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Boat Rudder Project (Read 1,242 times)
 
Leo Frilot
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Boat Rudder Project
Jan 12th, 2008 at 4:04pm
 
OK guys, I need your help with a decision here.  I have been commisioned to fabricate a sailboat rudder using Mahogany.  I would have chosen Teak but the boat owner insisted on Mahogany because that what was on the boat originally.  Well, I like to give the customer just what they want.  It's all cut out and the edges are beveled to the proper angles and I'm ready to apply the finish/sealant.  It looks just like this one.
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I'm thinking Spar Urethane since it will be an underwater application (of course).  But now acrylic is popping into mind and epoxy, so what would you think will be the best finish as far as durability for underwater?
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Leo Frilot
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When the going gets tough,
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Baton Rouge, LA, Louisiana, USA
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #1 - Jan 12th, 2008 at 4:21pm
 
Scratch spar urethane.  I just read about it and I don't think it's for this type application.  Good for UV protection, but is considered a soft finish.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #2 - Jan 12th, 2008 at 5:31pm
 
I'm not an expert when it comes to boating, so this information may not be correct.


I believe most rudders are taped with fiberglass then finished with a 2 part marine epoxy.
I believe System Three makes a product that is well liked.
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Đave Wendell
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #3 - Jan 12th, 2008 at 6:54pm
 
Leo,

A lot of the wood strip canoe's built today are cover outside and in with an epoxy/fiberglass combination.  The one thing i would recomend is you use a Clear Coat low vistosity resin to first seal the wood.  If you encounter any runs in this step try to brush or squeegee them flat, other wise you can sand them after it cures.  Let the resin coat cure at least a day before puting the fiberglass cloth on.  The fiberglass is cut to size and wetted out with a low temperature slow curing hardener.  You may read to use a fast curing hardener, but if you have not done epoxy work before don't do it.  You will need the extra time to work out bubbles and to smooth the fiberglass.  A second layer of fiberglass could be added if you want, but deffinitley need to put a final Clear Coat on the hole rudder.  You may want to add some extra stips of glass to the edges of the rudder to give them a tad more strength against bumps.  Check out your local book store or even Woodcraft for a book on building strip canoe's.  I understand it is not the project you are doing, but the whole fiberglass process is layed out for you.

System Three is one good product to use, another one is the West System........

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Leo Frilot
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #4 - Jan 12th, 2008 at 6:59pm
 
Thanks.  I agree about the fiberglass.  If I had the boat, I'd just get a fiberglass rudder and forget about the wood.  But I think this is a restoration project and they definitely want the wood to show.  I'm leaning toward the epoxy at this time, but I'd still like to hear other opinions.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #5 - Jan 12th, 2008 at 7:04pm
 
Đave Wendell wrote on Jan 12th, 2008 at 6:54pm:
another one is the West System........

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West System is a better product. Sorry About that Leo
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Rev. Doug Miller
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #6 - Jan 12th, 2008 at 8:46pm
 
How about melting down Plexiglas in acetone to a consistency that can be brushed on.  Impervious to water for sure.
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Leo Frilot
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #7 - Jan 12th, 2008 at 9:43pm
 
Yep, I was thinking it.  What is the formula?  And how easy is it to sand?
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Rev. Doug Miller
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #8 - Jan 12th, 2008 at 9:51pm
 
Like sanding any other plastic.  Go all the way through the mico-mesh grits and it should be clear as glass.
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #9 - Jan 12th, 2008 at 9:59pm
 
Leo;

I don't know about what has been mentioned and how much better it is than Marine Spar, but years ago I had a sail boat like this.  Both the center board and rudder were done with marine spar varnish.    Over time from rubbing across sand the finish would wear through.  I would just sand it a little and re-coat with the marine spar varnish and it would be water tight again.  The only problem I had was from the abuse I gave it by running it up on the beach.  Hope this helps.

Ric
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #10 - Jan 13th, 2008 at 9:30am
 
I built a cedar strip canoe about 2 yrs ago, used west system epoxy and fiberglass cloth. The cloth becomes virtually invisible with the first application of epoxy resin, we used 3 coats to fill the weave. The canoe book we used recommended spar varnish over the resin for UV protection.
Brad
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Đave Wendell
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Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #11 - Jan 13th, 2008 at 5:43pm
 
leo,

This is what you would get if you use the epoxy/fiberglass method.  As you can see the author also added 5 coats of varnish.  It would actualy give strength to the wood and help prevent dings.

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Leo Frilot
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When the going gets tough,
get a bigger gouge!!!

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Baton Rouge, LA, Louisiana, USA
Baton Rouge, LA
Louisiana
USA

Gender: male
Re: Boat Rudder Project
Reply #12 - Jan 18th, 2008 at 11:04am
 
Thanks for the info guys, but my decision has been made for me.  Looks like whoever is refinishing the rest of the boat will do the rudder also.  Whew!  Some of those finishes are quite expensive!  Shocked  I'll post a pic when I'm finished with the tiller handles.
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