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Thread: New Rudder for Dura Mater?

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    There’s been a glitch in the DM rudder saga. Bright and early Monday morning Greg texted me: “Got some finished shims for you.” Oh boy! We were in business! I drove up the hill from the flats of Oakland to where people have views of the Golden Gate Bridge. I drove up. And up some more, to where Greg and his attack cat waited with the shims.

    That attack cat? Not very interested in attacking. “Do you have any fish for me? No? Take the shims. What do I care?” So I did.

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    Took me only 18 minutes from way up in the hills to RYC. Seriously. I was that motivated.

    When I got there I loaded the new beautiful rudder into a dock cart and pushed it down to Dura Mater. I didn’t worry about veering off the dock on the way because it is very floatie. Arriving at E48 I donned Carliane’s wetsuit. She made it look easy. It was not easy. Getting into Carliane’s professional wetsuit was hard. By the time I was in it I needed to rest. Huff puff. Huff puff.

    Then the Voice of Reason arrived. Sailor friends being noticeably absent when real work needs doing, the VoR had reluctantly agreed to help me: “What about your sailor friends?” “Why don’t you hire a diver to do that?” and yada yada. Skip had recommended attaching Carliane’s diving weights to the bottom of the blade, but those fell off immediately.

    I lowered myself into the water and it was surprisingly not cold in that wetsuit. Very impressive. Then the VoR lowered the new rudder down to me. Once I became accustomed to shoving off all the mussel shells under the dock, and riding the blade like a sideways surfboard, it seemed as if all would go well. Until it didn’t. That little lip, highlighted in green here?

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    That represents about inch too much fiberglass for the space where it needs to go into DM’s … er, female anatomy. So, out with the new and back in with the old rudder. THAT was disappointing.

    So now what? I struggled out of the wetsuit and in the time it took me to bolt the cap back onto the rudder post and get out of the wetsuit (a long and arduous process), I considered my options.

    Steve Katzman has been sleeping on the Hotel Dura Mater when he is in town sailing on Dianne, down from South Lake Tahoe where he lives. He leaves me chocolate bars, and so I ate one while I hatched a new plan: Go talk with Cree Partridge at Berkeley Marine Center. Cree recently re-built a Cal 40 from scratch and sailed it to Hawaii with friends. I figured he’d know about Dura Mater’s anatomy and how to proceed.

    Cree’s always building something. Here’s the latest creation:

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    When he’s done he’s gonna deliver it to Hawaii. But not this year. It is a “Scow bowed, gaff-rigged cruiser”. Yeah. We laughed about the response from a PHRF committee should it be entered in a race. That will cause long nights of argument.

    In any event, after the Farallones Dura Mater and I will sail over to the Berkeley Marine Center for a look-see. My preference is to shave out inch of the entry point, thinking that shaving fiberglass off the pristine new rudder might compromise its strength. I noticed that the entire side of my old rudder is rubbed to the fiberglass in the same place, so I’m hoping that the entry area itself is just fiberglass, and I can shave it somewhat. Cree says he’s pretty sure that it is only fiberglass at the bottom/entry spot. It looks similar, in shape, to this at the entrance to the rudder shaft:

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    If anybody has a photo of a Cal’s rudder post without the rudder I would love to see it. Come to think of it, if anyone knows about a Cal on the hard somewhere around the Bay Area I would appreciate it. So that, as they say, Is That. At least for today.
    Last edited by Philpott; 05-07-2019 at 01:55 PM.

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