Friday, May 18, 2012


The rudder is complete!  Additional coats of barrier coat were applied (four or five).  The barrier coat was sanded out to get rid of the orange peel texture and then fine sanded to 220 grit sandpaper as this is what is needed below the water line prior to appling the bottom paint.

From there the gelcoat was sprayed.  The water line was taped off and the lower 1/2 of the rudder protected with plastic.  About five relatively heavy coats of gel-coat were applied. 

I was advised before I sprayed the gelcoat that the final coat after curing would be extremely tacky and would gum up sandpaper very quickly.  I let the finish cure for a couple of days and then began the final finishing process.  To remove the tackiness of the final coat, I used a rag soaked with acetone.  The tackiness came off with a bit of effort.  Then it was on to sanding. 

Sanding started with an 80-grit paper to remove the majority of orange peel texture.  I sanded with incrementally more aggressive paper until finishing with 600 grit.  Care was taken not to sand edges and corners aggressively as it is very easy to sand through these areas.

From there, the buffer came out to remove swirls left in the finish from the 600 grit sand paper.  There are a few swirls still in the finish and I will need to take care of those with a more aggressive buffing compound at a later date...but for now, it looks very nice.  After buffing, a couple of coats of wax were applied and the rudder hung back in it's proper place.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Last weekend was spent applying coats of barrier coat (Interlux 2000e) to the rudder.  I decided to spray the barrier coat so that I had a bit better control over the thickness of the barrier coat.  And what is absolutely necessary for spraying barrier coat on a 70 lb. rudder?  A ten ton overhead crane, of course.

Maybe a bit overkill.

I applied about five relatively heavy coats of barrier coat and let them cure out for about four days.  Once they had cured out, the rudder was sanded with a long board again.  For a long board, I used a piece of 3/4" plywood and 100 grit sand paper.

I have a couple of 3M long boards, but they all seem to have a bit of a curve to them, so they do not work well for sanding on a flat plane.

The rudder was long boarded in the long direction working from the back to the front of the rudder and vice-versa.  Once I was satisfied with the flatness in the long direction, I used a shorter board to sand in the other direction and smooth out any flat spots that might have developed with sanding in the long direction.  The shorter board was about 16" in length and made out of a piece of 1/4" masonite so that it could flex to the curve of the rudder.

There were certainly some high and low spots that showed up.  Here is a picture just after I started sanding.  You can see the lighter spots that sanded out first.

Much of the barrier coat was sanded away in various places by the time I was done sanding and a few areas needed minor filling.  After the sanding was completed, I used a filler to fill a few low spots.   The low spots were not significant.  Here is a picture after sanding and filling.

I'm now ready for the final coats of barrier coat, which were applied yesterday.  More on that later.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The rudder is getting closer to completion.  I completed a good portion of the fairing by setting a few stations on each side of the rudder that could be filled between.  The stations were set by spreading a line of filler, covering the filler with a sheet of plastic, and then pressing my template into the filler.

The plastic was removed after the filler cured and then the excess filler was ground down to flush with the profile made by the template.  From there, filler was troweled on and struck off with a straight edge between the stations.  This was then long boarded with 36 grit sand paper in the long direction of the rudder and then finished off with a shorter more flexible board in the short direction of the rudder.  This process took a few steps of filling and sanding to get to a relatively fair surface.

Then it was on to mounting the rudder.  To complete this, I installed the gudgeons on the transom, set up a table beneath the transom to stand the rudder on, then tipped the rudder up into the gudgeons, temporary tying the rudder off to the boat at the top of the rudder.  From the J/30 specifications, I was able to determine the correct mounting height of the rudder.  The rudder was shimmed off of the table to get to the correct height.

Once the rudder was positioned correctly, I drilled out one of the mounting holes through the rudder for which the lower gudgeon is attached.  A bolt was run through this hole to keep the gudgeon in position while a 2nd mounting hole was drilled.  Prior to drilling the 2nd mounting hole the gudgeon was positioned so that alignment between the gudgeon and the pintle were correct.

