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Rigging Updates
by Tidmarsh Major

After sailing my prototype Skat for a season, I've made a couple of changes to the rigging and hardware.  As astute Duckworks readers may remember, I built pintles and gudgeons out of  1/8" flat brass and 1/4" brass rod. Bsically I had gudgeons on both transom and rudder and inserted a long pintle to hold it all together:

(click images to enlarge)

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While the arrangement worked, It was a bit of a hassle to insert the rod while holding the rudder in place. I also dropped the hitch pin while unshipping the rudder in the surf at the beach (miraculously, I didn't lose it). To make the rudder easier to ship, I've converted it to a more conventional pintles and gudgeons arrangement. Since I drilled the holes in the gudgeons slightly oversize, I used 5/16" brass rod left over from making rope-stropped blocks for the pintles. First, I threaded the end of the rod:

The wooden block didn't have quite enough grip to keep the rod from twisting as I cut the threads (even with a groov on the underside to increase surface area), so I bent the end of the rod to give leverage against the workbench. Forgive the poor quality of the workbench--I rescued it from a trash pile to leave outside while building the boat. I just can't bring myself to throw it away yet.

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Once I had cut the threads, I cut the new pintles to length. I cut the lower pintle to 2" beyond the threads, and the upper one to 1.5" beyond the threads, to allow insertion of the lower pintle before lining up the top one. I then used the poor person's machine shop to round the ends:

I chucked the pintle into the drill and clamped a file to the bench. Using a goodly amount of cutting oil, I held the cut end against the file while the drill was spinning, moving up and down to round the end:

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The result was a smoothly rounded end:

Here are the finished pintles, ready to mount. They'll be inserted into the holes on the rugger gudgeon and tightened down with bronze lock washers to keep them from loosening:

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Here's the finished hardware, ready to launch (you can see a little of the new mainsheet arrangement as well):

Here's the finished hardware, ready to launch (you can see a little of the new mainsheet arrangement as well):

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And in action here:

Last week was spring break, and I managed to get out on the water Sunday afternoon, making the break a success. The rudder proved much easier to mount and unmount. I'm still pondering on a means to lock it in place easily. The mainsheet also was an improvement, easing the amount of force needed to haul in the sail. The weather here was warm and sunny, with a good breeze most of the time I was out, though the breezes always seem to get alittle flaky here around 6 in the afternoon.

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The water was muddy, as you can see, since we've had a good bit of rain over the past week. The sky was clear, however, and the early spring foliage is showing as the trees are just starting to leaf out. While out, I saw some migratory waterfowl (docks for Duckworks?) stopping by on their way north.

All in all, a nice afternoon to test the new rigging and a good end to spring break.

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