Day 270 Autohelm

Every blue water cruiser should have self steering or an auto pilot ( We will have both ) to relieve the crew from the tedious task of steering the boat for days on end. Especially in rough seas a helping hand would be nice even if just for a couple of hours. Ours is a used Auto-Helm self steering ( pic above ) and works independant of the rudder.

Auto-helm rudder mount..
  Sorry that it looks awful but it is being refinished and had a few dings that need to be repaired.

The mount for this unit must

a) be strong
b) allow the whole thing to be flipped up out of the water.

The origional mount looks strong enough even though it is seriously corroded, but doesn't allow it to be flipped up, or anywhere for that matter.

This is necessary we think because of backing into crowded marinas. Crunch! Also sometimes the extra drag while not being used may add time to a crossing and also the need for occasional cleaning/untangling of weeds etc.
I sliced off a nice wedge of pipe and Gena went to work welding it on. The bracket will mount to this and it will be mostly out of the water. This height from bottom to top is needed as the rudder was intended for a high transom. This will add some.

That raises another issue of how much the waterline will drop when under way. We're still not sure. Anyone out there know? if you do know.

It'll be a work in progress in any case over the next few days.

Strange looking stanchion mounts
Gena did that, and I made stanchion mounts for the forward decks. These little puppies are the same ones I was cutting up the other day and finally have form. 8 more to go. Hopefully I can find some time at work to finish them if it slows down a bit.

Happily each one already has a hole in the bottom to allow for drainage.




Day 270:
6 hours - base for self steering mount, stanchion mounts

to DAY 269

Fresh at

to DAY 271+