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Thread: New Rudder for Dura Mater?

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    2,163

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    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.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    2,163

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    Dura Mater has a new rudder and new bottom paint, so you all better watch out because she is now a "go faster" boat. Faster being a relative term, of course. Maybe faster than Tortuga, in light wind anyway. After a week in the yard over in Berkeley I finally gave up trying to figure out a way to fit the new Foss rudder myself.

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    After painting the bottom I addressed the rudder issue. Cree loaned me a metal tube around which I rolled a 40 grit piece of sandpaper. I sanded and sanded but the rudder still didn't fit. I was discouraged. Reuben wandered over, commiserated and asked me if I wanted his advice. Of course. I'll always accept advice. Doesn't mean I'll follow it. But this was Reuben. He's a singlehander and a zoom zoom boat guy. He has a lot of credibility, although it doesn't help that he wears those dorky sunhats mamas put on their baby girls. But let's look past that to his sincerity. Those big brown eyes. His smile. His desire to help by getting Dura Mater out of the yard so another boat can take her place. He knew I wouldn't leave without the rudder. So, okay. Yes. Bring on the advice.

    "Do you trust me?" he asked, and gave me that earnest look of his. Well, that was the crux of the matter, wasn’t it? Did I not only trust Reuben but the Berkeley Marine Center in general? And so

    I said, "Yes" and left for 18 straight hours. Which was hard for me to do.

    I came back to find that he had enlisted the fella they call MacGyver. No, not Dave Morris. A fella who is doing fiberglass work on the fat boat in Cree’s big shed. For two days Alberto and MacGyver sanded and fiberglassed DM’s skeg and even shaved a bit off the leading edge of the new rudder. Epoxy primer and paint were applied, a hole for the shaft was drilled, Greg Nelsen’s shims chosen carefully up and down and … voila! The boat, she was ready. So yesterday I sailed her back to Richmond across the Berkeley flats at the end of the flood in 15+ knots. And it was good. It felt very good to be back on the water again with my boatie boat.

    Greg had referred to the potential for slop in old rudders in case of worn rudder posts. Well, the old rudder had lots of slop. And a slight bumping sound when I turned quickly. I knew that was not optimal and probably even bad. But yesterday? None of that. Did the rudder improve DM’s performance? Well, I didn’t have to tack once out of the Berkeley Marina, so I don’t know yet. I just sailed for the first time in ten days and it felt wonderful. And the lack of slop and bumps? Really nice.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Saratoga
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    99

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    We need to see a picture of DM with her new fancy rudder; please.

  4. #64
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intermission View Post
    We need to see a picture of DM with her new fancy rudder; please.
    Sorry, Brad. They splashed her before I arrived yesterday. Trust me. She's even more beautiful than before.

  5. #65
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    Jan 2014
    Location
    Arnold, CA
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    410

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    Excellent!

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    118

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    Owning a boat is a process, as you well know. Congrats on her well and professionally installed new rudder. SDK

  7. #67
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatzman View Post
    Owning a boat is a process, as you well know. Congrats on her well and professionally installed new rudder. SDK
    Thanks, Greg. Thank you, Steve. At every step of the way people shrugged their shoulders, looked sympathetic and said, “It’s a boat”.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Saratoga
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    99

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    Sorry, Brad. They splashed her before I arrived yesterday. Trust me. She's even more beautiful than before.
    Cree and his merry men are devious like that...
    Do you put a lot of cinnamon in your oatmeal cookies?
    So okay, no tacking, but did she balance better?
    Did she track better?
    Was your wake smoother and rainbow colored?
    DM needs a "My Little Pony" mascot, me thinks.

  9. #69
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intermission View Post
    Do you put a lot of cinnamon in your oatmeal cookies? So okay, no tacking, but did she balance better?
    Did she track better? Was your wake smoother and rainbow colored? DM needs a "My Little Pony" mascot, me thinks.
    hahaha. 1/2 tsp cinnamon in the oatmeal cookie batch for Cree, 1 tsp cinnamon in the double chocolate chip cookie batch for everyone else. My friend, Ichiro, told me that, after Japan, everything in America smells like cinnamon. Do you think this has metaphorical significance?

    She felt GREAT and beautifully balanced with no reef at all. A rainbow colored wake? Now that's a thought. I'll look aft next time. Maybe on the way to HMB next weekend.

  10. #70
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    Sep 2007
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Darn...I wanted to seeeeee.....
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

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