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Thread: wood core rudder question

  1. #71
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    I simply envelope bag foils and have never had a real problem.I have used both commercial bagging materials and improvised with a bag made from damp proof membrane and an old towel as breather cloth.I wouldn't want to risk a problem with a hard won rudder as a first project though.Is there anything else you could use as a trial run?
    Yeah, I have another rudder, which was going to be my emergency rudder. I would "like" for it to come out well, but I have minimal investment in time and about $6 worth of materials into it right now. I might try that one, first.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  2. #72
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    I slathered sawdust-epoxy glop on the last bit of horribly gouged-out leading edge this AM. It'll go off today, and I can hit it with the surform plane tomorrow morning. Then, sand with care down to more-or less wood level. Then use proper wood-dough thickened epoxy to smooth it over on Friday. It's supposed to rain this weekend, and I'm theoretically going sailing on Saturday (that's what foul weather gear is for, right?) so probably no work will get done on the rudder this weekend.

    I need to buy a couple of belt-sander belts for the back 2/3rds of the blade to knock down all those router grooves.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  3. #73
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    I'm adding some thickness to the rudder, as for some reason the template....I don't know. It ain't right. So I'm adding some thickness, as in doug fir strips, and I'll run the router over part of it again.


    IMG_0101.jpg
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  4. #74
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Also a couple of pictures of my killer woodworking shop. This is the emergency rudder under construction, not my primary rudder.
    E-rudder001.jpg

    IMG_0103.jpg

    and finally, here's an offcut from the emergency rudder that I tried to torque apart - redwood-glue'd up with with PL100 polyurethane adhesive. You'll note that the wood broke before the joint gave up.


    IMG_0098.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Alan H; 12-17-2017 at 09:24 PM.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  5. #75
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Work has been progressing, but nothing big until today. The little stuff? After doing my thing with the router I noticed that it was cutting almost nothing at the thickest point of the chord. That seemed odd so I did some measuring. I decided to glue a couple of 3/16th strips, 2 inches wide, most of the length of the rudder, at the thickest point of the chord (on both sides of course). Then I went over it with the router again. --MUCH better. Also, since I'd developed some technique with the router/template, and I was using a larger ball-shaped-bit, I went over the back 1/3 of the chord over most of the rudder and cleaned it up. That really made a difference on one side, in the bottom 1/3rd of the foil.

    Anyway, that was yesterday. Today was belt-sanding out all the router grooves, which went very fast. Then I blopped in some spooge of wood dough and epoxy and filled in the worst of the gouges, faired part of the leading edge to the first "strip" and shaped the bottom of the rudder.

    The bottom was an issue...what to do? Should I leave it more or less square, like and old-skool J-24/29/30 rudder or an an "elliptical" (haha!) trailing edge to the bottom. OK, well "elliptical" I don't know but this is what I have.



    And here's a view of the "One-side-is-wood-dough/epoxy faired-step one" setup on my workbench. The chain is holding down a strip of the extra wood that got lifted during the routing process. There's a piece of plastic between the chain and the wood/epoxy.



    The "really brown" part in the lower right is where I did the very first few passes with the router. I cut way too deep so there's a LOT of epoxy/sawdust or epoxy/wood dough in there to build it up. It needs one more "go" and then some sanding before I'll call it good.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  6. #76
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    on the rudder front....

    This is the boring part. Smear on epoxy and wood dough---wait overnight --- sand. Repeat. Repeat again. Use the belt sander to shape in some of the oddball tapers here and there. Turn over, and repeat. I'm one smear-wait-sand away from being done with one side.

    However, I've belt-sanded the second side, and then gone over it with the surform plane and then belt sanded again, so the basic shape is there. I'm shocked. The trailing edge is ramrod straight and pretty much exactly 1/4 inch thick for the entire length of the blade.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  7. #77
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    I must be making progress because I did about 45 minutes of sanding and then flipped the rudder over, today. The second side got it's first layer of fairing spooge... router shavings in epoxy for the areas where I need to build some volume quickly, and wood dough in epoxy for the little stuff. I expect there will be two more iterations of this.

