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post #4 of Old 07-07-2008
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Location: Falls Church, VA
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Leaky rudder post

Bought a Morgan 35 last fall and have been working on it this winter (still hoping to be in the water this July). When I had it surveyed, there was some play in the rudder, and under sail, water streamed in at the large nut at the top of the bronze bushing. Tightening the nut (chain-style pipe wrench) worked to slow, but not completely stop the leak. Also, there was some seepage in the fiberglass mountain around the base of the post.
I dropped the rudder and have found that there were cracks and gaps in the fiberglass around the base of the bronze bushing where it exits the hull just behind the skeg. I've filled there with epoxy mixed with colloidal silica. If that doesn't work, I guess rebuilding the 'volcano' is another option. There was also some water getting in where the skeg was bolted onto the hull. That seam had been repaired a bunch of times. I ground a lot of the old repairs away and have filled and faired before putting on a barrier coat.

But the rudder: I found no kind of gasket, bushing or packing except at that huge threaded nut at the top. So, there is nothing that would take the play out of the rudder post -- it looks like it's just the post inside the bronze bushing. Does everyone's rudder have play in it?
I am considering using some teflon winding (this compresses) around the base of the rudder post to take out the play and maybe reduce the water sloshing around in the bushing. Any thoughts?
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