Welcome to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Boatyard Blog, where all things related to Chesapeake Bay Boats are discussed. Follow the Museum's progress on historic Chesapeake boat restoration projects, watch wooden boats being built from scratch in our Apprentice For a Day program, and meet the dedicated staff and volunteers working hard to give you the experience of Chesapeake Bay history while preserving traditional Chesapeake Bay boat building techniques. Make sure to join us as a follower of this blog so you will be notified of new posts, and make comments on anything you see on the blog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rosie's New Rudder and Companionway Hatch

The Rosie Parks restoration gang was involved in some very interesting projects during the month of January. Aside from trying to stay warm, the gang installed Rosie's rudder, and work on her companionway hatch continued, and is now nearing completion.

Shot of galvanized steel rudder "gudgeon" looking up through shaft hole in transom.
The rudder is equipped with a "pintle" that fits into the hole in the gudgeon. The top of the rudder is attached to, and supported by the steering gear tucked away in the gearbox on deck. 

A backhoe was necessary to dig a 3'-6" hole in the frozen ground in order for the rudder shaft
to clear the transom. Despite digging through frozen oyster shell and hitting concrete from a pre-existing slab, the mighty Kubota got the job done in less than half an hour.

Special Project Manager Marc Barto measures clearance to let the
backhoe operator know how much further to dig. 

Shipwrights and volunteers "bury" the rudder and prepare for its "resurrection."

Shipwright Apprentice Shane Elliott climbs into the hole to unscrew the lifting straps
from the bottom of the rudder. He claims it was "colder than a well digger's...constitution." down there.

Installation complete!

After the rudder installation, new Shipwright's Apprentice Eric Hervol began working with
Marc Barto to fabricate the companionway hatch. White Oak was milled for the rails, and
miniature beams were cut (the curved pieces in the photo) and dry fit.

Here, the cabin top is taped for gluing, and the rails are set in place. 

Crisp white glue line and evenly spaced 3/8" galvanized lag screws drilled through
the cabin top and into the deck beams below to insure a "bomb proof" installation. 

Apprentice Shane Elliott chisels out a mortise in the cabin top's corner post which has been left long
for just this occasion. The curved cap rail will then fit into place.
The cap rail is the piece of wood that capture the hatch itself as it slides back and forth. 

Shane and Eric chisel their respective corner posts. Eric uses the "electric chisel" for his initial rough cut; Shane uses a hand chisel for cleaning up the first cut. The "electric chisel" has a proper name: the Fein tool. It makes surgical, extra fine kerf cuts, and  is perfect for this application. 

The completed joint now receives rounding over with a sander, and lag bolts for installation. 

"The Deadliest Crew" as referred to by some here at the Museum. When the boatyard starts its first "Gangster Rap" ensemble, it will have the perfect cover art for its first album. 

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