    Also, the foil template for the emergency rudder is done.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  8. #78
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    I thought I was done and ready for vacuum bagging, but I set up the rudder on the trailing edge and took a good, hard look at the leading edge and what's right behind it. It's good in the bottom third of the blade but one side is fatter than the other side in the top 2/3rds, with a significant divot, probably where I joined two pieces of wood. Aside from that divot, it's impossible to find that join, so that's good. Anyway, today I added some bulk to the "skinny side". I'll let it kick off tonight and hopefully sand it fair tomorrow, though it will probably need a treatment with epoxy/wood dough and another sanding.

    I'd hoped to have the vacuum-bagging done before I went back to work on Jan.8th, but I don't think it's gonna happen. As an aside, this has to be the most boring "construction" thread, ever....
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  9. #79
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    As an aside, this has to be the most boring "construction" thread, ever....
    On the contrary; Replies: 77 Views: 6,315
    The stats say that it is interesting, but there isn't much need for corrections and advice and few who think they can contribute constructively.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    I figured out the Excel thing...take the Jig columns, make them the X and Y axes, and then do a scatter plot. Now I'm stuck on how to make the two axes the same scale. Grr.
    Quote Originally Posted by galleywench View Post
    Hi Alan,
    Look for my PM with some instructions. You shouldn't need to do a scatter plot, the spreadsheet draws it out nicely for you already, it's on the second tab.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    Ah the tab at the bottom....
    Lookie what I did. Sweeeet. Thanks, galleywench.
    I know how to fix the scatter plot, but I would really like to know GW's second tab trick. If you don't want to further hijack this thread, there is a truly boring thread where you could put the details:
    Computer Hindered Design: Fairing lines with Excel
    This thread was summed up succinclty:
    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    ...I doubt too many non-insomniacs will be following this one too closely...
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  10. #80
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    True, and the last few weeks are extremely important to the end result...fairing....but dullsville to read about. I will take a mess of photos when I start the vacuum-bagging. I go get the vacuum pump on Sunday afternoon.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  11. #81
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    OK, that's the last mix-spread-kick-and sand for the primary rudder. We're in the "overnight kick" phase right now. This afternoon, after I spread some more wood dough and shavings for filler on the "skinny" side of the leading edge, I got to work on the Emergency rudder. I'm not going to be anywhere near as fussy about having a perfect shape for that rudder, and I think I'll use it for "practice" for vacuum-bagging. I'd hate to screw up the primary rudder.

    $148...$83 of stuff and $65 of shipping... worth of triaxial fiberglass, peel ply and bleeder has arrived at my house , enough to do both rudders and I'll probably have a lot left over.

    OK, so this afternoon I spent about two and a half hours doing this...E-rudder005.jpg

    Which generated a LOT of this.

    E-rudder007-sawdust.jpg
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  12. #82
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Here's the end result. Notice that I only did the aft face/edge of the rudder. I tried one pass at the leading edge and the bit dug way too deep. After looking at it closely, I finally figured out why. If anybody is interested, I can take some photos and explain, but take it from this guy. If you do this, make your two template foil plates exactly the radius of the middle of the flat riding surface of your router. Any time you're routing over a strongly curved part of the foil, and the template slips off the inside of the riding surface of the router, your bit will dig too deep. When the shape of the foil is relatively flat, that's not an issue.

    E-rudder004.jpg
    I will make some circular saw cuts to the leading edge and fair it by hand.

    Here's a close-up of the freshly routed surface. I'm using a bigger bowl-shaped bit this time.

