Sunday, May 4, 2008

Preparing the Rudders and Laminating Tillers

Another project I worked on while I had drying time on the mast parts was preparing the rudders for installation by giving them the treatment I devised for my own Tiki 26 rudders. I wanted to insure that the holes drilled for the rudder lashings would never allow water to penetrate the plywood and lead to rot, and David liked my method so he asked me to do it to his rudders as well. Photos and descriptions of this process on my Tiki 26 rudders can be found here.

The process is easier if you do it before the hulls are assembled, when you can match the skegs up with the rudders and drill all the holes on a drill press. Since David's skegs were already in the boat, they had to be done in a different fashion but it was still possible. The rudders were easier, as shown in the steps below.

First an oversized slot was cut in the position of each set of lashing holes. This was done by first drilling three 7/8" holes in a straight line and then cutting out the material between them with a jigsaw.

These large holes were filled with epoxy thickened with chopped fiberglass strand and silica, then the leading edges of the rudders were routed out to allow for teak inserts to be glued in where the rudder lashing will cross over in the attachment to the skegs. These hardwood inserts will also help prevent water entering the plywood edges. Below Pascual is using a template to route consistent-sized openings for the inserts.

This photos shows his template set-up and some of the routed openings. Pascual is David's top guy with router set-ups and custom templates, and he loves doing this kind of precision work.

Below you can see the rudders with the teak inserts installed, and the plywood template I made for drilling the holes. Pascual also made another router template to recess the area around the lashings 1/8" deep in relation to the surrounding rudder surface. This will keep the lashings lower in profile and reduce turbulence in the water.

This photo shows the finished insert work done, with the lashing holes drilled using the template and the sharp edges of the routed recesses filleted with epoxy to allow sheathing over the whole surface. All that remains to do on the rudders is shape the edges to a hydro-foil section as the plans show and sheath them.

The tillers were also laminated while I was there. David has lots of extra teak on hand so he built them of teak and used a simple form on a work bench to glue them to the curved shape, as this allows more control than the weighted method shown in the plans.

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