Saturday, May 21, 2005

The rudder is IN!

Yes faithful readers (OK, I know its only me) it's true. Today we successfully installed our new rudder. Finally! This is after two trips to Hill Mechanical and quite intense consultation with Jimmy and Larry who are machinists extrodinaire! Turns out that the through bolt was not only not through a diameter but also canted in a vertical direction. No real good way to hit both holes now since this is an unknown angle. Jimmy and Larry came up with a brilliant solution. They tapped the holes in the shaft so two bolts could be turned down on each side of the quadrant rather than a through bolt. Some lock washers and some locktite and we should be good to go.

Assembly is a little difficult as the pictures will attest. After a first attempt we took the rudder back out (Hey, why not? What's one more lift?) and practiced a procedure on the ground where we could see what we were doing. We also made some reference marks to know that the holes are perfectly matched up before blindly fiddling with a bolt and trying to start the threads.

We then cleaned the rudder and coated it with three coats of epoxy. Tomorrow this will be dry and we'll give it a couple of coats of bottom paint.

In other news our mast was rolled over to our boat to be ready for stepping (standing it back up on the boat. Why is this called stepping?). This gave us a chance to put the antenna and wind-o-meter back on the top and to put rigging tape around the bolts at the end of the spreaders. We plan to go up Tuesday and put on the boom and the sails!

We sail in 22 days but we party in 21. Hope to see you there!

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