Week 4: A Rudder Is Born

It has been a busy week in the boat shop. Nina and I put in 5 days and Marsden did 4. On Friday we started glassing the hull to deck joint. This will make the whole boat one solid piece rather than the deck just being bolted to the hull. When the waves are big this means a much stronger boat.

Finished glass work.
Finished glass work.
Rails have been glassed half way back from the bow. The green paper is a drip skirt to catch most of our drips.
Rails have been glassed half way back from the bow. The green paper is a drip skirt to catch most of our drips.

On Saturday Bill finished grinding the bottom paint off of the keel. The bottom is paint free! Now we get to repair the blisters, which means more grinding. Gypsy’s keel is very flat and so to make her sail better we are going to add a foil (wing) shape to the keel to make Gypsy sail better.clean_keelWhile I was doing this, Nina continued to remove the galley counter and prep the engine bed logs. This means grinding old resin and paint off.

Sunday Marsden got taken off blister repair and put on the polishing metal task. He spent most of Sunday and Monday getting the companion way hatch rails polished to a mirror finish. Polishing is a slow process.

You can see yourself in the rails now.
You can see yourself in the rails now.

Bill and Nina did more sanding and demolition in the cabin. If you are wondering about boat work, much of it is repetitive. On Monday the final demolition work prepping the space for the new diesel fuel tank was done. Nina cleaned more butyl rubber off the ports. This stuff is sticky and messy, but it dissolves nicely in lacquer thinner. The weather has been great so this can happen outside. Then we helped to finish the glassing of the hull to deck joint.

This gives an idea of the glassing. The piles of glass are going to be laminated on to the two corners of the transom with lots of resin. We will try not to drip too much.
This gives an idea of the glassing. The piles of glass are going to be laminated on to the two corners of the transom with lots of resin. We will try not to drip too much.
Nina is relaxing after glassing the hull to deck joint.
Nina is relaxing after glassing the hull to deck joint.

While we were doing this Tom was making our new rudder. He laminated new fiberglass skins in the two mold halves. Then he had to fit the rudder post to the mold and glue the two halves together. After glassing the hull to deck joint we watched as Tom filled the open space in the rudder mold with foam. The foam is made by mixing the two component parts together. Then you have a minute or so before the chemical reaction starts and the foam expands. To control the reaction we did three smaller pours instead of one big pour.

The rudder mold is assembled.
The rudder mold is assembled.
Tom pouring the foam.
Tom pouring the foam.
Waiting.
Waiting.
The mold is full.
The mold is full.

Tuesday found Bill re-sanding the bottom blister epoxy fills. Nina getting rid of more old carpet glue and cleaning parts of old caulk and Marsden got to get the rust off of the engine bed plates. Luckily these are going to be painted so a mirror finish is not needed. While we did this Tom worked on grinding the newly glassed hull to deck joint into shape.

After grinding the deck joint smooth.
After grinding the deck joint smooth.

We also have decided to replace our wood toe rails with aluminum ones. The four 20′ rails came this week and they are going to be lovely.

Our new toe rails.
Our new toe rails.
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