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Old 03-19-2015, 10:48 PM   #1
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Rudder post leaks

Hello from a newcomer. I'm from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and have been boating for many years, mostly with trailerable boats. Six years ago I purchased a 1974 34' Marine Trader. The boat is kept in Muskegon, Michigan, which is on Lake Michigan.

There is water coming in from around the rudder post and leaking out of two weepholes in the rudder box. The box is made of 5/8 glassed over wood and has two slim openings on the top of both sides. One can feel or look into the box and there doesn't appear to be a woodblock inside. The top of the box is glassed over wood and is anchored to beams on both sides, about three feet across. I'm thinking about drilling one or two holes with a holesaw in the top of the box, hoping to gain access to the problem area. If water is coming up between the rudder tube and rudder post, maybe sealant could be applied. We have checked the underside also.

Any and all advice would be appreciated. I have read several posts concerning this problem, although non were MT. Thanks
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:58 PM   #2
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Don't start drilling till you post clear, well lit pictures.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:40 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:47 AM   #4
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rudder post

While I don't know about Marine Traders, it is my understanding that there is a packing gland that may need attention, think stuffing box.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnoft View Post
While I don't know about Marine Traders, it is my understanding that there is a packing gland that may need attention, think stuffing box.



I would not even try caulking, you may need to pull the boat depending on how easy it is to access and repack the stuffing box and your comfort level at the amount of water that will be coming in while doing the job.

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Old 03-20-2015, 10:01 AM   #6
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Welcome to TF, Leodora!

As Capt.Bill11 implies in post #2: - Clear picts help greatly with diagnosis.

We have 1977 34' Tollycraft... same circa boat that may have similar rudder shaft glands with fasteners and tighteners. That said; your description does not seem the same as ours - again, send good pictures.

On ours is a large [1.75" or so] tightening nut on top of threaded rudder shaft encasement. If yours is similar, tightening that nut may cinch the packing gland tight enough to stop, or greatly slow the leak.

Three things before starting to apply pressure to any portion:

1. Spray the big nut and its threads as well as all other rudder fasteners in that area liberally with good penetrating oil each day for at least a few to several days before trying to wrench on things. Good idea to lightly tap on the big nut and other fasteners after each spraying… helps to loosen corrosion and create paths for penetrating oil to migrate into.
2. Be ready with all potentially necessary tools as well as to have bilge pumps (easy access to emergency pump also if it becomes necessary) in good order if per chance the metal or other material at rudder is in really bad condition and for some reason fails substantially while working on it with boat still in water… ALSO – have a plan ready for quick haul if needed.
3. For maximum safety have boat on the hard while working on its rudders… then you can really get into rudder repair and make sure everything is correct for lasting in good repair for many years.

Good luck – Looking forward to seeing photos of your rudder stem in boat bilge by transom.

Happy Boating Daze! – Art
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:29 AM   #7
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Also see this similar thread:

Rudder Box Help
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:30 PM   #8
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seems like he has a problem with the installation not the packing. I agree with Bill some good pix will help . sealant almost never fixes something like that. it is not a particularly difficult job to rebed the rudder mounts. ask the yard what they think.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:16 PM   #9
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Rudder post leaks

Thanks for all the replies.I should have mentioned that there is a stuffing box or gland (not sure on all the correct terms) embedded into the top of the rudder box. The packing was replaced last summer but did not stop the leak. I think the stuffing/packing box is used to stop water from coming up between the rudder post/shaft and the tube that surrounds it. Could the water be leaking between the tube/sleeve and the fiberglass hull? I might be all wet on this. The suggestion for pictures is the right thing to do. However the boat is several hours away and in storage for the last six months. My problem, I know. Thanks again. Just read a reply that said to rebed the rudder mounts. Anything more about that?
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:19 AM   #10
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There is likely a fibreglass tube running through the hull,that will have a bushing for the rudder shaft. In the aft lazarette bilge, there will be a rubber hose that connects that pipe to the stuffing box. Check: 1) fibreglass pipe. It can be cracked or shattered if you hit a log or bottom. This happened to our vessel sometime in its history and was my first repair job after we bought the boat. 2) The hose may need to be replaced. This should not be wire reinforced, and attached using "T"- clamps. 3) stuffing box may need to be cleaned, repacked and tightened.

Click image for larger version

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You could start by tightening the stuffing box. You may or may not feel comfortable doing this whilst the boat is in the water. However beware that you do not over tighten and break any of the bolts. This is the work we did on my rudder repair:

http://phoenixhunterkk42.blogspot.ca...ther-work.html


Jim
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Old 03-21-2015, 12:56 PM   #11
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Rudder post leaks

Picture from Trawler Leodora, 1974 34' Marine Trader.
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:22 PM   #12
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Rudder post leaks

More pictures[ATTACH]Click image for larger version

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Old 03-21-2015, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leodora View Post
Picture from Trawler Leodora, 1974 34' Marine Trader.

http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/a...1&d=1426956879
Yours is engineered considerably differently than my 77 Tolly. Unfortunately I do not have photo to share. Can you get yard mechanic with experience in rudders to diagnose?

Best Luck! - Art
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:39 PM   #14
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So where in that picture is the leak coming from again?

What's up with that what looks like an added on sheet of fiberglass cloth with the wrinkles in it? Is that someone's previous attempt to fix the leak or something?
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