    E-rudder006.jpg

    I smooth that off with a surform plane and then belt sand with 80 grit. Then I fill the major remaining divots with spooge of epoxy and wood dough. The dough created by sanding with 80 grit works pretty well.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  13. #83
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    I am working in my driveway. Perhaps you can understand how I both drool and chuckle at you guys with your heated workshops, vacuum-evacuated planers and so on. One thing for sure, if I did this a lot, I would wear a respirator. That was a lot of dust, today.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  14. #84
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    I am working in my driveway. Perhaps you can understand how I both drool and chuckle at you guys with your heated workshops, vacuum-evacuated planers and so on. One thing for sure, if I did this a lot, I would wear a respirator. That was a lot of dust, today.
    If you drool here, it will freeze in your beard. My high temperature this week ranged from -5 to 13 and average was 4F. Average low was -17. I can get the shop just above freezing with a portable kerosene heater, but working in the driveway is not an option.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  15. #85
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Yes, that's been pointed out to me. Lots of you would love to wheel your shop saw and worktable out into the sunshine and work outside, right now.

    Well, it IS raining here, today. I have sanding I would like to do while I stay home with a sore throat, but if I sand anything significant in the garage my wife will NOT be happy. Hmmm. Maybe I can do something on the leading edge of the E rudder with a drawknife. Hmmm.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  16. #86
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    Yes, that's been pointed out to me. Lots of you would love to wheel your shop saw and worktable out into the sunshine and work outside, right now.

    Well, it IS raining here, today. I have sanding I would like to do while I stay home with a sore throat, but if I sand anything significant in the garage my wife will NOT be happy. Hmmm. Maybe I can do something on the leading edge of the E rudder with a drawknife. Hmmm.
    Your wife may not be your biggest fan when it comes to dust in the garage. You may need to enlist your biggest fan to mitigate the problem.

    $46, CFM: H 6000/ M 4700/ L 3900 @ H.D'pot. 6000 cfm is about 30 mph. If you don't want to sand in a gale, I would try a plane on the washboard surface left by the router. I would also regret not having arranged the grain in the laminate in the same direction all the way across. I never think to do that until after I start planing.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  17. #87
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Most forums do not contain lads and lasses who will appreciate the fact that I used this tool to start shaping the leading edge of the E-rudder. But this forum does.
    IMG_0192.jpg
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  18. #88
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    I have used one of those,and an adze,for the same purpose.I doubt you will ever regret the time and effort that you are putting onto this project-its nice to know you have the best possible piece of boat gear in operation.It just takes such a lot of work.

  19. #89
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    John, one of my three "other hobbies" is putting on a kilt and throwing things at the Highland Games.

    CaberCostaMesa.jpg

    But to get good at this, you have to make a couple to practice with. Also, our local group that puts on the Heavy Athletics in northern California, well....we break cabers every season. The last few years, I'm the guy who takes trees and turns them into cabers. This one was for ME, me, me, me...to practice with.

    CaberPrep.jpg

    A drawknife is THE tool for dressing a caber.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  20. #90
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    We are getting close to vacuum-bagging. Today was truly the last round of epoxy/wood-dough spooge on the E-rudder. I chiseled off the little flange at the bottom of the rudder that's there to keep it level when you use the router. That will get flattened out tomorrow when I sand off the excess spooge. And then...if all goes well..... IN THE BAG TOMORROW with the E rudder.

    The primary rudder got it's first layer of reinforcing carbon. It will get an identical layer on the other side, tomorrow. And then...it's ready for vacuum-bagging!


    carbon rudder.jpg

    You may wonder why the carbon doesn't go the full length of the blade? Well, rudders break, when they break, in the middle. There's no load on a rudder at the tip, and minimal load where the tiller attaches. What load there is, where the tiller is, is twisting loads, and you want a biaxial or triaxial reinforcement for that. This is linear carbon.

    If you look on the left side of the rudder, you can see the 1 1/2 inch setback to give the blade some balance. The lower rudder pintle will go about 3 inches above that. Honestly, I could lay carbon on to go about a 2 feet each side of where that pintle will be and get the benefit of the carbon reinforcement. However, I had it, so I used it.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  21. #91
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    VACUUM BAG DAY!!

    ...what a shi*tsh0w!!. I'm so glad I did the E-rudder first. Now I've made all my mistakes and know what to do differently for the primary rudder.

