Re: Rudder packing

On SM2K #350, the rudder post started leaking.

We have had the packing and a spare big plastic screw on request from Amel for a while now; they indicated today they may send next week.

In the meantime, the leak got worse and worse, to the point the boat was not seaworthy, thus necessitating emergency repairs in Georgetown, South Carolina.  Lessons learned:

1) Our boat no longer had European mm-based packing.  Previous ownership/custodianship had removed the Euro-metric stuff and used U.S.-Imperial stuff.

2) Even in the best of cases, Imperial measurements never match metric.  For instance, 5/16" is not 8mm.  It is 7.94mm.

3) The stuff on our boat was 1/2" = 12.7mm.  The old packing was nearly impossible to remove.  There were two layers and after 2.5 hours, two burly technicians decided to only remove one layer.  The problem is that the 1/2" stuff catches onto the threads for the big screw.  The one layer removed came out in small parts (the biggest part was about one fourth of the total).  Not knowing what the correct size was, the technicians and I agreed that we would put back a new strip of the same as we removed, i.e., 1/2".

Our boat has a very, very minimal leak right now.  When Amel sends the correct spares, we will have the whole thing properly done.  I expect it will take 6 hours.

At anchor, St Marys, Georgia

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