1968 Morgan 34 Rudder Tube Leaking - SailNet Community

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Old 06-16-2013
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1968 Morgan 34 Rudder Tube Leaking

Hi Gang,

I have a steady leak from the top of my rudder tube when under full power. I'm assuming this is simply because the boat squats in that mode and the top of the tube drops below the water line. The water is escaping (at a slow leak) from the hole in the nut at the top of the tube.

I dropped the rudder this spring (doing cutless bearing replacement) and was surprised to find nothing that I recognized as a stuffing box at the top of the tube. Nothing came out that looked like stuffing. (I have a photo of the tube, but can't figure out how to make it small enough to include with this message.) The tube appears to be bronze. Top of the tube is threaded. Onto that is threaded a nut with a hole sized a good bit wider than the rudder post. I think, but am not sure, that there is nothing else in the tube, for example, nothing to compress stuffing against. I didn't investigate this when I reinstalled the nut, so I could be wrong.

Anyone know how the rudder post was constructed (it's not covered in my owner's manual) or how to stop the leak? I don't know much about stuffing boxes. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Dan
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Old 06-16-2013
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Re: 1968 Morgan 34 Rudder Tube Leaking

You are probably right about your boat "squatting" when under power. I thought this behavior was kind of universal with most displacement hull sailboats.

Read this tutorial about stuffing boxes. The same principles should apply to your rudder shaft log.
Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

From your description of finding no stuffing material it sounds like you just need to find the right size flax/stuffing material for your packing gland (and yes, they do call it that). The link I posted mentions common brands of packing materials you can find online. Knowing the right size material to get is the trick. Got a caliper tool?
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Old 06-18-2013
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Re: 1968 Morgan 34 Rudder Tube Leaking

Thanks, I'll give the site a look see. If I make any progress, I'll report later.

Dan
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