Friday, July 11, 2014

Rudder mounted on skiff!

Today I got the pintles on the rudder and got the rudder mounted on the skiff.  I am using a push~pull stick rather than a tiller.  This makes more sense for a small boat.
tiller is cedar and the push pull stick is yellow pine
 I got this idea from Ian Oughtred's Caldonia Yawl.  I have seen other vessels use it too.  The stick allows movement fore and aft to balance the boat, and keeps one from having to duck under the tiller or lift it over your head.
The "arm" is slotted thru a square hole and a peg keeps it in place.  I used a chisel to cut the square hole in the tiller.  I may change out the peg for a wedge.  A piece of line attaches the arm to the stick and serves as a universal joint.  Simple, cheap, affective, and it even looks kind of right.  I fashioned the gudgeons out of scrap stainless steel plate, but I bought the pintles.  The pintles are set in a dado.  I hope to paint the bottom of the rudder white, put a red stripe above the water line and varnish the upper section and the steering arm and stick.  I also need to put a "keeper" or lock on the top of the pintle to keep the rudder from floating up.  I have seen simple metal tabs that pivot on a screw but I might consider a piece of shock cord, in case of grounding so as not to rip apart any of the wood or fasteners.  I will probably build a longer push-pull stick later.  This one is about 5 feet long and a 7'-6" one would fit stored in the cockpit and might allow for steering while working at the mast.
I got to use my egg beater drill and my brace to drill the holes.  I haven't been using the brace as I have not bits for it, but the set of Milwaukee drill bits I have are 3 or 4 sided so they lock in the chuck on the brace.  It was very nice and quite and more controllable  than the screw gun or electric drill.
I am not sure how well the cedar will due for a rudder.  It is light weight and that is why I am using it, as well as it's being able to handle the moisture.  I will have to watch the stress points, at the pintles and at the steering arm.

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