SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Rudder Removal

Last week finally provided a warm, clear day to crank up the travel lift and elevate Pilgrim enough to remove her rudder.

The rope securing the rudder in place prior to lifting the boat.

Prior to removing the rudder packing nut and gudgeon, I supported the rudder atop a stack of wood.  With the nut and gudgeon gone the unknown mass of rudder rested solely atop the wood below.  Rather that attempt to guide the post out as the boat was lifted; I ran a 5/8” dock line under the rudder, over the deck and back down to the opposite side of the rudder.   Using a trucker’s hitch, I tensioned the rope.

As the travel lift elevated Pilgrim the rope held in position relative to the boat.  We elevated the boat to a point where the rudder was approximately 6” above stack of blocks.  The blocks were then removed.   Slack was slowly fed through the trucker’s hitch.  The slid easily free of the hull.  Success.

To my surprise, I was able to pick up the rudder and carry it to a pallet alongside the engine.

The rudder resting on a pallet alongside the engine.

I found the rudder more awkwardness of the rudder more challenging than the sheer weight. I’m not good at guessing weight, but the rudder is less than 100 lbs.  Hopefully I will be able to weight it before and after the modifications. 

Fortunately the procedure revealed no surprises – you never know what you are going to find.

Aft side of the skeg.  No surprises here. 

The inside radius of the skeg and the area around the gudgeon cut out need to be cleaned up.  With the rudder out of the way we may go ahead and replace the cutlass bearing.  We have come this far and Pilgrim needs a new prop shaft.  So a new cutlass bearing is likely in the future.

While Pilgrim was elevated, we inserted plastic sheeting under the blocks (visible in the image above.)  The plastic sheeting is foreshadowing of the dreaded anti-fouling paint removal.   Last summer’s hull repairs and thru-hull replacement necessitated removing bottom paint from approximately 1/3 of the hull.  The yard requested that we lay down plastic sheeting and tent around the boat before removing the rest of the bottom paint.  This is a reasonable request as the anti-fouling paint is noxious to bystanders, can foul surrounding boats, and is toxic if it leaches into the ground water.  

We will likely tackle the bottom paint in the near future.  Better to suit up in all the protective gear during the cool winter months than to sweat it out in the summer.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Reflectix Insulation the Outer Perimeter of Ice Box Insulation.

 Many “experts” suggest adding a reflective barrier to the outermost layer of ice box insulation will increase the efficiency by reducing radiant heat loss.  Hmm.  Not certain I’m completely sold on the science behind the theory, but who am I to question the experts?

 For under $50, I purchased a 24” X 25’ roll of Reflectix Insulation, roll of 3M Foil Tape, and a can of 3M Super77  spray glue.
Tools and materials for installing the Reflectix Insulation.

I’ve heard of the Reflectix insulation from other boaters who have used it in ice box construction, insulation between the deck and headliner,  insulation on the inside of the hull, and sun screens for ports and hatches.    Think of it as bubble wrap with a reflective coating on both sides.  It cuts easily with scissors or a utility knife.  It is light weight and adheres easily to vertical surfaces with the spray glue.

NOTE: Definitely wear a respirator when using spray glue.  I hate to imagine what that stuff would do if inhaled into a person’s respiratory track.

Installing Reflectix Insulation as the outermost barrier in the ice box.

The 24” wide roll worked well for the interior of the ice box.  If I were to use it for insulation in the cabin top under the headliner (which I am considering), then I think the 36” or 48” width may be more appropriate.

Looking into the ice box opening from the galley.

Lining the interior of the ice box with the reflectix took about 2 to 3 hours.  Once all the surfaces were covered,  I sealed the joints and corners with the foil tape to create a tight seal.  Using the foil tape to seal the corners was definitely the most frustrating component of the install.  I feel that sealing the corners and seams is worth the effort in the ice box, but I do not believe it is worth the time and effort in the headliner.

Next up for the ice box rebuild will be the 1" foam board insulation.

More images and notes from this on-going project as available in the Ice Box Rebuild Photo Album.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Template For The New Cockpit Locker Bulkhead

The weather kept me hemmed inside the hull.  The hot glue gun was loaded with a fresh stick and preheated.  Strips of laun plywood were at the ready.   Creating a template for the new bulkhead may be premature, but…

Test fitting mock up of new bulkhead in cockpit locker.

