Fiberglass buildup around rudder stuffing box - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Fiberglass buildup around rudder stuffing box

Here are specs and line diagrams of your Greenwich 24': GREENWICH 24 sailboat specifications and details on

Yes, this kind of work can be a real PITA because of the confined working space. I don't envy you that.
There does not appear to be a shaft log hose below your stuffing box. The shaft log hose is a black hose made by the Buck Algonquin company that helps keep the stuffing box located. It also adds some flexibility to the installation. There may be no space in your set up for a hose like this as I can't really see the rudder shaft above the stuffing box. Even a small section of this hose would raise the stuffing box above the floor/hull just enough to make it more accessible.

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Good luck.
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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Fiberglass buildup around rudder stuffing box

Hi Denise
Thank you
I thought about that too but then that makes the stuffing box even more encased and tough to access should I need to repack it. I think there's no avoiding grinding away the fiberglass. arghh.
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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Fiberglass buildup around rudder stuffing box

First you need to determine (if you can) if the leak is coming in around the rudder stock/shaft, or if it's leaking alongside the stuffing box tube past the fiberglass patchwork.

If it's the former I see no need to grind glass except to free up the lock nut. It's certainly not necessary if a simple repack is in order.

If it's leaking past the patchwork glass that's another issue altogether. Are you able to determine what's what on that score?

Your biggest obstacle to a simple repack is the need to remove the Universal joint to get enough clearance to back the nut out and replace the packing.. looking at that arrangement it's easy believe that it's never been properly done. Very tight clearances on all counts, it won't be an easy job, no matter where the problem actually lies...

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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Fiberglass buildup around rudder stuffing box


After looking at the cutaway profile in the screen shot, I suspect that the leakage must be coming from one of two locations: around the shaft through the packing nut, because it can't be locked in place due to the lock nut being embedded in the "gunk"; or, as Faster hypothesizes, possibly up and through that mound of gunk itself, along the outside of the packing gland assembly, which may either be installed in a solid glass rudder-stock carrier tube through the hull lay-up or a conventional packing gland arrangement which relies upon a rubber tube secured to the outside of the rudder-stock carrier tube with double hose clamps and likewise secured to the packing gland assembly itself. In this case, I suspect the arrangement is the former--the packing gland assembly fitted into the end of the rudder-stock carrier tube. If the means of securing the packing gland assembly to the rudder-stock tube fails, it can/will leak and water will well up, along the sides of the packing gland assembly. From the discoloration on the packing gland nut due to corrosion, I am confident there is leakage at that point, although, whether it is the sole leak or just one of two, remains to be discovered. That it has been leaking, and sometimes more rapidly than others is also evidenced by the rust/corrosion in the lower half of the U-joint assembly which could be suspect itself. That assembly is likely held in place on the rudder stock with one or two set screws which, by now, may have given themselves up to rust, but it will definitely need be freed from the rudder-stock to replace the packing flax in the gland.

For what it's worth, I would start by simply freeing the locking nut and tightening and locking the packing gland nut in place. That may solve the problem and you're done. If not, get back to us and we'll give you some more advise regarding a lobotomy for the rudder stock carrier assembly. That may necessitate you cutting an access port in the sole of the cockpit or in the bulkhead on the aft end of the port quarter berth to get access to the hull under the cockpit. In either case, you've got some work cut out for you.

Good luck...
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