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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-13-2009
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Thumbs up Rudder Shaft Lube

I own an 84 Catalina 36. Over the past few weeks the wheel has proceeded to become harder to turn. It finally go to the point I had to muscle the wheel to turn the boat.

I ruled out the wheel/pedestal and determined the grease lubricating the shaft was most likely the original grease used back in 84.

I removed the rudder shaft packing nut as well as the packing. I then poured in a little 3in1 oil in the packing slot and allowed that to drain down the rudder shaft. I returned a while later and was able to free the rudder to its origninal condition. I realize this is a quick fix for the problem.

Question 1: I was thinking about filling the packing slot with some waterproof grease and then heating the shaft and grease with a heat gun being careful not to overheat/burn anthing. My theory is the shaft would act like heating copper pipe and introducing flux soder to the fitting. The heat would turn the grease to somewhat liquid and then seap down the shaft.

Question 2: I plan on pulling the boat out in a few months for bottom paint and other minor repairs. I will also planning on dropping the rudder, clean it up, regrease it and then reinstall the rudder. There are currently no grease fittings. I was thinking this would take care of the lube problem in the future. Has anyone installed anything similar. I don't want to reinvent the wheel.
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Old 11-14-2009
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Did you check the sheaves, cable and guides on the bottom of the steering ped? (under the cockpit floor) I think there were some problems with them from what a friend that owns a Catalina was telling me. He broke the cable from muscling it! hope this helps!
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Old 11-14-2009
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Thanks for the reply. Yep, checked the complete pedestal system. I have a "pull-pull" (rather than a sheave system), something Edson installed back then.

I disconnected the SS cables from the rudder assembly and found the pedestal steering system was working fine. You could turn the wheel with one finger. It was definitely the rudder shaft. Once I put some light oil down the shaft the grease broke free and the rudder turned effortlessly. My problem is lubing the rudder shaft. I need to get some new grease on the shaft as the old stuff is 27 years old? I was hoping to find out if anyone had some better ideas on how to other than pulling the boat out of the water?
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Old 11-15-2009
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Rudder Tube Greasing

Older C&C's have a similar problem with the lub solidifying and the rudder getting stiffer.
C&C's had a grease cup fitted to the fibreglass tube which was high tech at the time, but never worked well.
The universal fix is to unscrew the grease cup; replace it with a screw in flexible grease line (like on a grease gun) but with a standard grease nipple in the other end.
Bring the nipple end to some convenient location (inside the lazerette locker, mounted up in one corner) and mount it permanently.
You might need to drill and tap the fibreglass tube if there isn't already a place to screw in the grease line.
Now greasing is easy and no crawling in tight spaces.
sam :-)
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Old 11-15-2009
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would a graphite bearing lube be a better choice?
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