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On my passage from Gib. to Grenada before I left I checked the rudder post and found a half litre or so. Found a wrench gave it a slight turn. Checked it again just before leaving. But much to my surprise, being as that I was sleeping in the saloon as to be close to the cockpit, I had closed the aft cabin door and when I did go in all seemed well until the sound of water didn't sound outside the boat anymore. When I lifted the bed there was not a little water but it was full the rudder indicator was underwater and the linear drive was half-submerged, the water was overflowing the starboard side next to the drawer running down and filling the hole where the bed sideboards go. out come the hand pumps and bucket several buckets later and I see the problem water had been coming in through the packing. so I maintained a check every 2 hours. it came to be 1 liter an hour until I reached Grenada and fashioned a wrench and strap that would be big enough to tighten it. now I need to get a nut packing and kit. I don't want to ever see that again.
The conclusion is what Bill said, Monitor it.
Packing removal tool: a dental pick also works fine.
I’ve changed one in harbour; very easy and compression can be achieved with 1 cm wide piece of hardwood and a rubber/plastic hammer.
Use a new compression nut and keep the old one as a spare.
Jean-Pierre Germain, Eleuthera, SM007
On 2 Apr 2021, at 10:44, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:
Here you are:
A snippet from a page in my book and a link to the Amel Book Supplement file (Rudder Post Packing) mentioned in the book:
This is the proverbial question whether to fix something that is not broke. I have owned my boat for at least 15 years and have never replaced the packing , never even tightened down the nut , I also have never had a leak. I just had Maud send me new packing ,I have the quadrant and nut off . Now I am having a second thought about messing with it as it has never leaked a drop. Sure enough ,with my luck if I repack it, I will probably have a leak . Do you cut the ends on a 45 degree angle so to overlap or just cut the ends square.
PS. Is this secret place just on 54s or SMs as well, or is this just an urban myth ,designed to drive people nuts as they tear out their interiors ?
From: CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...
Sent: Thu, Apr 1, 2021 2:33 pm
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Rudder Stuffing Box Packing Material
Generally, when the packing begins to leak it is because the nut needs to further compress the packing, and/or the packing has been compressed several times by tightening the nut and requires replacing because there is no compression flexibility left in the packing material.
And generally, water will leak through this packing when the boat is moving bow to stern while sailing. The more the stern moves up and down when sailing, the higher the water pressure is on the packing.
The top of the rudder post gland is normally above the waterline, but I have seen at least one SM so overloaded at the stern that it was likely close to the waterline.
Leaving her in a marina for 6 months with packing that needs replacing is probably a low-risk issue, mitigated to almost no-risk with someone checking on her.
Paul, et al.,
Great thread! And very timely: I just found 8 ozs of water in area next to rudder post. We are just about to depart Panama for the US. What to do?
1. Leave repair until I return in six (ish) months, which gives me time to get a Palmetto tool, sched 80 plastic pipe, packing material, etc.; or,
2. Stop press, change flight dates and do repair now using locally sourced materials and tools.
S/V Hanalei is vintage 1999, so the stuffing material will be old. When we depart, she will be in a marina under watchful eye of experienced mechanic, and boat caretaker.
Has anyone had success with tightening the packing nut on old packing material?
Thanks in advance for thoughts.
Stephan G. Regulinski
S/V Hanalei SM #266