Reinstalled Rudder!

It’s been a big week, but, after all our problems with the rudder it is finally back on!

We would have struggled to do it without the help of my dad. He managed to find the copper bar in the UK and turn us a set of  new rivets on his lathe. He then bought them down to Spain for installation.

After a trial run, we managed to get the rudder re-hung without much drama. The rivets were inserted through a bronze shoe which supports the base of the rudder. One side of the rivet, had a head, on the other side we had to form the head to lock the rivet in place through a process called peening, essentially shaping the rivet head with a hammer. Clearly when hitting a rivet on onside you need a big weight on the opposite side to prevent the rivet moving…we begrudgingly bought an 8Kg lump hammer from the local hardware store (bargain at 100 euro!), we wrapped in cling film and treat it carefully so we could return it to the hardware store on Monday morning to get a refund…i know, i know, cheapskates…but what were we going to do with an huge lump hammer on a boat!

There was a slight concern towards the end of the process that the rivets were a bit short, but they turned out fine and we had quite a few comments from the old hands in the boat yard who thought the end result looked great. Unfortunately the “expert” is no longer talking to us….still you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs…

Our new Quadrant arrived and, guess what, didn’t fit. But it wasn’t too far out and as Dad was still here we put his metal woking skills to good use again, this time on high strength aluminimum. He filed out the the key and helped install what is quite a complex piece of kit. Thanks again Dad. The whole process took about 3 days. Quite a major piece of work, and it feels great that it is now installed, autopilot rigged and rudder angle indicator re fitted. Good to go.

New rivets, turned by Dad.
Me, carrying out a final trim before fitting the rudder.
Lifting the 100Kg rudder into position…
Heath holding the 8kg Lump hammer while the rivets are peened.
Heath polishing the lump hammer so we could rerun it :-)
Heath polishing the lump hammer so we could return it 🙂

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