    Mistakes...#1 I thought I cut the triaxial glass wide enough to cover the blade with an inch overlap for "flash". Nope. There might be some overlap at the trailing edge. Might not. It's that close. Lesson - cut 4 inches more than you think you need. #2.. well, mistake #1 took so much time to readjust that by the time we got the rudder in the bag, the epoxy was starting to gel. So I doubt that the breather pulled anything out. I certainly can't see any resin in the breather. The cloth and the peel ply are well soaked, though, so there will be a good bond.

    BIG 3-cut all the cloth out FIRST, BEFORE coating the rudder. Don't "cut as you go". Oh, well. This is why I did this rudder, first.

    Here's what my garage looked like, cutting out breather while the rudder was on the table with peel ply on it. Me=Dummy! I won't do that again.
    vacuum-bag-garagemess.jpg
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  22. #92
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Joan helped me get the rudder in the bag I had for it, after doing all the layup, finding out that I hadn't cut enough triaxial to quite get to the trailing edge on both sides, removing it and laying it all in, again. Here it is, hanging from a line between two sawhorses.

    vacuum-bag1.jpg
    One end of the line is tied to my truck, the other end is tied to some Highland Games weights. There are bolts driven into the end of the rudder, with big washers on them. The bolts/washers fit into loops in the rope, to suspend the rudder off the ground, trailing-edge down.
    vacuum-bag-hang1.jpg
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  23. #93
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Then, on with the pump, loaned to me by my laminates/carbon/composites whiz friend, Greg. Another lesson...get the butyl tape on the bag BEFORE hanging it. Sealing the bag took 45 minutes, seriously. Oy, ve.

    vacuum-bag-pump1.jpg

    Finally, "tented up" (there's more plastic on it now, down to ground level everywhere but one end)... and two space heaters running.

    IMG_2248.jpg

    That's the ridge pole for my skerry's sunbrella cover, doing double-duty.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  24. #94
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Inside the tent...

    vacuum-bag-tent2.jpg
    Greg says that the orange pump pulls air pretty fast, so I ran it for about two hours. He loaned me another, smaller one, which I set up in the other end. The "big" pump ran for about two hours. The little one ran for about an hour and a half. I never got a really excellent seal, so needed one or the other to be running to keep the bag down on the rudder. At this point the epoxy has started to seriously set up, so I doubt anything is going to get pulled into the breather. If it was going to flow, it would have done so in the first hour.

    I'm going to be moving the space heaters around under the "tent" until about 9:00 PM, tonight.. That means they'll have been under heat for about five hours. Incidentally, there's more plastic over the "tent" now, so it's more or less touching the ground everywhere but one end. I estimate it's about 85 degrees at the "top" of the tent and 70 nearer the ground.
    Last edited by Alan H; 01-17-2018 at 11:14 AM.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  25. #95
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    This has been a high-stress day. Hopefully what I've learned will make the next one lower stress, and with better results! Also, very curious to see this rudder when it comes out. I'm concerned that I was a bit skimpy with the epoxy, since absolutely nothing that I can see, has migrated into the breather. Then again. that might be because it took so long to get the rudder into the bag and under vacuum, and by then the epoxy was gelling.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  26. #96
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    It's the next morning. Well, OK, it's noon-ish now~. I un-tented the rudder and turned off the heat at about 10:00 PM last night. I strung it up in my 50-deg. garage overnight and went to bed. This morning I went out and pulled the peel-ply off. It did not want to come off all that easily. The laminate was very sticky. It was very tightly adhered to the wood, but sticky.

    vacuum-bag-post-cure1.jpg
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  27. #97
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Good news, I have contact/coverage all along the trailing edge of the blade.
    Bad, but not unexpected...The impossible "inside angle" of the leading edge where the stock is set back 3 inches from the blade is ugly...big surprise. I'll have to grind out about 5 inches of stuff. No biggie.

    However, the worst news is that now I know why the breather cloth didn't absorb any excess epoxy. There wasn't any. The mixture is rather epoxy-starved, darnit. There's a lot of bonding to the wood, but also areas that need more. I only found two very small "silvery" areas, in non-structurally important places, where the glass didn't wet out at all. However, this *meh* bonding is not good.

