I am building a new rudder and stock for SPARTINA. I have never been happy with the original rudder (though after 14 years or so of sailing I do admit that it worked pretty well). This new rudder will be thinner and lighter. The stock will be heavier, made out of a seven-foot-long piece of 1 1/2" x 10" mahogany (not cheap!!). That single piece of wood was planed down to 1" and cut into three pieces, the center stock and the two cheeks (outside pieces).
Barry tells me that retirement has lead to improved wood working skills. All credit really goes to the guys at Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop who have been advising and helping me along the way. And having access to all their great tools helps (who knew how useful an oscillating spindle sander can be??).
Those black "7" shaped pieces of iron are called dogs. The vertical piece goes in holes in the work bench, then you smack the top of the dog with a wooden mallet and it holds whatever is under the dog like a clamp. So I give the dog couple taps with the mallet and one of the guys there - an ex-marine, a lot of ex-marines there - says "hit that thing like it owes you money!" Good woodworking tip. Also a good reminder to not borrow money from an ex-marine.
Probably a couple more weeks before it is ready to go on the boat. I can't wait.