1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Rudder Alignment

With the rudders finally installed for good, next I had to align them. When we moved the boat back in 2009, the rudders weren’t aligned and it was a bear keeping the boat on course.

Rudder aiming jig

Rudder aiming jig

I used Harbor Freight clamps to attach some 3″x 48″ scrap 3/4″ plywood to the rudder. I’d cut the plywood using my EZ-One  Smart Table. so the cuts were perfectly straight. On the other side, I used a 48″ aluminum level.

Bosche laser measuring tool makes it a breeze

Bosche laser measuring tool makes it a breeze

With my Bosche GLR225 up against the 3/4″ plywood on the port side, the red laser dot on the aluminum level that’s attached to the stbd rudder tells me I’m measuring the right location.

Distance between the fronts

Distance between the fronts

Repeat at the back

Repeat at the back

Distance between the rears

Distance between the rears

The measurements are in meters and, because I’m measuring forward and to the rear of the actual leading and trailing edges of the rudders, the toe-in and toe-out are exaggerated. Initially, there was a toe-in condition of ~15mm. The older I get, the more I wish the U.S. had switched to the metric system way back in the 1970s. It’s sooo much easier doing the math.

So…we need some toe-out. I crawled out from under the boat, ran up the ladder, across the aft deck, down into the salon and from there into the aft stateroom, where I pulled the pin on the rudder tie rod so I could adjust it.

Adjusting the tie rod between rudders

Adjusting the tie rod between the rudders

Then…back to the salon, up to the aft deck, down the ladder, and crawl under the boat to take another measurement.

Once more

Once more

All that work and all I got was 3mm off the leading edge???

All that work and all I got was 3mm off the leading edge???

On the trailing edge

On the trailing edge…getting closer

Once again, up the ladder and back again.

Closer still, but not quite there

Closer still, but not quite there

And again back and forth…

Finally...

Finally…

The magic numbers match

The magic numbers match

With the rudders set at zero toe, next I centered them.

Eyeballing shows they're pretty close to center

Eyeballing shows they’re pretty close to center

The laser tells a different story

Again, the Bosche GLR225 helps make easy work of it

The laser dot is offset on the prop hub

The laser dot is offset on the prop hub

But the laser tells a different story farther away

But the laser tells a different story farther away

At the shaft log, where the prop shaft enters the hull, the laser dot is inboard, toward the center of the shaft. This means the rudders are pointed slightly off center. If the boat was running, she’d be turning slightly to port. Calling for the missus to turn the helm to stbd, we centered the rudders in no time. And that’s a wrap for the rudders.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Progress on the Windshield

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s