    Upper half of rudder close-up..
    vacuum-bag-post-cure-closeup-stock.jpg

    Blade area, close-up.
    vacuum-bag-post-cure-closeup-blade.jpg

    I'm not terribly happy about that.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  28. #98
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Well, the rudder was still very tacky, so there were still chemical bonds forming. I quick-like got the rudder outside and hung it on some sawhorses. Then I mixed up some epoxy and wiped it on there. It took a surprising amount to fill in the weave, but it did wet out really well. Lesson Learned!...more epoxy.

    So this rudder is less than optimal. There is now probably too much epoxy in the epoxy/glass mixture for optimal strength. It'll be really strong, no question about that, but not optimal.

    vacuum-bag-post-cure-fillin-hang.jpg

    Close ups of the upper half, and blade area, showing that the wiped-on stuff is definitely improving contact with the wood.

    vacuum-bag-post-cure-fillin-closeup-stock.jpg

    vacuum-bag-post-cure-fillin-closeup-blade.jpg
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  29. #99
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    The fact that I did this while the overnight-coat was still pretty tacky is good. It will probably bond really well, and from the appearance of the rudder, it SEEMS like there's a lot more wood/glass/epoxy filling-in-the-gaps going on. Still, it's frustrating. However, this is why I did the E-rudder first, before the primary rudder. I'm glad I'm making my mistakes here..... Next time...MOAR EPOXY in the layup!!.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  30. #100
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    I have seen worse sheathing jobs and they performed adequately.You should have a much greater chance of success with the next one and you will still have a viable spare.I normally use a screed of microballoons/epoxy to fill the weave and then a few coats of white 2pack paint.I find white much better than clear finishing as you are able to see if a frond of weed is along for the ride.

  31. #101
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    I have seen worse sheathing jobs and they performed adequately.You should have a much greater chance of success with the next one and you will still have a viable spare.I normally use a screed of microballoons/epoxy to fill the weave and then a few coats of white 2pack paint.I find white much better than clear finishing as you are able to see if a frond of weed is along for the ride.
    Thanks, John...that's encouraging.

    I have to return the vacuum pumps pretty soon, so this rudder is going to sit for a while. I'll wrap the top, clean up the difficult "inside corner" and sheathe the bottom in a few weeks. Then it'll get a layer of West System fairing compound in epoxy, and a good sanding. After that all sits for a week to completely cure, I have some white gel coat for the final layer.

    Though now you have me thinking that a couple of coats of white epoxy paint might be better than gel coat.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  32. #102
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    The epoxy fill-in kicked off all day yesterday and last night in the garage. Rudder finish looks really good, tight to the wood and smooth, yay! On to the primary rudder!
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  33. #103
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    The primary rudder got it's second layer of unidirectional carbon today. As in, it got a 6-inch wide "tape" of it on the second side. One side already had carbon. This time I was a bit more generous with epoxy. Mentally processing what went less-than-optimally with the E-rudder, I also coated that whole side of the rudder with a light layer of epoxy. Hopefully that will seal the wood and it won't absorb so much on vacuum-bagging day, which is Saturday afternoon. I'll flip the rudder over tomorrow morning and give the other side an overall coat, as well.

    BTW, class rules stipulate that the one-design rudder, pintles, tiller etc. weigh no less than 61 pounds. As of right now, un-fiberglassed, unpainted, without stainless steel pintles, the rudder weighs 46 pounds.
    Last edited by Alan H; 01-24-2018 at 03:58 PM.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  34. #104
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    A lead tiller might be in your future.

  35. #105
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    Default Re: wood core rudder question

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    A lead tiller might be in your future.
    Fortunately, since there is no One Design activity in the SF Bay Area for this boat, I'm under no obligation to meet any class rules. I race under handicap, like the overwhelming majority of sailors around here do. It would be "Nice" to be able to tell the handicap rating committee that the new rudder weighs the same as the old rudder, though. They'd be less likely to penalize me heavily if that was the case.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

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