Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rudder Cheeks and Boomkin Inspection and Termites and $8 water sound

A couple of weekends ago I removed the rudder cheeks and boomkin to get a better look at the shape they were in and refinish them if they were salvageable.  I removed the back stay and tied it off to the port side lifeline stanchion. I then took both of the halyard lines and tied them to the aft cleats. I used the mast winches to put some tension on them. I do not have as much concern now about the mast staying up as I did when I took the front stays off when I replaced the bowsprit. I feel confident that it will stay up. ( I hope I didn't just jink myself!)
The first order of business was to take the rudder cheeks off. I tied a rope around the top of the tiller box so when I removed the bolts I wouldn't lose it in the water. (It's 25 feet deep here at low tide.) I am certified in scuba, but I really don't want to dive in the harbor....but I would if I had to!

As you can see there are a bunch of bolts holding the rudder cheeks on. I tied a small rope to my ratchet and open end wrench that I used to remove the bolts.....just in case. Yes I did tie the other end to the boat thank you. The nuts came off fairly easy but getting them out of the hole was a learning experience I would have to pay for. By that I mean i figured that i could lightly tap the bolt out using a screwdriver. As I tapped the first one started to move then got stuck. So I "tapped" it a bit harder. Ya know water makes an $8 dollar sound when a long stainless steel bolt flies from your hand into the water. Why do I make a big deal out of am $8 dollar bolt when I there are a lot more expensive items I have to replace or HAVE replaced so far? Because I could have reused that bolt had I not donated it to Davey Jones locker! I must say that after that I did not drop any more items in the water that day. I'm certain I will donate again soon.

I was able to remove the rest of the bolts and pull the cheeks off in one piece. (OK two pieces actually, one per side.) I was also able to keep from drooping the tiller box in the drink also.

The cheeks didn't look to bad...until I flipped them over.

Look at them closely. See all those little balls. That is actually crap. Termite crap to be exact. The little buggers ate my cheeks! Dang it! Now I have to replace those too! But the top piece of wood that sits on the top of the tiller box was still in great shape....big whoop it is about 6x8 inches. FYI, if you look at the pictures you can see where the tiller box (a stainless steel plate in a U shape) fits into the cheeks. 
 OK onto to the boomkin. I hope the little buggers didn't get that also...we'll see.

(Side note...look at the color of the fiberglass where the cheek blocks were. A beautiful blue color! That is how the topsides are suppose to look. )
There are three bronze bolts holding each side of the boomkin on. These bolts go through the boomkin, through the spacer blocks, through the deck and into the lazerette. The nuts came off easy but the bolts did not want to go through the spacer blocks or the boomkin. So I took each side off as an whole unit or assembly. I figured I could disassemble them at home in the garage later.
I took the boomkin stays off also. I have a new set plus new tangs to replace.

At home in the garage I set to remove the bronze bolts from the boomkin. Yeah.....easier said than done. I had to beat them out of there. Doing so I buggered up the threads EVEN with the nuts on them. I did chase all the threads with wit a die. All of them cleaned up except for one of them. So I will have to buy one.

OK so the bolts are out and the spacer blocks should just pop right off with just a few smacks with the hammer. WRONG!!! They would not budge at all. So I put a bit more force into it......yup cracked that b***h right in half...the spacer block...heck no the WHOLE PORT SIDE BOOMKIN.
The above picture is what it looked like before I made kindling out of it. I was too pissed to take a picture. I'm still pissed! But wait if that broke with just a hard hammer blow that it wasn't too sound to start with. So now I am thankful! (It is almost Thanksgiving here in the US for all you overseas viewers.) By the way I did not see one termite turd in the boomkin. But I did notice that the previous owners did put a nice coat of paint on the topside of the boomkin while the underside was raw wood from the previous coats of varnish flaking off.  I found out with the bowsprit...beware of fresh paint on a boat for sale, it usually hides something bad under it. My bowsprit being case in point! 
I took the boomkin and the rudder cheeks over to H&L Marine  last Wednesday (11-14-12) to have them build new ones for me. I just don't have the wood working equipment to build new ones. Plus I really don't have the time either. Which is a blessing in this economy.
I have a bunch of small boat projects going on in the garage. I'll blog about those later. (rebuilding the merriman winches, polishing the winches, polishing the winch stands, etc)