Monday, November 4, 2013

The Cold is Here

After what seemed like a reasonably warm autumn, it looks like the cold is here and probably to stay.  As a result I didn't get too much done this weekend, but it did warm up enough on Saturday to allow me to epoxy in the core around the fuel tank fill tube.

Knowing that it would be difficult to work around the existing rubber fill hose that goes to the fuel tank, I spent about 30 minutes lying on my back in the quarter berth yelling at the stupid thing because it just didn't want to come out.  It's only about an 8" length of hose, but the access is poor and it was just 'fused' on.  I eventually gave up trying to get it off in one piece and took a hacksaw blade (a full hacksaw wouldn't fit) and cut it diagonally where it was stuck onto the tank.

Once the tube was off, I cut off a 3/8" piece of fiberglass tubing that I had ordered for the new rudder tube to use as the flange for the fill tube entry.  I have lots of extra tube from the rudder project (I had to order a 5 foot length but only need about 20 inches) and as luck would have it, the fill tube is not quite 2 inches in diameter so the rudder tube (2 inch inner diameter) was a perfect fit.  It will serve as a mounting point for the fill cap and will isolate the core from any water intrusion.

Once I fitted the tube, I cut out enough balsa to fit around the gap I had left in the deck surrounding the fill tube and glued it all up.  Since it was such a small area, I ended up doing both the core and the first layer of biaxial in one shot.

The tiller conversion and new rudder projects are moving along like the temperature; glacially slow (although the glaciers seem to be melting pretty fast these days).  Before I can really move forward to any degree, I need to get the new shaft fabricated. Once that is done I can fit the rudder tube to its final position. The only thing I did was to cut the fiberglass rudder tube down to the final length so that the final position will have the tube extending about 6 inches above the finished deck.

However, I did get more excited about the project when the FedEx truck stopped by Saturday and dropped off the new tiller head assembly from Edson.  It is pretty...

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