Day 275 Aft handrails SS rudder mount

At last I got around to attaching the coaming hatches today. The hinges we purchased at the local bolt supply house, and were pretty expensive. $20 each. They are stainless and solved the problem of finding something both strong and low profile. They are of course 316 stainless.

A stop bolt will need to be added as they have been put on in the same direction to allow the cover to be removed for sandblasting. The cross shape is for the inset SS latch.

Awesome looking aft rail, 5/8" rod
Sorry about the look of the hatch. The UV exposure made the protective plastic coating brittle so it's a real job to remove!

For something more appealing, the photo to the left shows the attached aft hand rail. It wasn't planned to be this way the day before, but last minute corrections are what a project is all about right?

I had planned on putting the rails on the inside edge facing inward but decided this just wouldn't look good at all, plus it would get too close to the steps limiting the size of teak/wood on the surfaces.

Getting the curves right was a trial and error procedure and some luck! 5/8" rod is definately the upper end size for my flat bar bender ( which suffered a fair amount of damage today! )

Below: Gena attaches Auto-helm rudder mount
The handrails taper nicely up into the the previously installed toe-rail, and had to be pulled in somewhat.

The subtle curve was created by wedging the rod, ends already bent, in the welder lift frame. Then using my weight to curve it every 6" or so. Not very hi-tech but it worked!

Gena was also aft, working on the self steering rudder mount started on day 270. It is being built solidly so as to avoid needing struts for support. ( Ugly and catch seaweed, etc )
In the photo to the right the bolts are just for alignment, not all will be used! The 2 pieces of 2" flat bar are about to be welded on to some SS pipe, making a fork. This will replace the aluminum pipe that came with the rudder for mounting.
The rudder must also flip up and out of the water for cleaning and to save wear and tear.
(I insisted on this! Thank you Gena!)
We're still not sure about where the waterline will be while under way so several bolt attachment points have been drilled.
If it is lower, the excess will need to be cut off at sea ;o)

Inset is the unit in the "down" position. Only the short triangle gusset needs to be added top side.

Day 275:
7 hours - Handrails aft, auto-helm rudder mount, coaming hatches

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