The vision for the ice box is to rebuild it with a minimum of 4” of insulation on each side.  This will reduce the interior space.  Our plan to minimize the loss of volume is to extend the interior of the box aft flush with the original, double bulkhead.  We will add 4” to 5” of insulation starting in-line with the old bulkhead and extending aft into the cockpit locker.   Aft of the insulation we will add a new partial bulkhead that will tie into the original via a 4” horizontal lip across the top. The lip will provide a run for plumbing and wiring.  The lip will also form the forward end a shelf used to mount the Alder-Barbour condenser unit outboard along the hull.  We are considering extending the shelf along the hull the full length of the cockpit locker, but that is definitely always down the road.  Let’s get back to the ice box.

New bulkhead viewed through the ice box access in the galley.

Above is the view from inside the box looking aft at the space along the hull between the original bulkhead, now covered in new fiberglass tabbing, and the future bulkhead.  This space will be filled with insulation.

What about that glue gun and strips of laun mentioned in the beginning of this post?

Using luan strips and hot glue to create a pattern of the hull shape.

They were used to create a pattern of the curve of the hull.   I transferred the stick  hull pattern onto a sheet of laun and connected the dots.  For additional details on this method see our Fabricating Locker Dividers That Match the Hull Shape post from summer 2014

Transferring pattern of hull shape to sheet of luan plywood.

The top and sides of the new bulkhead are square so this portion of the bulkhead required only careful measuring to construct.    

Now that the glue gun has cooled and my laun strips are exhausted, I can get back to insulating the ice box.

More images and notes from this on-going project as available in the Ice Box Rebuild Photo Album

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Watertight Plumbing Conduit Under the Ice Box

Rainy, cool weather has delayed dropping Pilgrim’s rudder and forced me inside.  Fortunately a small portable heater maintains a comfortable working temperature inside the boat.

Like the original construction we plan to have multiple bilge pump discharge hoses, a propane line, and likely a couple electrical wires running under the ice box.  Now that we have fiber glassed close the gaps under the wall between ice box and the engine, any possible leaks from the hoses or spills in the cockpit locker could collect under the ice box.  My initial solution was to drill a couple limber (drain) holes along the base of the wall separating the engine and the ice box.  This solution had the downside of again allowing hot air from the engine access to the underside of the ice box.   A more elegant solution would be to create a water tight conduit between the cockpit locker and area under the stove.

Initially I looked for a large diameter PVC or fiberglass pipe to cut in half and glass down to the hull.  This search proved fruitless, but in my scrounging around I discovered some scrap pieces of 1” thick fiberglass paneling with a foam core.  Ok… the conduit will be square.
Creating templates for the conduit side walls.

The conduit began as so many custom fabrications do… by using luan plywood strips and a glue gun to create a template.  The templates of the 3” tall side walls were then transferred to the fiberglass panel.
Transferring the side wall template to the 1" thick fiberglass panel.

The more I worked with the 1” paneling the more I realize how ideal it is for this application.  The foam will add to the insulation. The strength of this stuff when laid up with heavy mat will add structurally to the hull.
Ready to tab side walls to hull and adjacent bulkheads.

After test fitting the side walls and cutting 1708 cloth tabbing, I glassed them down.  To minimize the risk of chafing hoses, I added a nice fillet along the inside corners.
Test fitting the top section.

Once the side walls cured, I was able to lay out the top section.

Beveling  the long edges along the top to allow the fiberglass cloth to smoothly lie over the corner.  After filling any gaps with thickened epoxy, I laid a single piece of 1708 cloth across the top ad down the sides.
Fiberglass work on conduit complete.
Once all the epoxy had cured, I sanded down any rough edges.

Conduit complete.

The outside dimensions of the conduit look large, but it incorporates one inch of foam insulation.

More images and notes from this on-going project as available in the Ice Box Rebuild Photo Album

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Creating the Right Tool for the Job – A Custom M382 Rudder Packing Nut Wrench

Any wrench large enough to fit the packing nut on Pilgrim’s possessed a handle too long to fit into the tight confines of the hull.
Looking down the rudder shaft at the packing nut.

Deep gouges along the upper edge of the nut indicated a hammer and cold chisel were used to tighten the nut.  Curiously no such evidence of similarly brutal tactics use to loosen the nut are evident.  Could it be that Pilgrim’s rudder packing is original?

Rather than attack the nut with hammer and chisel, I elected to create the proper tool for the job.
Creating a plywood template of the ideal tool for the job.
Using 1/8” luan plywood and some trial and error I created a pattern for the ideal M382 rudder post packing nut wrench.  Once satisfied with the design, I transferred the pattern to a fresh piece of plywood.

