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Building Kayaks for the Grandkids #5: Making the Mast, Rudder and Leeboard

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Blog entry by English posted 08-18-2017 06:03 PM 476 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Making Outriggers and Crossarms Part 5 of Building Kayaks for the Grandkids series Part 6: Painting The Kayaks »

While some of the epoxy was curing I got stated making the mast, the mast partner, the Rudder, and the Leeboard. For the mast I decided to make a birdsmouth 8 segment mast. I needed a finished mast that was 1-1/2” in diameter. I started by cutting 8 Douglas Fir strips each cut to 5/8” x 3/4” x 8’. On each piece I routed a grove that was cut by a 45 degree x 45 degree router bit. To assemble the mast you place one of the right angle sides into the grove on another strip. As you continue to do this, the assembly starts to form a octagon.

Each grove was filled with a thickened epoxy mix of epoxy and silica. This makes a very smooth glue.

To hold the assembly together during the assembly process, I drilled a 2” hold in several 6” x 6” plywood pieces. These were cut in half to make a glue up jig. The last piece is harder to fit in the assembly,

Once all of the pieces are placed in the assembly plastic strips and large wire ties are used to hold assembly together for the epoxy to cure.

After the epoxy cured the mast was an 8 sided assembly that needed to be turned round and sized to 1 1/2” diameter. I made a rudimentary lathe, using a 8’ piece of PT 5/4” x 6” x 8’ I had on hand. For one end I took the handle off of my hammer drill and drilled a hole that the handle would fit trough in the board. Then reassembled the drill on the end of the board. On the other end I attached a end piece of popular with a end cap with gussets. In the end cap a hole was drilled that would hold the Morse taper for my live center from my Grizzly lathe. To attach the drive end of the lathe, to the mast, a 2” hold saw with a 1/4” guide bit was fitted in the open center of the mast. Two screws were put into the mast end through the holes in the top of the hole saw. The other end was fit in the live center. And WAL LA a 8’ to 9’ lathe was created and the mast rotated fairly smooth. I started with a 40 grit sanding belt and got the mast round, then used 60, 80, and 120 grit belts to finish the job. Thickened epoxy was put into and of the seams of the turned mast assembly to seal out any water.

7 coats of Spar Urethane was put on the mast and allowed to cure.

Next to make the Mast partner. This is a piece that fits across the top of the Kayak with a 1 1/2” hole in it to hold the mast in place. In my hast to get the Kayaks finished for the Grand-kids I missed some pictures. The only one I have of the mast partner is a finished boat picture. As you can see from the picture, the mast partner is removable. It is held in place by two stainless steel bolts and two blocks that fit under the in-wale and the sheer clamp. A tapered spacer is on each end to ensure a flush fit to the deck of the kayak. On the end of the mast partner is a flange with gussets to hold the leeboard. At the base of the mast there is a board that is epoxied to the chine, the hull and the keelson, this board has a 1” square hole in it to hold the end of the mast in place and keep it straight. This board is called the mast step.

The mast partner clamp blocks were made to fit tight against the under side of the sheer clamp, the in-wales and the side decks.

Next the rudder was made, The rudder consist of three pieces. The rudder, the ruder guide frame and the mounting frame.

The rudder is made from two pieces of 3/8” meranti marine plywood with one layer of 23 oz tri-axle fiberglass in the middle between the plywood. This assembly was put together with epoxy and allowed to cure overnight. It was cut to size and shaped, then thinned on the trailing edge and rounded on the leading edge. The rudder profile is similar to the profile of a airplane wing. The outside of the rudder is laminated with 6 oz fiberglass and epoxy

The rudder guide frame is used to hold the rudder and the tiller attaches to the top flange. The rudder mounting frame is permanently attached to the back of the kayak. A stainless steel bracket made from 14 gauge stainless steel sheet metal is attached to both the rudder mounting frame and the rudder guide frame and a 3/8” by 5” stainless steel carriage bolt is used a a pivot pin for the rudder.

The leeboard is made from two pieces of 3/8” meranti marine plywood with one layer of 23 oz tri-axle fiberglass in the middle between the plywood. This assembly was put together with epoxy and allowed to cure overnight. A White Oak Stiffener is attached to the outside top center of the leeboard to keep it from flexing under load. It was cut to size and shaped, then thinned on the trailing edge and rounded on the leading edge. The leeboard profile is similar to the profile of a airplane wing. The outside of the leeboard is laminated with 6 oz fiberglass and epoxy.

After the epoxy cured the leeboard is sanded and prepared for painting.

The Mast partner, the rudder parts and the leeboard were all primed and painted.

Thanks for looking,

-- John, Suffolk Virgina



1 comment so far

View GROOVY56's profile

GROOVY56

23 posts in 1734 days


#1 posted 08-18-2017 09:33 PM

I am enjoying this build

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