It has been a while... generally speaking, without making excuses, 2021 is not a sailing year for me and Gardens.
So, late in the season, I've gotten back to working on Gardens to have her ready for next summer.
First effort is rudder remediation. The rudder blade wobbles a bit (not much but enough to be noticed and annoying when sailing) between the cheeks of the rudder head. Two causes: The rudder blade is a tad too thin to fit snuggly between the cheeks; and the pivot hole is too large for the pivot pin.
First, for the pivot hole, I did the usual: drilled out the hole oversized, filled it with epoxy, and drilled a hole for a bronze bushing (the original hole was just epoxy filled, which worked, but... not as well as it could have). The bushing is a much better fit for the pivot pin and the blade wobble related to the size of the pivot hole has been significantly reduced.
Second, I added 1/8" spacers to both sides of the blade and sanded them down to improve the fit in the rudder head.
The spacers definitely improve the fit of the blade in the rudder head; and the spacers and bushing together nearly eliminate the blade wobble.
The blade will be sanded back to bare wood and refinished.
As for the rudder head, I decided it is time to refinish it. Sanded the outer surfaces back to bare wood and began varnishing. It will take some time to complete the varnishing as. I can only do one surface at a time.