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Old 03-10-2020, 04:35 PM   #1
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Rudder Bolt Water Seepage

I'm planning on pulling the boat in the next 2 months for bottom painting and through hull maintenance. I recently noticed a very small amount of water seepage in through the rudder attachment bolts. and wondered if this hints at any issues I should also be prepared for? Thoughts and comments welcome.
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:44 PM   #2
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A little "weeping" is not a huge issue in and of itself.

First, see if you can tighten the nuts. If the bolt turns it might even be worth it to get a diver to hold the bolt although it probably has a carriage bolt head and should not turn. Tightening may very well stop the leak.

The problem is not with the weeping. It is with whatever else is becoming wet. If you have a cored hull the core could have become rotten already, but I really doubt this by what I can see in the picture, it looks like the hull is well reinforced.

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Old 03-10-2020, 07:05 PM   #3
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Thanks Pete. The hull is not cored so no worries there. I'll give the nut a turn and see what happens.
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:43 PM   #4
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Plan on having the bolts pulled and probably renewed when you see the thinning corrosion on them I expect you will find. Seal them up properly and no further problem.
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:41 PM   #5
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If they are stainless and go through the hull, and saltwater is weeping past one.....


All of them could be trashed from corrosion.


Here's some from my shaft stuffing box
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:47 AM   #6
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Sealing goop only lasts for so long.


If you have to drop the rudder have good silicone bronze fastenings handy if the boat assembler used SS.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:03 AM   #7
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Look at psneeld's pic, especially the fasteners on the left. I don't think I'd risk turning the nut while in the water.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:07 AM   #8
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I would pull the assembly clean it and replace the bolts. It is surprising how often bolts corrode in hidden places. The hull looks green so you may be getting some smells from the stagnant water.
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Old 03-13-2020, 11:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
Look at psneeld's pic, especially the fasteners on the left. I don't think I'd risk turning the nut while in the water.

At least not on a weekend or after hours when there is nobody to run the travel lift for an emergency haul-out.
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:53 PM   #10
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"I don't think I'd risk turning the nut while in the water."


Should "stuff" happen a number of wood dowels is a great item to have under your bunk.
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Old 03-13-2020, 09:35 PM   #11
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My vote is pull the bolt, check for corrosion, replace bolt as necessary and completely reseal to make a watertight connection. I have found these rudder bolts do corrode and weaken, often snapping while trying to tighten.
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