A ship with a rudder
November 6, 2015
Well here’s an update from the boatyard. Yes the boat is still out of the water having her bottom peeled to ensure the strength and integrity of her hull for the rest of her life. A very costly repair but necessary for our peace of mind when out voyaging the world’s oceans.
So why the rudder reference in this post? Well whenever the boat is hauled out of the water it’s more cost effective to attack as many of the upgrades and maintenance tasks as possible because hauling the boat is expensive and unpleasant to say the least. So to extend the period between haul-outs, it’s best to get as many below the waterline maintenance tasks completed as possible when hauled out..
So while we are waiting for the hull to be repaired it makes sense to attempt to install the new feathering propeller I purchased a while back (almost two years ago) and haven’t installed yet. The challenge is that the new propeller doesn’t fit because the space for it to operate is restricted by the rudder. As a result, the rudder needs to be removed and modified to accommodate the new propeller. You may say, why don’t you just return the prop and purchase one that fits (Duh)? Well that makes perfect sense in the everyday world, but in the world of boats, the one that fits won’t provide the benefits/features the new one will.
This feathering propeller has three important features/benefits.
- It has four blades instead of three which will give us more power at lower rpm’s and enable us to push the boat through certain unpleasant sea conditions faster to get to a safe harbor.
- The feathering feature will allow us to sail faster because the blades will feather while sailing and eliminate the drag experience when using a fixed blade prop.
- More control in reverse by enabling us to stop the boat more quickly and reducing the “prop-walk”.
Removing the rudder is quite a chore and it took me most of the day just to get it removed. After removing it I had to cut it open and remove some of the outer fiberglass covering. The good news is that Cheoy Lee built this rudder like a tank and the bad news is that because of the stout construction it’s going to need a custom metal fabricator to modify it properly for the new prop. As is always the case, boat projects have a life of their own and usually take four times longer than anticipated.
Hopefully I’ll be able to find a custom metal fabricator in the area that can make the rudder modifications for us quickly so we don’t have to spend more time in the yard than originally anticipated.
Hopefully my next post will be about sailing instead of these huge maintenance projects.
Till next time.
Here are some pictures that can give you an idea of what’s happening.
Here’s a picture of the rudder after being removed and cut open to reveal the inner structure (“yes it would be green” reference for all those Spinal Tap fans).
This shot shows the stout inner structure. It’s stainless steel and more than 3/16 of an inch thick.
Here’s a close-up picture of a (ship without a rudder). Fortunately it’s on dry land at the moment.
Picture with the rudder still intact and the bottom completely peeled.
Picture waiting to be hauled out before the peeling of the hull.