine and mahogony - it's what I've got available). But if the blade, like the rest of the boat, is given two coats of epoxy, differing rates of shrink/swell may not be a problem. I'd probably want to arrange my pieces so that the harder material is on the leading edge and toe for additional abrasion resistance from oyster reefs, and wrap these faces with glass cloth. I'm also a little leery about using a wing nut - this sounds like something to fall off during the middle of a sail. However, a plastic-filled lock nut would serve the same purpose and could be adjusted easily enough with a box end wrench kept in the ditty bag. Thanks for the suggestion.