Better than an 8-Track

I remember fondly the day we tore out the 8track in the Chevette and got a Cassette deck. Dorky car with a Radio Shack tape player – geez. Now we’re getting a carbon fiber rudder cassette on a good boat – I like this a lot better than the high school parking lot.

The cassette is built around the rudder for an exact fit, but it has to be oversized to allow low profile carpet to glue along the inside faces. That gives the rudder a snug fit and abrasion prevention. So to create that 4 millimeter gap it was another trip to the fabric store for some 1mil vinyl. (Wrapped in four layers)


The photo above shows a wax bead laid along the edges to form a nice radius of the cassette lip.

Made a paper pattern to get the vinyl sized just right:



The white plastic at the bottom will be the sacrificial break away area in case the rudder strikes something – the cassette is designed with a give-way point rather than destroy the rudder or the stern hull structure.

Then six layers of carbon fabric made an 1/8″ cassette body.

After the epoxy cured a few hammer blows got it separated from the rudder, and looking good.


And this is roughly where this piece will mount on the boat, after many more steps to create the hinge for turning the rudder and the attachment point for the tiller. Probably another 20 hours for this primary steering build.


When rudder parts are curing, work goes on in the aft cabin. Floor, bunks, and closet bulkheads are installed. To get the seat backs to conform roughly to the curved hull shape, this telescoping “Third Hand” tool is pushing the two sides in to shape while the fiberglass dries along the bottom edge and I can go eat dinner :)


With all the cassette talk, the radio got tuned to 80’s music in the shop all day. Took a break from NPR for AC/DC and Duran Duran sing alongs – hope that’s not the chemicals getting to me!

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