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When a rudder bearing is bad, can it cause a leak?
Toward the end of last summer, we noticed a small trickle of water emanating in the hull from near the rudder (but not exactly at the rudder) on my 20 year old J/28. By trickle, I mean there was a fine bead of water which leaked into the bilge. While it didn't amount to much or even cause the bilge pump to kick in, a leak is a leak, so before the boat was hauled, I asked our yard guy to check it out - he speculated that I had a pin-hole leak in the hull on the starboard side close to where the rudder tube is glassed in.
I am still awaiting the yard to start the spring work...
But in searching other comparable posts ('rudder bearings') , I am now wondering if this problem is really related to a failing Harken rudder bearing? I have some similar symptoms: turning to port, the rudder shudders but is fine going to port. And there is some play in the rudder that you can wiggle with the boat on the hard - but not the drastic symptoms that others outlined in the other posts.
If this is a failed/failing seal, then I'll hold launching until we get it fixed.
Any experiences and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. If there is someone in the Newburyport/Marblehead MA area that is an expert in this area, I'd appreciate the reference.