Heater Install and Rudder Repair – Shout out to club members–Martyn, Linda, Shaun, Vince , Jeff, Darren, and Scott

Written by Ginnie Jo Blue, May 23, 2023

Someday I’ll be a wise (older?) sailor ready to pass along nuggets of wisdom to excited new sailors, but for now I’m on the receiving end and very grateful to this club and its members (now friends) who’ve helped me along the way. I recently finished two projects and have a few thanks and photos to share. 

Diesel Heater Installation

Darren (owns a Dragonfly 40 up in Anacortes, go sail with him! Great guy) helped me sail Undaunted up to Linda and Martyn’s dock for my install. We froze our butts off. Thanks Darren!

Linda and Martyn offered their dock, tools, and expertise for the install. It took three days and we were whooped but it is a beautiful thing. 5kw Chinese diesel heater under the cockpit with ducting to the main cabin and v berth. The exhaust gooseneck comes up into the cockpit coaming for the added benefit of warming cold hands while underway. Very stoked about this. It gets incredibly hot and heats the 32AX more than adequately. These newer heaters come with a bluetooth app, as well as remote, so I can turn it on before I leave the bag in the morning. Yes, I’m excited about this. 

I learned how to use new tools, punched a lot of holes in my boat, learned new boat yoga moves (see photo of L and M under the cockpit–saucy!) and only felt like puking once when Martyn drilled the first hole (I took over from there, I guess I have control issues…). 

The only snag was that my double walled exhaust plus thin fiberglass sleeve wasn’t enough insulation to keep the boat from burning (see photo). I had to redrill the holes back at Shilshole and get the fat 4″ insulative sleeving. Now I can comfortably grab the pipe to warm my hands. Winning. Thanks, Jeff O. for making me a jig and lending me your tools for the night. 

Rudder Repair

Long story short, my rudder was knocking in the sleeve and caused a bit of damage. Shaun H. came down in his drysuit and bobbed around in the water shaking parts around until we came up with a game plan. First step was to replace the dyneema line on the cassette with the original aluminum bolts. That helped. Second step was to infill the cassette with epoxy to tighten up the play and also do MY FIRST carbon fiber layup to fix a crack. Next and final step will be to replace the bearing sleeves which got damaged from the rudder knocking issue. 

Vince took two days to help me (with the use of his shop, tools, expertise, and bossa nova playlist–good vibes for glass work) to teach me the fine art (controlled chaos?) of epoxy and glass work. I have dreams of building a starboard settee next winter… this first project with Vince helped grow my confidence. Scott showed up in the morning to lend advice on materials (thanks Scott) and we set to work. We flipped the cassette upside down, held the rudder in place with shims and added tape (to act as the release mold) and paper to the rudder to simulate the thickness of the front runner fabric to be added later. We infilled with non-sagging epoxy with backer rod to prevent drips, only doing one side at a time and the rudder released beautifully. I took it sailing and it’s a perfect fit. 

By my count, that is seven friendly sailors who shared their time and knowledge with me on these two projects, both of which were well above my paygrade. Thank you, thank you!

Dropbox Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jezujsbwnpvy6tk/AAC4BBosyYA-mMQEKH3N-DWYa?dl=0