Working on the rudder

It’s the Equinox today, 12 hours of light and 12 hours of night. We can finally start to feel the end of winter and progress on the boat should pick up again.

The current project is the rudder. The challenge with the rudder is to line up the bearings. Precise positioning of welded components is a pain, and parts are heavy.

The side plates of the rudder and the front post are ready for assembly, but that is not the object of this photo; Marley, as she does at around 4:30pm every day, is letting me know we are getting close to dinner time. There is no messing around about feeding time with my crew.

The rudder side bearings were tacked on the bench first. I used a solid bar to line them up. The bar was not long enough to reach all three, which is why there is a single intermediate temporary bearing.

The post with is positioned on the back of the keel to tack the boat side bearings. Those bearings were tacked, then solid welded and all was still lining up perfectly.

I get asked every once in a while if I workout… Well I do work out(side) ­čśŤ Do I ever feel it tonight! Moving that post around all day is a workout alright.

 

I ended my day sore, tired and grumpy. All went well until the final weld of the bearings on the rudder side. I had carefully tacked all the bearings more then less to minimize movement. I skipped around conscientiously┬áto even the heating and cooling forces as much as possible. What I had not expected was my pipe to move, at least not enough to mis-align the rotation axle. I’m pretty sure the welds slightly bowed the pipe but i’m not quite sure how I will fix that… Tomorrow will tell.

Later edit: A couple adjustments after a good night of sleep and bearings and pins line up perfectly. Moving on to top of the post and to the tiller head.

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