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Old 06-17-2020, 08:09 PM   #1
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City: Southport, Florida
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Where'd my rudder packing go?

I was going through my automated maintenance list which happened to include lubrication of the hydraulic pistons of the rudder ram when I noted the slightly corroded bronze packing nut and jam nut of the rudder post seal. I decided that since I had never checked the packing that I would pull the packing nut up as far as it would go and use my pick tools to pull whatever packing was there with an eye toward replacement. With the boat living in a lift, not having any packing material on hand was no big deal. Turns out there was no evidence of any packing ever having been in there. The oddest thing is that I have never in the five years of ownership noted any leakage through the packing when the boat was in the water. I went ahead and inserted a couple of rings of teflon impregnated packing and lowered the boat into the water just to be sure all was well before running the jam nut back into place. Hmmmm
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Old 06-18-2020, 06:38 AM   #2
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Is the stuffing box above or below the waterline? I have seen some Chesapeake bay work boats with a cutlass bearing through the keel and no stuffing box on top. The top of the wood block mounted on the keel was above the waterline. I can understand how it wouldn't leak, but wouldn't do that on a boat I owned.

Ted
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:46 AM   #3
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City: Southport, Florida
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Given its location right on top of the propeller tunnel, I have theorized that it is very close to or under the WL, and it is certainly under the WL when at certain attitudes. The green corrosion indicates to me that at times it may have leaked, but it is after all a fifteen-year old boat. Anyway, I am now happy to have "laid hands on it' and ensured the now shiny bronze parts will stay that way.
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