Equinox Project | Monday, February 16, 2009

My first task was to square away the rudder installation, started last week.  The smooth, round head of the lowermost pin, despite its 1/2" socket for Allen wrench, proved to be a bit of a problem last week.  With no flat areas to grab, little clearance for any other sort of wrench, and not enough clearance for an Allen wrench of the correct size, eventually I managed to tighten the bolt the rest of the way using a small pair of locking pliers, the only thing that would fit and also grab the smooth head and allow me to turn it home, 1/8 turn at a time. 

With a little more manipulation from the overhead crane, I got the final pin (the uppermost) in place, completing the installation.


Next, I removed the protective material I'd had around the rudder, and worked on striking the boottop on the rudder, which I'd had to leave till now since I'd no way of knowing where it should be otherwise, since we had raised the waterline on the boat.  Since the rudder was essentially flat on the sides, transferring the proper height from the striping on the transom to the rudder was straightforward using a level and straightedge (the boat was still level from earlier steps). 

After determining and taping the top of the new stripe, I sanded away the excess Alexseal and primers from the area that would be beneath the new stripe, judging the height by eye, and then marked and taped the lower edge of the stripe.  Finally, I sanded the paint between the tape with 220 and 320 grits to prepare for the white paint, which I'd begin applying later in the day.


I sanded the wooden rudder cheeks to remove old finish, working through 80, 120, and 220 grits on two different sanders, masked off the wooden areas, and prepared to apply the first coat of varnish later in the day.

Meanwhile, I sanded all the on-deck brightwork with 320 grit, vacuumed, and solvent-washed so that I could apply another coat of varnish there at the end of the day.


A 90 tailpiece I'd ordered for the engine intake had arrived, so after determining that this would work the way I'd intended, I went ahead and installed the engine intake valve and 90 fitting, one more tick off the punch list.

It seemed a good time to take care of the relatively simple task of replacing the swashboards, which plywood originals were badly delaminated and unsalvageable.  From some scrap 1/2" African mahogany marine plywood that was lying around, I fabricated new pieces identical to the old, using the old ones as templates.  After a brief sanding and cleanup, I applied a sealer coat of varnish to both sides of the new pieces.


To wrap up the day, I revarnished all the on-deck woodwork, the tiller, and the sealer coat on the rudder cheeks.  Finally, I applied the first coat of white Alexseal to the rudder boottop, using a brush since the area was so small.



Total Time on This Job Today:  7.5 hours

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