Monday, April 18, 2011

Rudder and tiller

Since I changed the keel on Mr. Atkin's design I needed to change the rudder too. I did try and keep the area about the same, which makes for a big rudder. It also significantly increases the draft, but only when under sail.

I made the rudder from a beautiful piece of mahogany that was 23 inches wide. It was a gift from my carving teacher after I helped her move. I kept cutting on the shape until it looked about right. Then I rounded the leading edge and feathered the trailing edge.

After I finalized the shape and attached the two cheek pieces, I decided to add a little carving to memorialize the skill my carving teacher passed on to me. I found the scroll and leaf shape amongst a much more complicated Viking-era carving. It seemed a perfect complement to the graceful shape of the rudder head.

The rudder is pretty quick to rig, with the rudder hardware from Duck Trap Woodworking. I thought it might be difficult to do at the dock, but it is, in fact, easier than while the boat is on dry land. The buoyancy of the rudder helps. You can hold it with one hand and drop the pin in with the other.

The push-pull style tiller and reach arm are made from ash. The reach arm has a through tenon that goes in a mortise in the rudder head and is held in place with a wedge in a mortise of the reach arm. The wedge has a marline keeper on it, but I made an extra wedge just in case. The reach arm is seized to the tiller with more marline, which I tarred with Stockholm tar. The tiller is about four inches longer (74 inches) than in the plan. I figured I could cut it down if the extra length isn't needed.

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