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Mast, Rudder, Daggerboard ETC.

Now that the Mud Peep is completed up to the priming and painting stage of construction, it is a good time to start all peripheral pieces such as mast, rudder, tiller, etc. Let's start with the mast and sprit. I used Alaskan Yellow Cedar for both the mast and sprit. It really does not matter what you use as long as it has straight vertical grain.

The mast should finish out at 2 1/2" thick. I used three laminations glued together with epoxy to get the desired thickness, but two laminations will also work fine if that is the stock available to you. A solid stick can also be used but there is a greater tendency for it to warp than with a laminated spar. When installed, the glue lines should run fore and aft if you are using a laminated piece. The Image below shows where to start the taper at each end of the 11' mast.

Plywood Epoxt Stitch And Glue Construction

At both ends the mast should finish out at 1" thick. You may want to start on the bottom end for the practice. Scribe the desired taper on the sides and use a plane to remove the excess material. Rotate the mast 90 degrees and repeat the process. You should end up with a nice square taper down to 1" thick. To round the mast, use your block plane and take off the corners as shown in Fig 1 to make an octagon. Then take off those eight corners to end up with sixteen. At this point, hand sanding is the best way finish the mast. An important thing to remember when shaping the ends is the facet you create by planing corners should get narrower as you get to the ends. Again, start with the bottom end because it is easier to shape (and hidden if your work is less than perfect). A hole will need to be drilled 4" from the top for the halyard. The sprit is 11' 6" long and 1 1/4" x 1 1/4". I used a 5/8" radius router bit to shape all edges and notched each end 1/2" wide and 1" deep.

The rudder, tiller and daggerboard are all made of Jutoba, but any mahogany will work fine. I used a single plank for the rudder and daggerboard, but could have also used plywood covered with a layer of fiberglass and epoxy if solid wood was not available in the widths needed.

The daggerboard is 29" long and the width and thickness will be determined by the inside dimensions of the daggerboard trunk. Cut the top and bottom at the same angles as the trunk by inserting the daggerboard, scribing and trimming. I made a hardwood cap for the dagger board that is 1/2" thick and 1" larger than the top end of the board

Plywood Epoxy Stitch and Glue

The rudder is 38" tall and 3/4" thick. The image above shows the shape of the rudder and daggerboard. The top of the rudder will require a bit of thought if you use the same type of tiller as I did. Use some 1/4" plywood scrap and mock up the top of the rudder and aft end of the tiller to work out the geometry for this type of tiller.

For the tiller I started with a 2" x 2 1/2" x 39" long piece of stock. I put a slight curve in the tiller fore and aft to give it a softer profile look ending up with a 1 1/4" curved blank. The aft end is 2 1/2" wide and quickly tapers down to 1 1/4" square, then I gave it a gradual taper to 7/8" square at the forward end. The tiller can be shaped in the same way the ends of the mast were, ending up with a round tapered tiller. The 1/4" bolt at the aft end of the tiller and the tiller rest pads (1/4" thick wood) on the rudder will keep the tiller at the desired height off the aft deck. I like to put a piece of tubing around the bolt where it comes in contact with the rudder.

Plywood Epoxy Stitch and Glue Construction

I finished the mast, sprit, daggerboard, tiller and rudder with Sikkens Cetol. I used several coats of Cetol Light (low pigment) and followed with several Cetol Gloss goats. Cetol also works great over epoxy if you want to epoxy seal these pieces first. If the rudder and daggerboard are made of plywood and glassed they will need to be primed and painted.

A very critical thing to remember about epoxy is limiting its exposure to UV light rays. A summer in the sun and epoxy will quickly start to degrade. As durable and water proof as epoxy is, UV exposure is extremely harmful to an unprotected epoxy finish. All epoxied surfaces must be painted or finished with clearcoats that have UV inhibitors. It is best to use two-part epoxy primers over surfaces that are to painted. This will give you the best adhesion layer between the epoxy and the topcoat.

Epoxy Plywood Stitch and Glue Construction



This is a Devlin design, for more information on this design and others offered by Devlin Boat, go to devlinboat.com

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