Rudder Repair – Update #2

After the inner two lifts of the new rudder were cut to layout, the channels for the drifts were routed, and the recess to receive the G10 trailing blade was cut it was time to glue up the inner two lifts. The glue-up happened with all seven drifts installed on the rudder stock to ensure that the G10 tubes would find their optimal location. This glue-up went very well, the inner lifts came off the rudder stock snug after the epoxy had cured. To ensure gap-free bonding of the lifts the two lifts were not only clamped but also further pulled together with several screws which were removed after everything had cured.

The two outer lifts went on in two separate steps in order to keep full control of location. Once all four lifts were glued together we started the initial shape of the blade. The shape is not a straight line from stock to trailing edge (2mm / 5/64″) but follows a wing contour except for the very bottom where it fairs from the ballast to an almost elliptical shape at its end. The inner lifts were left a bit short on purpose at their end in order to prevent a sharp run-out of the plywood. Instead they were cut to end in a 2mm (5/64″) “step” to the G10 trailing blade. This small gap then was filled with Epoxy and fairing filler (the purple “stuff” in the pictures). Before the initial fairing we cut out the pockets that will later allow access to the drifts for installation (and if ever necessary also dis-assembly). The pockets are merely large enough to get a wrench in.

Now it was time for a dry-fit: The rudder stock went back into the boat, the drifts were installed and the rudder was pushed on to the drifts. Very snug fit!

After a few more small adjustments the blade was long-boarded and then covered with clear epoxy to seal off the plywood. Once this clear coat had cured we applied two layers of glass to the rudder blade – and again did this with the blade installed to the rudder stock, this time though to ensure we will get a 100% match on the mating surface of the blade to the stock. The glass then was followed with a layer of fairing compound to fill the weave of the glass – the new rudder will be finish-faired this coming week.

As reported previously we had decided to have a new gudgeon casted. In order for the foundry to cast what we wanted we had to supply them with a wooden plug (template). The template was made to fit the rudder post of LUCIE plus ~2% for shrinkage. The casting came back early last week and then went to a machinist to drill for the rudder stock pin, cut it in half, and drill various holes for rivets and a 5/16″ screw. We tried the new gudgeon during the dry fit of the rudder – it fits perfectly.

Stay tuned for the report on final fairing, painting and installation…

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