Transferring the rough, initial template to a fresh piece of plywood.

A query around the commercial fishing fleet portion of the boat yard yielded a free piece of sufficiently sized 3/8” steel.  

Next stop Lindow’s Machine Shop on Hwy 70 outside of Beaufort, NC.  Yup that is right... a straight up plug for Lindow’s.  Fred Lindow, owner and sole employee, has many years of personal experience on sailboats.  He does excellent work at reasonable prices.  Fred transferred the template to the metal, and then used a band saw to cut out the wrench. 

Wrench clamped in vice while I clean up the rough edges with a file.

Back at the boat yard, I cleaned up the sharp edges with a file and applied a few coats of red paint.

Ready to remove the nut.

Now possessing the right tool for the job it is time to remove the packing nut.
Happiness is having the right tools for the job.

The short wrench handle and awkward body position limited the torque I could physically apply to the nut.  Ultimately removing the nut did require striking the handle of the wrench with a mallet -far preferable to further damaging the nut with blows from a cold chisel.

Removing the old packing material.

Using a combination of picks and a small flat screw driver, I excavated decaying, flax packing from the nut.  Based on the condition of the packing material I would not be surprised if it is from the original 1979 construction.  I have little doubt it was leaking when submerged.

Close up of gouges along the upper edge of Pilgrim's rudder packing nut.

A few minutes with the bench grinder’s wire wheel and the packing nut cleaned up nicely.  Despite the deep gouges along the upper edge, I do believe it remains serviceable.

Next step is to lift the boat high enough for the rudder post to clear the hull.  Hmm – I wonder how much that rudder weighs?

Our Rudder Repairs and Modifications Photo Album contains additional images and notes from this ongoing project.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Prep for Removing Pilgrim’s Rudder

We plan complete the rudder modifications with the rudder removed from Pilgrim.  Dropping the rudder off a Morgan 382 requires a few prerequisites… remove the gudgeon, disconnect the steering cables, remove the steering quadrant, remove the packing gland nut, and remove the packing material.  Once all these steps are completed then the boat must be hoisted up by the travel lift to provide the clearance necessary to slide the rudder out of the hull.

Based a visual assessment, I thought the gudgeon was fastened to the skeg with four bronze, counter sunk machine screws.  Unfortunately one of the screws had the head sheared off.  I purchased an impact driver and steeled myself for a battle to remove the gudgeon.  In one of the rare instances in which a boat project consumes less time than predicted, I had the rudder gudgeon removed in minutes. 
Pilgrim's Bronze Rudder Gudgeon
What I though was a sheared screw head was actually the opposite end of the bolt closest to the rudder.  I released the sigh heard round the boat yard upon realizing my glorious misunderstanding.  The gudgeon is held in place by three screws not four.   The two forward screws pass through the fiberglass skeg and mate with threads machined into the opposite gudgeon arm.  The aft fastener threads directly into the opposite side of the gudgeon. 
The inside faces of Pilgrim's rudder gudgeon.

Fortunately inside face of the gudgeon is in good condition.  Due to wear on the screw heads, we plan to replace the fasteners.  We will also need to replace the nylon bushings on the top and bottom of the gudgeon. 

The steering cables, quadrant, and packing gland are accessed via a hinged hatch under the helm seat.
Looking down from the cockpit into the locker that contains the steering quadrant and the rudder stock.

I was surprised to discover that the port side (right in image above), vertical support had been repaired sometime in the past.  My best guess is the rudder stop bolted onto the quadrant (bottom center in the image above) was driven into the post hard enough to break it.  Forces of this magnitude could occur in heavy seas or in grounding.  Fortunately the steering quadrant seems no worse for the wear and the repair appears sound.  

The steering cables and steering quadrant were not difficult to remove.  The plywood panels on either side of the steering mechanism were merely attached to the vertical posts so they too were jettisoned from the locker. 
Decades of dirt and scum coat the interior of the locker.
Generally speaking the surrounding locker was filthy.   While working in the area we pulled the engine exhaust hose and the defunct manual bilge pump.  Then I climbed inside with a scrub brush and some TSP.  Time for some serious scum removal.
In the rinsing phase of the locker clean up.
The space is tiny.  I could only fit my head sideways in the small void behind the helm seat back.  Looking the opposite direction required me to bend forward and place my head between my folded legs. The results were worth the discomfort.
Locker post scrub down.  Fitting at top of image is engine exhaust thru-hull.

