Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-08-2016, 10:25 PM   #1
Member
 
City: fort lauderdale
Country: usa
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 6
Help rudder packing box

Hey guys I am in in need of your help. I have a 1978 albin 36. My rudder packing has started leaking at least 5 gallons a day. I am new to large boat ownership so am having to learn quickly. Anyway the boat is located in fort lauderdale and to put the boat on the hard not only is terribly expensive but there is a huge waiting list. Has anyone done the packing still in the water? I am concerned with something going wrong and being in a really bad spot. I have tried to find videos or pics to more of what I am up against but am having trouble. Any help? Thanks in advance
__________________
Advertisement

prcdnl785 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2016, 10:34 PM   #2
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9,996
Greetings,
Damp welcome aboard. Here's some information that can be directly applied to rudder stuffing boxes as well. Yes, they have been successfully repacked while afloat. Better minds than I can suggest which TF threads to look up.
Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
__________________

__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2016, 10:45 PM   #3
Member
 
City: fort lauderdale
Country: usa
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 6
My rudder shaft stuffing box is a lot different than the stuffing box pictured. I have two nuts up top holding on the top on . My prop shaft looks more like one pictured in the link. Thanks for the info I sure a lot of the information will help my future problems. I will try to post pics tomorrow.
prcdnl785 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2016, 11:44 PM   #4
Guru
 
Irish Rambler's Avatar
 
City: NARBONNE
Country: FRANCE
Vessel Name: 'Snow Mouse.'
Vessel Model: BROOM FLYBRIDGE 42.
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 828
prcdnl785.
I've had both types. the type RT Firefly gave you the link for on was on my prop shaft. I changed that one for a PSS seal due to po hacking it with a chisel and over tightening it as he didn't have the right spanner.
I also have the type with 2 nuts on the top on my rudder.
Firstly, it may only need adjusting so try this first.
Try pumping grease into it the rudder fitting through the nipple, some have a Stauffel cup which pushes grease in when you turn it clockwise. Unscrew it and refill it with grease when it won't tighten anymore.
Get a good fitting spanner and tighten each nut half a turn alternately and the flow should slow down, as soon as the water flow stops, stop tightening the 2 nuts.
Then get a buddy to turn the wheel slowly from full lock to full lock while you pump some grease into it. If a Stauffel cup use one cupful, if a grease nipple about 4 strokes.
If that doesn't work then you can think about repacking the rudder. If there's an engineering shop dealing with valves or steam boilers around, ask for some 1/4'' PTFE steam packing, it's the same stuff you get in a ships chandlers without the fancy packaging and half the price.
Irish Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2016, 11:50 PM   #5
Member
 
City: fort lauderdale
Country: usa
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 6
So 1/4 inch packing is most likely the size i need?
prcdnl785 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 12:48 AM   #6
Guru
 
Irish Rambler's Avatar
 
City: NARBONNE
Country: FRANCE
Vessel Name: 'Snow Mouse.'
Vessel Model: BROOM FLYBRIDGE 42.
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 828
Most leisure boat rudder shaft sizes are 1 1/2'' if yours is the same then yes 1/4 PTFE will do the job nicely.
If you have to repack, then cut a length sufficient to wrap around the shaft with an angled cut so that the ends overlap but are the same level, if can follow me.
You will need 4 of these cut initially, coat them lightly in waterproof grease
You will then have to remove the rudder arm from the top of the rudder, undo the 2 nuts.
Get a piece of old wire like a gas welding rod, wire coat hanger and file one end to a sharp point.
Bend the point over to make a hook, shape the other end to make a handle..
Make sure your bilge pump is on automatic.
Slide the top fitting up over the 2 bolts.
Use the hook to remove the old packing, water will come in but that's normal, don't panic.
Now push in evenly the first ring of packing, tap down evenly with the blade end of a screwdriver so the packing is seated flat all round.
Repeat with the next ring, offset the joins to 12, 6, 3 and 9 o'clock positions.
Return the top fitting and tighten the nuts until the water flow stops, reassemble the arm.
Check it regularly and adjust until it's fully bedded in.
There should be no leaks.
Irish Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 06:50 AM   #7
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9,996
Greetings,
Mr. 785. An easy way to measure for the size of packing is to take off the 2 nuts, lift the top and try to fit a drill bit in the space between the rudder shaft and the housing.

The size of bit will be VERY close to the size of the packing. IF a 5/16" bit fits in, for example, better to get the next smaller size packing (1/4" for example) than the next larger size packing (3/8" for example) IF 5/16" is not available.

Better a touch too loose than a touch too tight when installing. Install as per Mr. IR's post.
__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 07:44 AM   #8
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,525
A gentile tightening , and grease should hold for almost ever as the rudder motion underway is usually quite mild.

If the fitting has a 1/8 or so pipe fitting plug, remove it install an outboard SS zerk fitting and purchase a small grease gun. No federal permit yet required.

Fix it when the bottom paint wears out and you haul next.

