Preview: How to Build a Caledonia Yawl, Part 29 – Laminating the Centerboard & Rudder

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Laminating the centerboard and rudder and similar processes. Follow along with Geoff Kerr and he takes us through Iain Oughtred’s drawings and begins to define the shape of our centerboard and the lamination process.

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13 Responses So Far to “How to Build a Caledonia Yawl, Part 29 – Laminating the Centerboard & Rudder

  • Avatar

    Greg Pacetti says:

    Got to love the Caledonia, I’m very new at this.
    Can someone tell me what the outside finish is, in its entirety. Like Epoxy maybe two coats and then paint. I’m assuming there’s no fiberglas cloth. Can someone chime in. I’ve watched the video and seems I just get parts of this info….greg

    • Steve Stone

      Steve Stone says:

      Hi Greg. Here ya go. A video where Geoff talks through the whole process.

  • Avatar

    Wesley Brooks says:

    Geoff, do you have any concern about the strength of a plywood centerboard? The designers always call for solid timber but you’ve got plenty of experience and ought to know what really works. Certainly it’s a lot faster and easier to end up with a flat surface using plywood.

    • Avatar

      Geoff Kerr says:

      My own “Ned Ludd” centerboard is in its 26th season of banging rocks and dragging in the sand and is just fine. The only wear I’ve had to deal with was the pivot hole wearing into an oversized oblong. I believe Iain mentions the possibility of a “timber” cb, but the hassle and challenge of gluing up a straight one and fairing it well is pretty daunting. And why would you, having already committed to a plywood hull? In the shop these days I overdrill the pivot and pour a solid epoxy bushing for the pivot hole. I’ve also taken to sawing a 1/2 x1/2″ dado in the leading edge and filling it with epoxy before fairing the board for a sort of armored leading edge.

  • Avatar

    Chris Simkus says:

    So Geoff say he is using 1/2 inch ply for the rudder head cheeks, but my plans indicate it should be 3/4inch. Its a bit hard to tell but it looks like he does in fact use 1/2 inch so must be strong enough??

    • Avatar

      Geoff Kerr says:

      I have used 1/2″ cheeks forever, and imagine that must be what my sets of the plans call for. They have certainly proven strong enough. If this is a concern feel free to get in touch directly.

  • Avatar

    Paul Gill says:

    Russian kettlebells come with handles and make great “agents of gravity”!

  • Avatar

    Richard Schneider says:

    Question as to the shape on the plans for the rudder blade vs. Geoff’s.
    Will the elongated pattern you use be better in helping to diminish the effects of weather helm?
    If so is a six inch extension following hull shape beyond what the current plans call for enough to bring the rudder leading edge closer to the hull to minimize the weather helm?

  • Avatar

    Paul Ludington says:

    Would you get a better adhesion if you coated both surfaces with epoxy? Perhaps unthickened epoxy on the other piece? Thanks.

    • Avatar

      Geoff Kerr says:

      Old school epoxy practices suggest coating both surfaces. My practice is to assess the wood types and grain of the surfaces being glued. End grain and soft woods may merit wetting out with unthickened epoxy. For instance I generally wet out the beveled plank lap before applying a bead of thickened epoxy. Dense woods and the face grain of plywood don’t seem to need the two surface approach. Note that in the laminations featured in this video that I am using a a pretty wet mixture. I like to imagine whether or not the porosity of the wood is going to suck the liquid out of my epoxy mixture and leave a compromised amount of thickener behind.

  • Avatar

    Glenn Holland says:

    I like those “gravity” clamps. Got several around my shop. Concrete blocks are good but watch the “nubs”. Made some with left over concrete cast into a 5 gallon bucket a few inches, bent rebar for handles. Weigh them and they are good test ballast. Thanks Geoff! I’m re-inspired with every video to get to my shop and keep going.

    • Avatar

      Neil Moomey says:

      Dumbbells and bags of lead shot work well too.


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