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Opinions about end grain exposure.

Brian Watford

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I built my rudder blade out of strips of fir laminated in the same manner as the CS plans call for the center board. This leaves end grain exposed. Of course it will be epoxied but in a book I have on building canoe paddles it says to cut a grove across the end grain and glue in a filler piece with the grain crosswise. This will prevent (or at least slow0 the intrusion of water should the seal ever be compromised. Canoe paddles on a white water river are probably more apt to come into contact with rocks and be compromised but I'm thinking that this might still be a good thing to do. Anyone else have an opinion on this?

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you could do that but I don't see the need. On the Princess 22, after I glassed the rudder, I took some left over Bi-axial and glassed it around the lower leading edge and back past the bottom mid point of the rudder. Used a strip about 10 inches long or so and about 3 inches wide. That gives a pretty hefty leading edge where it's apt to hit bottom. I think that should be enough. If the rudder wears enough there during use, just add another strip and repaint.

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On my CS17, I did the same thing that Charlie did on both the centerboard and rudder. However, I used polypropylene which was recommended by Rob Macks of Laughing Loon kayak fame. Actually, I bought the polypropylene from him. I used 2" wide strips. Since I have not completed my boat, I have not had a chance to test it yet.

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What I did with the rudder blades on my NIS26 and the nester dinghy is cut a section off the lower end from the blade blank and epoxy it back on.

This leaves an epoxy seam preventing water wicking up all the way on the staves should the glass I have on the blades rub through.


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