And BE SURE to purchase the packing ONLY after measuring the size needed.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 09:08 AM   #9
Guru
 
HopCar's Avatar


 
City: Miami Florida
Vessel Name: Possum
Vessel Model: Ellis 28
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,505
As has been stated, you might not need new packing yet. Try tightening it first.

If you do decide to re pack while in the water, don't freak out over the amount of water coming in. Your pumps will easily stay ahead of it.

Like FF said, packing sizes vary depending on who made the gland. Measure before you buy.

Since the leak is only five gallons a day, you could just wait until your next haul out to deal with it. Just make sure your automatic pumps are working.
__________________
Parks Masterson
www.hopkins-carter.com
HopCar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 11:03 AM   #10
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,169
"And BE SURE to purchase the packing ONLY after measuring the size needed."

Not necessarily. I had some 3/4 teflon packing (for my shafts) from which I tore off some for the rudder. It had been leaking a steady stream, several gallons a day, and since repacking with a torn off strip about 1/4" diameter, it has not leaked a drop in about 10 years.
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 11:51 AM   #11
Member
 
City: fort lauderdale
Country: usa
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 6
Mobile Uploads by prcdnl785 | Photobucket this is the mess I am dealing with
prcdnl785 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 12:26 PM   #12
Member
 
City: fort lauderdale
Country: usa
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 6
Here is the mess I am dealing with

http://s1305.photobucket.com/user/prcdnl785/library/Mobile%20Uploads
prcdnl785 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 03:36 PM   #13
Guru
 
Capt.Bill11's Avatar
 
City: Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 5,422
I'd start with an acid washing and a good wire brushing.
Capt.Bill11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 04:02 PM   #14
Member
 
City: fort lauderdale
Country: usa
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 6
thanks for all your help

Allright guys thanks for all your help i was able cut two pieces of packing and install them on top of other old ones leak is stopped for now. I can find a marina now at my leisure to get put on hard and replace the thru hulls and such
prcdnl785 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 05:08 PM   #15
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9,996
Greetings,
Mr. 785. Atta' boy! At some point I'd take Mr. 11's advice and clean up the area. Not a big job and sooner will be better than later. So....Head on up to Publix (they've got beer on sale this week) grab a box and celebrate.
__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 06:29 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
tallswede's Avatar
 
City: Baytown, Texas
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Islander
Vessel Model: Prairie 36
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 245
I currently have my boat out of the water doing some rudder surgery. I was just going to clean out the stuffing boxes and repack. The yard recommended dropping the rudders and I'm sorta glad I did. We found major pitting and some worn linkage parts as well as binding upper bearings. This explains my hard kinda grinding steering. Not looking forward to the bill for new rudder shafts. My packing wouldn't stay leak free even when I tightend up as the pitting just caused it to leak after turning the rudders a few times. Something to watch for.


Kevin
tallswede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 06:46 PM   #17
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,304
I used the GFO packing in my two rudder packing gland, was maybe 8 years ago. Never has leaked, and I have not even checked the packing. The rudders are bronze, the packing gland contraption is bronze. It has a packing nut on top and a lock nut. The rudder shaft is SS.

When I did this on the hard, I did put wheel bearing grease in the space where the rudder shaft slips up into the housing. I guess my thinking was the grease would float above the water and maybe keep the thing drier and maybe the SS from crevice corroding..

My one concern was what if it left an oil sheen on the water, but it did not. I have read some people have grease fittings on stuffing boxes. And they pump in grease.
sdowney717 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2016, 07:16 AM   #18
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,525
"I can find a marina now at my leisure to get put on hard and replace the thru hulls and such"

Why replace thru hulls?

Have they gone pink?

Pulling each and inspecting it , then returning it to the sea cock is the norm.

Along with greasing the sea cocl.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2016, 12:59 PM   #19
Guru
 
angus99's Avatar
 
City: Signal Mtn., TN
Country: US
Vessel Name: Stella Maris
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallswede View Post
We found major pitting and some worn linkage parts as well as binding upper bearings. This explains my hard kinda grinding steering. Not looking forward to the bill for new rudder shafts. My packing wouldn't stay leak free even when I tightend up as the pitting just caused it to leak after turning the rudders a few times. Something to watch for.
Kevin
I feel your pain.

Here's what we found when we dropped our rudders.




Had them ground down and sprayed with Inconel and they turned out nicely. Saved a bunch of money with this approach and the Inconel is less susceptible to corrosion than the original SS.



Here's the whole saga along with some excellent commentary by knowledgable folks on the forum. Good luck.

Pitted Rudder Shafts
angus99 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2016, 02:42 PM   #20
Guru
 
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,304
Rudders don't have a lot of twisting force on them. I greased mine a lot filled up that space with grease after repacking on the hard.
Mine did not have any crevice corrosion and I figured the grease would help keep the water away. Grease floats on top of water.

My prop shafts do look like that and they looked like that when I got the boat back in 1998 and they still have not snapped. I have been thinking of grinding them a little maybe 0.01" with a belt sander, then using an epoxy to seal that area on the next haulout.
__________________

sdowney717 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012