Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sea cock abuse and Rudder removal......

Arrived at the boat with no great plan as the weather forecasts leading up to Saturday had been predicting rain so thought I might have to spend the day inside tidying and organising.
It turned out to be quite a nice day when I arrived so I decided to start sanding back the repair I had started last week after cutting out the skin fitting.

This was the damage to the hull.



This was after the initial filling



And this is how it looked after I had sanded it back with 120grit DA sander




I was pleased with the result although as you can see it needs a little more touching in with epoxy filler which I will hopefully do next week.

After this I decided to have a look at the old bronze skin fitting to see exactly how much abuse it would take before cracking, partly because I had been asked if there was any video of the banging it took to in order remove it. 



So thats what it took to crack a 43 year old bronze skin fitting.....not bad I think.

So next I decided to begin removing the rudder, 2 reasons for this, firstly I wanted to check the condition of the bearings and other fittings to ensure it wouldn't fall off any time soon, but also I wanted to get behind it with the sander and also repair the skeg which has a chunk missing.



As this was the first time I had removed a rudder I was a little unsure but just decided to dive in and start dismantling bits and pieces, I started with the bracket and bolts that hold the lower baring, these came out fairly easily.




I then started releasing the top end with the main bolt on top of the stock. 


I also found another retaining bolt under the deck in the rudder post.


Once these were released I was able to start lowering the rudder through the hull which would hopefully enable me to fully remove the whole unit, or so I thought........

Spot the mistake.....


I had wrongly assumed I had enough height to allow the rudder post to be removed!

After some fruity language and banging my head against the hull I decided the only way forward was to attempt to 'Jack' the boat up 8 inches so I could complete the job, I ran my idea past Terry, the owner of the yard as I guessed he might not be too pleased if my plan didn't work and the whole thing fell over, or more importantly I get sandwiched by 6 tonne of boat!
The next step was to borrow an acro jack, now I know a guy who is working on a houseboat further down river at a lovely little boatshed on the beach, I gave him a call and he was able to help me out, so off I went.

This is the boatshed he works in.


This is the customers house boat he is currently working on, and young phill who has crewed for me several times on my previous boat.


After a quick catchup I made my way back to the yard to begin jacking the boat up.
I must say it all went rather smoothly although it took over an hour as I had to keep adjusting the cradle, if you watch the stern of the boat in the time lapse video you can see the boat move up.



Once the rudder was out I removed the bracket and lower bearing along with the bolts, as soon as I looked at the parts I could see that the job was worth while!

The 10mm bolts were worn down to 5mm in places.


The plastic bearing was well worn and cracking at the end.




The bracket holding it all together looks as if it has seen better days so will hopefully get a new one made up.



One job I wanted to do before I finished was to install a drain plug in the rudder, I did this by drilling a hole in the under side then using a tap and die to cut a thread for the bolt.


I was surprised to find that after drilling 4 inches there was still resistance and got the feeling from the weight of the rudder that it was completely solid, along with the fact that there was not a drop of water escaped. This is a good thing as it was not meant to have water inside but after 40 years you might expect some water ingress.


The bolt screwed in securley and will be fitted with sealant before launch day.


So after a good days progress I decided to pack up and drive home, only to find that my latest acquisition from Amazon had arrived to give me some good bedtime reading.















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