Day 252 Rudder tube
Gena welded the bottom of the cup-box this morning with bated breath hoping it wouldn't move too much. It didn't! It sure felt solid with the shaft in place, even though nothing was holding it from above yet. Looks like the cup is done, and it survived. The heat disabled us for about an hour waiting for the temporary bearing to cool enough to yank the shaft back out. ( So the welder cable could be pulled back up through the hole and the plasma cutter cable back down.

Chain hoist ready
  The chain hoist crane was a royal pain in the butt today. While Gena was welding the bottom, I was trying to roll the crane forward to get it in place for hauling out the shaft. The rubber wheels have flattened out where they were sitting. Unfortunately, these are not the type you can inflate! They are solid rubber and I'm not sure what made them suddenly go flat. Maybe the few really cold days we had last winter, or the freezing rain flood?

In any case I had to make it work, so I cut the bulged parts off with the grinder and greased the white walls. Once prybarred back to the surface, they actually worked and I rolled it merrily on it's way over the aft stateroom hatch.

It isn't by luck that the hatch lines up with the rudder shaft. ( Unlike the origional design ) We plan to use this for the emergency tiller. If something majorly goes wrong with the steering system, the giant emergency tiller can be put together and dropped onto a key in the top of the rudder shaft. Awsome hey?

Anyway. Now the shaft can be pulled out from above as, well, there will be no other way to get it out once the tube is in place.


The hole cut out from the dots was pretty close. Only a minute of grinding got it in there. A close fit is desired but probably not crucial.

Now for the moment of truth! The shaft was slid back down through the bearings in the tube, then down into the cup and let loose.

It fits!! The shaft could even be turned easily by hand! Must be pretty straight I guess.

We promptly tacked it into place and I demanded temporary braces be added inside so it would stay close. Gena agreed.

Notice how far the teardrops tip goes away from the hull? I think it'll look cool!

The shaft must now be removed, taken into the machine shop for flanges and straightening etc. Hopefully by next weekend we'll have it so I can start with the rudder itself! ( Looking forward to that )

Below one can see straight down through all of the bearings to the ground. A hole is left in the bottom of the cup to allow any silt buildup to disperse. The weight rests on the "mushroomed" lip of the bearing and must have nearly zero play up and down.

We have a real sense of relief because everything went so well. A little planning helped but I think we were a bit lucky too! :)

Day 252:
6.5 hours - Put in Rudder post tube.

To DAY 251

Boatcam Live!!
Are we werkin now?

To DAY 253+