With the lower gudgeon mounted with two fasteners, I moved to the top gudgeon using the same process as the lower gudgeon.  Once each gudgeon had two fasteners securely installed, I drilled out the remaining mounting holes and installed the needed fasteners.

While drilling out the holes in the rudder, I started with a very small drill bit and drilled through from each side of the rudder.  From there, I slowly stepped up the bit size, drilling 1/2 way through the rudder each time I stepped up in bit size.  The purpose of this was to ensure alignment of the holes from one side of the rudder to the other.

After the rudder was mounted, I drilled a hole at the top of the rudder for which the tiller mounts to.  I made a slight error in the location of this hole which resulted in the tiller not being able to tip up.  This problem was remedied by sanding down a small portion of the top of the rudder to allow for clearance when the tiller is tipped up.

Here is a picture of the rudder after being mounted on the boat.  You can see the table below the rudder that was used to hold it temporarily in position.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Much has happened with the rudder re-build.  The 2nd side of the rudder was laid up.  The 2nd side came together much better than the 1st side.  I laid up the 2nd side in several steps.  First the core was laid in and let to cure.  Then I filled in around the core with Mar-Glas and let the Mar-Glas cure.  Then it was on to the final fiberglass outer layers.

The above picture, when compared to the prior side layup, looks much better.  Practice is paying off.

Once both sides were glasses in, I took care of glassing the leading edge from the waterline up.  This area had a stress crack through the gelcoat from the lower gudgeon to the upper gudgeon.  I laid in a couple of layers of new biaxial cloth to stiffen this area.

From there the entire rudder was sanded down to smooth out and remove the glazed finish from the fresh fiberglass/resin layup.

Once this was complete, I checked the fare-ness of the rudder.  We're a bit off and some grinding and filling will definitely be required.


The "UNDER GALLEY' has been repainted!  The shelves and glass were sanded down and primed with Interlux 2000e and then finish coated with two coats of Interlux bilge coat.  The result is a much more pleasant under galley experience.  I also installed a valve on the through hull for the galley sink drain since there had never been one there and I felt more comfortable with having some type of a valve on the through hull.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Since the galley pump had to be removed for the "under galley clean up project", I decided to re-build the galley pump.  The pump is a Whale Gusher Galley Mk 3.  The re-build kit is readily available for the pump.  I purchased mine from

The pump is held together with a series of screws on either side of the pump.  The screws were removed and the pump disassembled.  From there, all of the rubber components to be replaced were removed.  Here is a picture of the disassembled pump.

Then the pump was put back together with all of the new parts supplied in the re-build kit.  First, the pump arm assembly was put together.

Then one pump cover was re-installed.

Then the intake and outtake valves re-assembled.

The intake and outtake valves were installed to the pump housing and the pump spring installed.

And the other side of the pump housing screwed into place.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I began replacing rotten pieces under the galley today.  I tackled the lower shelf first.  A new shelf was cut out of marine grade plywood using the old shelf as a template.  This proved quite effective as I was able to not only get the shape of the plywood exact, but also able to pre-drill screw holes that matched the old holes for attachment of the shelf to the hull.

The original shelf attached to the hull with a series of screws along one edge of the shelf while one end of the shelf was attached to a cleat mounted to a bulk head.  The cleat was not attached well and had rotted out.  I decided to attach the shelf to two new cleats made of star board so that the cleats would not rot out again.  I also located the cleats in a different location so that there was more support for the shelf compared to the original support.

First, I temporarily positioned the shelf into its intended position and marked the top edge of the shelf on the adjacent fiberglass.

I then installed two cleats below this line by a distance of the thickness of the shelf.

The shelf was then fastened to the hull and the cleats.

Then it was on to the top shelf.  The top shelf was in reasonably good condition, although very dirty from years of use.  The support cleats were not in great conditions, so I decided to replace them.  Two new cleats were fabricated out of starboard and fastened to the adjacent bulk heads.

And then the shelf installed and screwed to the cleats.

Then everything was taken apart.  I will next be priming this entire area (fiberglass and shelves) with Interprotect 2000e and then finish coating the area with a coat of paint.