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Old 01-05-2008, 03:02 PM   #1
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Rudder Maintenance

Question-
I inspected my rudder packings today anticipating to replace the packing. About 2 weeks ago I had adjusted them- they were leaking badly-but today all was dry. No need to put my efforts there*I concluded. However, I brushed and scraped the old gunk off and gave both set ups a good dose of Fluid Film. While doing this I noticed that 3 of the*front mounting bolts for the top support had backed out a lot. I retightened them (one bolt seemed as though it began to pull the threads), but I am wondering if there is an adjustment issue I need to look at. Is it possible that the steering cylinder is stroking too far and putting a load on this bracket?? Thoughts??
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:05 AM   #2
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Rudder Maintenance

Most likely those bolts screw into a wood blocking that is glassed onto the hull. I've seen the stuffin box leak where it goes through the hull and rot the block. You might not notice this till the boat is hauled. Sometimes they can leak around the box and you will see it. Sometimes when hauled you might see it weeping around the box on the out side.
I've had to rebed several stuffing boxes to stop leaks around them.
I'd remove 1 or 2 of the bolts and see if the wood is wet. i doubt the boat will sink but I'd get to it next haul out.
Rodger
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:38 AM   #3
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RE: Rudder Maintenance

Looks like your builder did the same thing as my Tradewinds 43 - bury the rudder posts so you have to cut an access hole with a Sawzall!!

I assume that the packing is under the flat flange held down by the two bolts? Mine are weeping and I'd like to re-pack them but can't get that flange to move up. I've cleaned and soaked it, and the yard tried a mild acid but had no luck either. Any thoughts on how to move that up so I can get some new packing in there?

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Old 01-06-2008, 08:49 AM   #4
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Try removing the studs and turning with a pipe wrench. A tap from a hammer might help. It's just 2 peices of bronze with corrosion between them.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:56 AM   #5
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RE: Rudder Maintenance

Be sure to check those bolts/nuts, loctite them and add locking washers, or replace with Nylock nuts. I did so after finding this one day.... scary!
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:27 AM   #6
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Rudder Maintenance

Also, Fork, many times your packing may leak while being used(or recently used) and may stop leaking after sitting awhile. Check them after you have been goin down sea for awhile(your rudder will have been doing a lot of work) and they will likely be leaking....
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:32 AM   #7
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RE: Rudder Maintenance

Rollsdoc,

I can get the two nuts off the studs but was afraid to break them trying to put too much lateral force on the plate itself. Do the studs themselves come out of the baseplate? If so, I could remove them and then use your pipe wrench idea.

Thanks!
Jim
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:56 AM   #8
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They thred into the plate about 1/2 inch. Be careful not to bugger up the threds or lose the nuts as they most likely are BS (British Standard) thred.

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Old 01-08-2008, 07:45 AM   #9
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Jim Fisher. Do you have room to get some sort of pry bars underneath the flange and GENTLY pry upwards in a rocking fashion? A general question: Why are the nuts the british thread?
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:46 AM   #10
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Why are they British? I assumed the boat was built in Tiawan. And that's what they used.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:01 AM   #11
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RE: Rudder Maintenance

I wish....!* Mine are almost inaccessable because the opening in the towers face fore & aft and are buried under the aft bed furniture. I can reach them with one hand and have been afraid to break something since we're in the water. I'm going to look at it again with the possibility of unscrewing the studs and then trying to move it with some side to side pressure.*
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:47 AM   #12
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Mr. Forklift,
Have you looked at the steering cylinder operation to see how far it "pushes" or "pulls"? I think this bracket is under load every time you move the wheel but it is hard to say if the mounting bolts have backed out because of a load due to stroking too far or if they simply have backed off over time. Now that you have tighend them, it may just be one more thing you have to keep your eye on-That's #7,196 things you have to watch now.
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:07 PM   #13
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Their purpose is to support and align the rudder as they have a bearing on them.

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