Water ingress close to the rudder tube


Martin Birkhoff
 

Dear Amelians

after renewing the packings of the stuffing box three weeks ago we recognized water ingress in the aft compartment of our 54. By drilling two inspection holes in the upper plywood cover we checked the compartment by endoscope camera. There are some black lines which seem to be cracks. We could locate three spots where water is creeping in. Two spots are more or less one inch in front and on portside of the rudder stock, the third spot is a dark area at the vertical plywood just in front of the rudder stock. This is close to the position where a copper element is entering the GRP in front of the rudder stock.

We had no grounding and as far as we know the former owner had no grounding too. Have anyone heard of a similar problem?

Martin
SV Mago del Sur - 54#40

currently Cherbourg


 


 

Martin,

You probably are aware that new rudder packing will need to be tightened in a few weeks.

I have seen this leaking before. As it turned out the reason for the cracks I saw were because of a grounding issue. Maybe you hit the bottom or some semisubmerged object. If I were you, I would contact Olivier Beaute and/or your insurance company. For your info, here is Olivier's contact information:
Olivier BEAUTE / ATLANTIC YACHT SURVEY
32 avenue des Corsaires
17000 LA ROCHELLE
Tel: +33 546 522 147   
olivierbeaute@...
http://atlanticyachtsurvey.com
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Wed, Dec 2, 2020 at 5:35 AM Martin Birkhoff <mbirkhoff@...> wrote:

Dear Amelians

after renewing the packings of the stuffing box three weeks ago we recognized water ingress in the aft compartment of our 54. By drilling two inspection holes in the upper plywood cover we checked the compartment by endoscope camera. There are some black lines which seem to be cracks. We could locate three spots where water is creeping in. Two spots are more or less one inch in front and on portside of the rudder stock, the third spot is a dark area at the vertical plywood just in front of the rudder stock. This is close to the position where a copper element is entering the GRP in front of the rudder stock.

We had no grounding and as far as we know the former owner had no grounding too. Have anyone heard of a similar problem?

Martin
SV Mago del Sur - 54#40

currently Cherbourg


 


Martin Birkhoff
 

Thanks Bill,

the new rudder packing is tight, There is no water ingressing at the top of the rudder stock tube.

Using a gopro camera in time lapse mode we could see the ingressing water appearing at this black structures.  Your affirm what we fear, there must have been a ground contact, may be an elder one.
I will contact Olivier. Thanks for his address.

Martin

SV Mago del Sur - 54#40


Martin Birkhoff
 

Meanwhile I got an answer from Olivier Beaute. 
It might be of interest for you. Below Oliviers email.

Martin
SV Mago del Sur - 54#40

Hello Martin,

 

I've seen this case twice on an AMEL 54. In both cases, the vessel suffered a serious grounding and was at first poorly repaired.

 

I don't believe the water is coming from the rudder shaft tube glassing. This tube is made of thick and plain GRP, glassed to the hull and threaded inside in order the nylon nut (stuffing box) can be tightened.

There are several possibilities for the water to get into the skeg and make its way to the bottom of the rudder shaft tube.

The main ones and easiest to repair are the bolts for the pintle bearing, intermediate bearing of the rudder, and the SSB ground plate bolts. If these bolts are not caulked correctly, some water can make its way around them and migrate to the top of the skeg. This water may also follow the copper strap for the ground plate or the copper strap for the rudder stainless steel supports (that you see on the rudder shaft tube).

 

If there are other cracks in the skeg, the water may penetrate and go into the foam that is inside the top part of the skeg, and then through the GRP covering the top of the skeg.

The skeg is originally part of the hull. Once it is built, it is filled up with polyurethane foam and the top is glassed (with woven cloth) to the hull.

The worst you may need to do is open the skeg from the side, remove the foam, glass all its inside edges with new glass cloth and epoxy, and put new foam and close the skeg.

 

Good luck.