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Rudder post slop & "thunking"
I sail an S2 7.3 which has an inboard spade rudder. I have some play (maybe ~1/4") in my rudder post; it wiggles a bit fore & aft, port & starboard. This causes a "thunking" noise coming from the hull when the rudder post moves around with the play. When I look over the transom, I can see the top, aft corner of the rudder pivot up and down a bit. At best, this thunking noise is annoying. But I''m concerned that the integrity of the rudder post tube (which spans/connects the horizontal cockpit coaming through the aft compartment to the hull) might be compromised over time. If the tube that houses the rudder post were to crack or break near the waterline, water would enter the aft compartment in a following sea.
Here''s my question, since I really have no idea how inbiard rudders are installed. Is there a "packing gland" of some sort where the rudder post exits the hull that can be tightened to reduce the slop? Or is this problem likely to be caused by something else? Got a fix for it? Thanks in advance!