Custom Electric Rudder – Cutting and Gluing

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Auxiliary Propulsion, Decisions, Epoxy, Modifications, Tools, Woodworking

I knew from the start of my project that I wanted to build a rudder with an electric trolling motor built into it.  You may recall from previous posts that I bought the motor and cut it apart.  It has been sitting dormant for a couple week now while I contemplated fit / angling / wiring / etc.  Things that I considered:

1) Fore / aft weight distribution: I wanted to make sure the center of mass of the motor was directly below the rudder kick-up bolt.

2) Angle:  The rudder is curved at the front and sloped at the back, so I could not mount it perpendicular to either of these surfaces.  I did some measurements with the rudder head and found the angle that would leave the motor parallel with the water surface.

3) Wiring: I spent a ton of time figuring out how to run the four wires up the rudder and into the rudder head.  I probably spent the most amount of time doing this.  The complicated part is the kick up feature of the rudder.  I figured out how to do the routing and drew that onto the rudder, but you won’t see the detail in the photos until I complete that step.

4) Kick-up rudder position lines:  The Skerry is designed with only one line that is pulled to lower the rudder and then cleated off to maintain it’s down position.  Since the rudder will be many times heavier than designed, I figured out how to make an internal line to pull up and cleat off the rudder.  This will require modifications to the rudder head interior, but again, you won’t see pictures of that yet.

So with all that planning done, I started cutting the rudder with a handsaw.  When close enough, I used my router and flush trim bit to make the fit perfect.  Once I had the rudder cut to size, I used some clamps and sawhorses to build a jig that would hold the motor.  Next, I glued the wooden rudder to the motor using epoxy thickened with silica.  I’ll continue work on this tomorrow.

Time Spent: 4.5 Hours (3 of which were spent planning over the past couple weeks).

Total Time In Build: 71.0 Hours


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