Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Rudder | The Rebuild

The day after I discovered that the rudder was effectively scrap I devised a plan to restore it to become a functional part of the boat.

The only bits that were wrongly installed were the rear and bottom blocking pieces. Everything else was fine.

So those pieces had to be replaced.

It shouldn't be too much of an issue.

When I started researching PocketShip I read on one builder's blog that he built a curve into his keel and resolved it by cutting the keel in half along its entire length and then realigning it. Compared to that a dodgy rudder is a piece of cake!

So, the misaligned blocking had to come out.

First, the bottom blocking was removed. I drilled a hole at both ends, as here.


Then the jig saw was used to cut the blocking out, like this.


The rear blocking was removed by drilling holes at short intervals and cutting it out piece by piece with the Japanese keyhole and rip cut saws. Like this.


I found that the spring clamps had not been very effective and one side of the rudder was only partly fixed in place. So a good thing that I was rebuilding it, then!

Then the inside of the rudder sides were carefully cleaned up with a chisel and mallet.

Here is a view of the rudder interior, held open with a wedge of scrap.


Now I made new blocking pieces.

Here is the bottom blocking being planed to profile in the vice.


And here is a test fit of the new blocking pieces.


In the above photo you can see that I have fitted a cord strung between two tacks along the length of the bottom and forward blocking, so I can line it up with the pencilled-in centre line on the blocking itself.

This will make sure that the rudder is correctly aligned when glued up.

Here is a close up of the cord and the centre line.


This is what I should have done in the first place.

If you're building a PocketShip and haven't built your rudder yet - don't do what the manual says.

Fit the front and top blocking first, clamped to the bench to make sure it's straight.

Then put it in the vice and do as I did here to ensure the aerofoil profile is accurate.

Lastly, here is the rudder glued up and curing.


This time I used plenty of G cramps to make sure the joins are good and tight, with some spring clamps to provide supporting pressure.

That was a lot of work, and I'm happy to have that episode behind me.


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