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Old 09-19-2013
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Skeg hung rudder flex

After 6 long months on the hard, the end is finally in sight. We are scheduled to launch on September 27. There are a few loose ends to tie up, but I think I'll make it. I did discover one small issue with the rudder. Somewhere along the line, the rudder post got out of column a couple thousands of an inch. What that translates to is 1/8 inch of flex at the bottom of the skeg going from center to port and 3/32 inch from center to starboard. There is no visible flex at the shaft/cutlass bearing which was my main concern, but I am not sure about other potential problems that might occur with it. The lower gudgeon is new. Anyone have any experience with this? I spent a fair about of time searching this board and others and cannot find a similar case. I think the chances of taking the slight bend out is probably not possible. Thanks.
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Old 09-20-2013
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Re: Skeg hung rudder flex

A few thoughts.
You mentioned a stuffing box for your rudder shaft. The packing for the stuffing box gland is usually a flax weave or fancier material. This packing can dry out and perhaps shrink in size in the process.
If you are not sure when the packing in your stuffing box was changed now might be a good time.

My T27's rudder is effectively skeg mounted except it is a full keel design. I had to make a bronze bearing for our lower gudgeon/shoe that held the rudder shaft. There was quite a bit of "slop" before I milled the bearing to fit.
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Old 09-20-2013
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Re: Skeg hung rudder flex

Thanks for the response. I took the packing out of the rudder tube stuffing box to eliminate potential binding points. I've still got that slight deflection at the bottom of the skeg. There is no side to side movement at the propeller shaft (higher up on the skeg), which was my main concern. I guess it gets down to living with a slightly bent rudder tube or replacing the rudder.
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