Finish Work for Centerboard and Rudder

After several weeks building the Centerboard and Rudder, the foils kit is now complete.DSC00002 I chose to finish the CB with graphite epoxy.  I also was not overly concerned about the finish of this foil as it will be under the boat, receiving very little UV and rarely ever seen.  It received to layers of glass over the entire foil.  Each layer of glass received two layers of epoxy and then two additional layers of graphite epoxy.  All the edges of this foil have four layers of glass wrapped around the edges.  It looks and feels very substantial.  The bushings are finished flush with the outside edges to better distribute the forces of the foil to the large fender washers I built.  DSC00001 My wife and father thought it would be a shame to paint the Rudder.  The shape of this foil and natural grain of the wood is so beautiful, they simply wouldn’t let me paint over it.  I like the tradition of all foils being white, so I had mixed emotions about this.  DSC00004After seeing the Rudder finished with 3 coats of Interlux Schooner’s varnish, I was really glad I finished it bright.  The Schooner’s varnish flowed out extremely smooth and has the appearance of being sprayed.  I am very impressed with this expensive ($35.00/quart) varnish.  I did notice that if it ever sags or runs, it doesn’t seem to want to cure.  After 3 days of not curing, I used light pressure on a scraper to remove excess around the rudder uphaul hole and edges to remove excess.  I then let it set up for another day to finish curing before sanding and refinishing.  The Rudder has two layers of glass over all surfaces.  All edges received four layers of glass.  I finished both foils by placing them horizontally on my bench and working on each side, one at a time.  This system worked well for me.

DSC00001 DSC00002 DSC00004 DSC00005I’m very happy with these foils.  They represent a lot of time and effort.  It is so satisfying and rewarding to see them complete and ready for installation.  I now consider myself worthy to order the Scamp kit and begin the next phase of this build.  If anyone is considering building a Scamp, I would encourage you to give it serious thought.  I am totally loving this experience.

Making Fender Washers for Rudder/CB

Typical nylon fender washers are less than 2″ in diameter.  I wanted larger washers, especially for the CB, to pick up some of the side loading this foil would experience.  I read somewhere of others making their own fender washers using a poly cutting board.DSC00003Walmart offered this cutting board for $2.45.  I especially liked this shape, as the board thins down after the outside edge, making it a narrow 1/8″ thick. This narrow washer will not force me to expand the width of the CB trunk, allowing for a fairly narrow slot in the bottom of the boat.DSC00004The small washers will be for the rudder, the larger washers will be for the CB.DSC00006Using my band saw, I cut out the circles.  The diameters measure:  2 1/4″ for the smaller washers, 4 1/2″ for the larger washers.DSC00007Shinto rasp smooths the edges.DSC00008Wood rasp finishes the job.DSC00010 Not bad for $2.45 and I have some left over material to make a few spares.  


Installing Bushings

Some of these photos are of the Centerboard, some of the Rudder.  All the concepts are the same.DSC00001With the oversized holes drilled and filled with thickened epoxy, I used a scraper to level the epoxy with the surface of the foil.DSC00004I then used my drill press to drill out the center hole.DSC00011This produces a lot of cool looking shavings.  DSC00003 You are striving for a perfectly centered hole…I’m close.DSC00006 The center hole will take a bushing, the top hole will accept a 3/16″ line for the rudder downhaul.  

DSC00013I pushed in two centerboard bushings to determine length.  I then used a metal file to roughly determine where to cut the bushing.  Due to the thickness of the foils, it takes two bushing to create the length needed.DSC00014 The centerboard bushing being cut with a hacksaw.  The bronze cuts quite easily.DSC00009   I scored the bushings for better epoxy adhesion.DSC00017Bushing installed in the centerboard.DSC00005I added some thickened epoxy around the bushing to seal the outermost area.DSC00001Bushing filed flat.  I’ll re-coat this centerboard one last time with graphite epoxy.DSC00007 This side of the centerboard is now ready for it’s final two coats of graphite epoxy.

Fun stuff here…now ready to bright finish the rudder.

Drilling & Filling CB/Rudder Holes

With 2 layers of fiberglass on both the Rudder and Centerboard, I was ready to move toward installing bushings and drilling holes for uphaul/downhaul lines.  DSC00001I had to lower my drill press table to check the alignment of the forsner bit.  These holes must be absolutely perpendicular to the foils.  I drilled oversized holes for both the Rudder and Centerboard.  I supported the Centerboard (not shown here) with a side support that picked up the opposite end of the board. This Centerboard is very heavy!DSC00002Once you are convinced the bit is perpendicular to the foil, hold your breath and drill.DSC00005 The suggested method is to drill oversized holes for the bushings/lines and then fill these holes with thickened epoxy.  You then drill out these same holes using a smaller bit, leaving an epoxy ring to effectively seal out the water.DSC00007Oversized holes being drilled.DSC00008 Filing a groove for the Rudder downhaul line.DSC00015I will apply several coats of epoxy to this groove area. DSC00022 I am using a simple hole for the Rudder uphaul line.  I will tie a bowline knot forming a loop through this uphaul hole.  This is a little different than the plans, but given the shape of my Rudder/head junction, I feel it is the best/simpliest solution.  After swabbing the oversized holes with unthickened epoxy, I added colloidal silicon to the epoxy and filled all holes.  I added duck tape to the edges to keep the epoxy from running out the horizontally drilled line holes that you cannot see.DSC00020The back side of the Centerboard is completely done with 2 additional coats of graphite epoxy applied.  I’m glad I waited to coat this side of the Centerboard, because it was impossible to tell where the pivot and uphaul holes were located after two coats of graphite epoxy.

Tomorrow, I’ll scrape the epoxy off flush with the sides of the foils and then move toward drilling out and installing bushings.  Good stuff!!