Posted by: Mike Randall | April 19, 2009

The Rudder

I’ve been working on the rudder and rudderhead over the last week. The rudder has a 3kg lump of lead in the base to keep it down.

I used some big fishing sinkers to make up the lead weight and melted them in a paint tin on the BBQ burners. I was convinced my rudder would just catch on fire when I poured the molten lead in! It was a bit of an anti climax really, no flaming funeral pyre just a bit of smoke and some hissing.

The building instructions for this process are in French, but the diagrams are pretty instructive.
In case your wondering all the important info in my plans are in English but some of the general wooden boatbuilding instructions are in French. When I come across something I’m not sure about I refer to my reference bible – How to Build Glued-Lapstrake Wooden Boats by John Brooks & Ruth Ann Hill. An excellent investment for any budding boatbuilder.

Hole for molten lead with anchoring screws

Hole for molten lead with anchoring screws


Splash cap to prevent molten lead runoff

Splash cap to prevent molten lead runoff


Sinkers lined up ready for sacrafice

Sinkers lined up ready for sacrafice


BBQ hot rocks melted lead easily

BBQ hot rocks melted lead easily


Smoking! Immediately after the pour

Smoking! Immediately after the pour


Cap removed ready for a bit of epoxy filler

Cap removed ready for a bit of epoxy filler

I’ve epoxy filled and fibre glassed this rudder and I’m currently doing more filler coats on the glass weave. This is slow as I can only manage 1 coat of epoxy a day as the weather cools down,

I’ve started planning the next stage – building spars and oars.


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