Now for that massive packing nut…


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Round Two of Templates for Morgan 382 Rudder Modifications

Thanks for the emails and comments on the original post in this series… Creating a template for Morgan 382 Rudder Modifications.

An email suggested checking out alternative modifications to the M382 rudders.  From the Morgan 38 Discussion Board, I have discovered images of couple unique modifications.

This design incorporates a portion of the skeg into the rudder and also fills in the area at the top of the rudder along the hull.  The design appears well balanced and well crafted.   Often our travels take us to shallow waters and/or waters with many floating buoys from crab or lobster traps thus we prefer to retain the fixed skeg forward of the rudder on Pilgrim.

This design adds surface area to the lower section of the keel, but leaves the upper area open.  I think this is a fine solution for blue water or sailors rarely operating in shallow waters.  Again, we feel more confident operating in shallow waters with a full skeg along the leading edge of the rudder.

This M382 rudder modification does not stray far from the later model factory design.  It does include a horizontal plane near the lower edge of the rudder.

This design intrigues me.  If water spilling over the top of the rudder decreases its effectiveness be creating an eddy on the aft side of the rudder, then does a similar effect not occur on the lower edge of the rudder?  Would this short horizontal plane not reduce this effect with little change in rudder weight and wetted surface?  Yet this design is rarely seen… why?  I welcome anyone with insight to comment.

As for Pilgrim’s rudder modifications, using my original template a created  a second template with additional surface area primarily at the top of the rudder.
Smaller, original template on left and new, larger template on right.
I took Colin’s advice… “ It is important to maintain the proper clearance [between rudder and hull].  The later model rudder had more than your template.  The designers had to consider flexing of the hull and resulting distortion in heavy weather. “, and added additional clearance between the hull and the rudder.
Upper section of template viewed from starboard with the rudder centered.

With this design I am able to run my fingers between the hull and the rudder along the full length of the top edge when the rudder is centered.  Moving the rudder hard to port or starboard reduces the clearance.
Second generation template viewed from starboard with rudder hard to port.

I do prefer the larger, second iteration of the rudder modification.  Below is an image with of the larger template with the rudder centered.
Second generation template viewed from starboard with rudder centered. 

Notice any other changes?  Yes… I have sanded down the hull and removed the rudder gudgeon since the first round of images posted a few days ago. 

I’ll save the details of the gudgeon removal for another post.

I would really like to hear your comments on the latest template for Pilgrim’s rudder modifications and any thoughts on adding a horizontal plane to the lower edge of the rudder.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Creating A Template for Morgan 382 Rudder Modifications

Happy New Year everyone! 

I realize the last few posts have discussed our ice box rebuild project, but it’s time to change tack.  Yes the ice box project is still on going, but it is nice to have an outside project for the occasional eastern North Carolina warm, sunny winter day.

As the Morgan 382 design evolved into the 383 and again into the 384 modifications were made to improve upon the original design.  During the evolution the design received a taller rig and a larger rudder.

When a previous owner replaced Pilgrim’s mast in 2002 she received a taller rig that matched the later Morgan designs.  Her rudder remains original… until now.
Pilgrim's original rudder. 

My understanding of the primary issue is that when the rudder is turned water flows over the top. This flow creates an eddy / low pressure area on the upper, aft side of the rudder.  The eddy reduces the efficiency of the rudder.  By filling opening between the hull and the top of the rudder this detrimental effect is eliminated.

Using strips 1/8” Luan plywood (I’ve seen this product spelled many ways including Lewon and Launan), duct tape, and hot glue I created a template for the rudder addition.
Creating a template for the rudder addition.

NOTE: When creating the template it is very important rotate the rudder through its arc to ensure the addition does not contact the hull.
Template with rudder centered along hull.

Template with rudder rotated hard to starboard.

Once pleased with the shape and fit, I transferred the template to a single piece of luan plywood.
Transferring the initial template to a single piece of plywood.

The single piece template is much more durable.  This shape represents the minimum increase to the size of Pilgrim’s rudder.
Template in place along Pilgrim's rudder.

Here is an image I found on the web of what I believe to be the later model stock Morgan 383 rudder.
Image of stock Morgan 383 rudder.

The later 383 rudder appears to carry aft as far as the boot strip paint. 
Below is a digital mock-up of what I believe would need to be added to Pilgrim’s rudder to match the later Morgan design.
Red area represents additional increase in Pilgrim's template to match stock 383 rudder.

I would rather not go too big in my modifications.   If anyone reading this has insights to offer please share.