Day 249 Heel and rudder cup
Today was a hodge-podge of plasma cutting for me and some serious accurate welding for Gena.

The cup welded both sides to plate

In the above photo I cut out some mounting pads for the aft bollards, giant cleats for towing a chute or drogue in heavy weather. We don't want them tearing a hole through the boat so the will be beefed up with these on the deck, and some framing below inside.

The doughnuts are 1/2" SS "washers" for the rudder shaft. These will be attached to the shaft and machined to ride on the bearings. They are needed because the flange bolts ( nuts ) can't ride on the bearings or they would tear them to pieces in no time!

Why not tap threads into the flange? Our machinist ( who also has just been building a steel boat ) informed us that they will rattle loose and/or sieze in place based on his experience. Nuts are better.

The rudder is by far the most difficult challenge we have encountered during the project thus far! The photos to the left show the base "cup" that will hold the rudder up being made. This will make the rudder very strong as it attaches to the "heel". ( shown below )
A skeg type rudder has no heel and tends to be a potential problem area due to the constant twisting of the hull - tube joint.

This area of the boat is very flat, therefore doesn't offer much strength laterally. The tube that feeds the rudder shaft into the boat will be gusseted for extra rigidity.


Boxing in the heel
The heel is composed of 1/2" on the bottom, through from the keel bottom ( day 52 ) the side plate (1/4") a center stem (3/8") and the top plate which will be also 1/4". Should be pretty strong! We're not sure what to fill it with yet but it'll probably be tar. I don't like the idea of oil, especially if it's leaking out in a marina! Eeek!!

Day 249:
6 hours - cut out bollard plates, doughnuts, and heel side joining plates, started rudder cup box

DAY 248

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Days 250+