The Nether Regions

The Beaver Tail

It’s one thing to patch cement, it’s another to put back together the steering mechanisms.   As mentioned, the boat came to us floating in the water, while the rudder was handed to us.  Though we were fully prepared for the puncture wound, we weren’t aware of just how bent the beaver tail was, and what it would fully require to bring back to life.

Heck, it was hard enough to make out, so covered in sea-salad it was:

What she looked like fresh outta water. Sans rudder.

This is just HOW bent out it was:

Just some perspective as to the ACTUAL angle it was on...

A little caressing with the pressure washer revealed the truth:

a little cleaned up... and bent back. Damon would bang out all the bad concrete, and remove the cuff

The re-bar was welded in to the rebar fram prior to cementing. Also, the center steel plate was added, in addition to one along the bottom.

Careful positioning of the very heavy rudder into place.

Through careful tweeking, the rudder, held by ropes and come-alongs on either side, was put into position and welded at the top of the rudder shaft.  This is an area that gets really technical, and despite numerous attempts on Damon’s part to explain the entire rudder attachment/mechanism to me, it eludes me entirely.  This sentiment was reinforced this morning, when Damon was explaining, in man-ese, to a friend who had come along to help, how the steering system was set-up and what he had done to it to ensure the rudder wouldn’t move while it was being towed.   While I stood in ignorant awe, our friend nodded and “oh yeah’d” enthusiastically, fully comprehending what, to me, was the sound of Charlie Brown’s teacher.   All that to say, I’ll save an opportunity for Damon to write, in man-ese, a detailed post on what seemed like the intensive work he did in this area.  Until then, I will leave you with a visual trail and some basic layman’s terms:

Cemented in, rudder on, bottom of keel reinforced with cement, until next year when it will be fitted with a steel shoe

The other side of the beavertail

Ta Daaa!!!!

It’s amazing how distracting a fresh coat of paint and a shiny new zinc is from all the other work that was done to this thing.  Aesthetics, too, are important to Damon, and it’s an irk of his that our dry-dock time didn’t allow for him to grind flush the joins.  This will be done next year when she’s pulled out again for her annual bottom paint and maintenance.

A peak under her dress as she looks today!!

And that’s the bottom!!  Now that the anti-fouling paint has been applied, she’s ready to be put back into the water!!  Our hopes to paint both bottom AND top were not realized at this point.  Between time and weather, the marine paint wouldn’t have properly stuck and cured to the top of the hull, and we’ll do that in our next spell of good weather.  Until then, we are highly anticipating the updates to our interior!!


About madlav

We're living our dream. Nestled in the Inside Passage of British Columbia's stunning Coastal region, we've just taken possession of a beautiful (to us) 45' ferro cement hulled sailboat. Ripped from her mooring during one of our strong storms and run aground, she encountered the only large rock on the beach. Today, she floats. With a temporary patch over the gouge, and tarps over her hatches, a broken rudder, missing wheelhouse, and stripped of pride, the Someday Lady is a battered boat. Optimists and visionaries, we believe that together we can restore the Someday Lady's original splendor, and make our home in her berth. Someday Lady, THIS is our journey!!
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3 Responses to The Nether Regions

  1. ferroever says:

    I also have a ferrocement boat. Built in Vancouver, BC in 1980 and still going strong. You can see more pics of it at

    I like the photos of your boat. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. BayPolar says:

    Hello again!
    How heavy is your boat?
    Did you have it moved by a travel lift?
    I am using a travel lift soon but haven’t used one before so I am wondering about how well a travel lift will work with the medium our boats are made from. The travel lift can lift up to 75000 lbs. My boat is 40,000.

    • madlav says:

      Our boat is 23 1/2 Tonnes. I’m still very unfamiliar with proper names of equipment, though I don’t believe our boat was moved with a travel lift (which I understand to be “sling” system that lifts the boat out of water and to a location on land). Ours was lifted out by a huge adjustable wooden cradle that sits on railway tracks that extend down into the water and operated by a large winch/pulley system. The boat is then kept in this cradle until work is completed, when it’s then wheeled back down into the water on the tracks and is floated out. Based on how much your boat is under it’s maximum weight, I’m sure you won’t have a problem, and that it’s a perfectly safe method!

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