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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Frozen rudder shaft Hinterhoeller 28

So by consensus it sounds like the old tube should come out. My guess is that means removing the four bolts that hold it to the hull which means loosening inside nuts and punching the bolts back out through the hull and patching afterwards. The tube itself is the stainless piece visible in the underneath photo. I suppose that will just somehow release from the hull. With it out I then have the options of (1) finding and fitting a new tube with gussets or (2) having the bearing removed mechanically and putting the tube back in complete with new box and packing.

To be honest, I really don't like the idea of losing the tube because it holds the bottom bearing nicely. Pulling the rudder tube will totally change where the shaft goes through the hull. Currently, everything coming through the bottom of the hull is purpose built for that shaft and still looks in very good condition. As it is if I slide the rudder shaft back up in through the quadrant and out the top, the top and bottom are held tightly by nylon bearings still in very good condition. If I could find a way to cut the old box flush with the top of the tube and create a water tight seal right there I would do that. Maybe sand the ID of the old box to clean it up real well boring it slightly in the process so the rudder turns easily and fit like a gaiter above it. Probably crazy thinking. I just wish there was a way to retain both original ends but do something with the top of the tube where the old (now beat up) box was. From what I can see, the old, now destroyed box was simply a water-tight seal, the top and bottom bearings created the firmness in the shaft. I am guessing that the top of the tube is right at water line. I mean I can see the wisdom of starting all over but the work involved sounds somewhat daunting.

BTW, the white junk in my hand is what I pulled out of the tube once the shaft was removed. Any idea what this is? I am guessing the inside of the tube between the bottom bearing and the old box had about 3/8" of this on side walls all the way around. Could it be some old packing that had completely disintegrated?

Thanks! You all really are helping. I need some sleep. The roller coaster of seeing the shaft slide out (yippee!) only to reveal yet another hill to climb (c'mon!) has left me tired today. But I do have time tomorrow to fight on... then Friday starts a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas. Anyone wanna come live in my house for five days and fix my boat while I am gone? :-)

BTW, I added what is a clearer picture of what the box/tube looks like now...
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