M35 rudder post woes - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-19-2007 Thread Starter
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M35 rudder post woes

Well, we finally our new spreaders up on Peregrine. The old ones were so rotted out that you can stick your thumb through one, and the other had a small airplant growing out of it. I'll try to post pics soon. ANyway the upshot was we took her out and sailed her hard for the first time, and now the rudder post is leaking. Has anyone encountered this before?
Immediately under the quadrant, there's a stuffing box - it seeps a little there. The big one is where the stuffing box is glassed into the hull - a steady trickle is coming in, very bad news. there's a sort of volcano of fiberglass wrapped around the threaded bronze base of the stuffing box (the one on the rudder post, not the drive shaft), and it seems to be working loose there. I'm going to haul out ASAP and fix this. If anyone out there has done this before, or has some pictures handy, it would be immensely helpful
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-23-2007
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My Morgan 35 also leaks around the rudder post but I am hoping to repack it next winter. The leaking comes and goes and I have been able to slow it down by tighting down the packing nut with an old and vey large pipe wrench that I cut the handle down to fit in that tight space. I am very leary about cranking it much more because it is 36 years old and below the water line. My Morgan is down in Long Beach, CA. Come down and check it out!

Noticed you did work on the centerboard. Have you or anyone else considered permanently fixing it in the down position? It sails better with the center board down but bangs back in forth when in the trough or at anchor.

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post #3 of 5 Old 07-28-2007 Thread Starter
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Rudderpost repair

Well, we hauled this week (again) and I've been repairing the rudder post. Probably overkill, but ground away the massive volcano of fill and damp fiberglass, the I started with 3 layers of 10 oz cloth (very flexible, hopefully sealed any leaks. Followed that with 3 layers of X-Mat, really heavy strong stuff (3 layers = about 1 hull thickness). Everything was cut in strips and set vertically up the post, then a layer wrapped around. yesterday was 3 more layers, and today I'm going to cover it all with a layer of fill, just to make sure there are no little cracks. The downside is that the stuffing box was frozen solid, so I couldn't adjust it, now it's pretty much glassed in, so I definitely can't adjust it. I should have dropped the rudder and replaced the stuffing tube, but I would have had to cut off the quadrant (corroded on solid to the post) just to remove the rudder post. Will save that little gem for next time. I'll try to get some photos up eventually. Thanks for the input.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-07-2008
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Leaky rudder post

Bought a Morgan 35 last fall and have been working on it this winter (still hoping to be in the water this July). When I had it surveyed, there was some play in the rudder, and under sail, water streamed in at the large nut at the top of the bronze bushing. Tightening the nut (chain-style pipe wrench) worked to slow, but not completely stop the leak. Also, there was some seepage in the fiberglass mountain around the base of the post.
I dropped the rudder and have found that there were cracks and gaps in the fiberglass around the base of the bronze bushing where it exits the hull just behind the skeg. I've filled there with epoxy mixed with colloidal silica. If that doesn't work, I guess rebuilding the 'volcano' is another option. There was also some water getting in where the skeg was bolted onto the hull. That seam had been repaired a bunch of times. I ground a lot of the old repairs away and have filled and faired before putting on a barrier coat.

But the rudder: I found no kind of gasket, bushing or packing except at that huge threaded nut at the top. So, there is nothing that would take the play out of the rudder post -- it looks like it's just the post inside the bronze bushing. Does everyone's rudder have play in it?
I am considering using some teflon winding (this compresses) around the base of the rudder post to take out the play and maybe reduce the water sloshing around in the bushing. Any thoughts?
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-11-2008
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For what it's worth, I found out that my Morgan 36 was SUPPOSED to have a bronze hinge at the bottom of the skeg mounted rudder. It simply wasn't there. Electrolysis made it go completely away, since it wasn't tied in to the rest of the bonding system. Next haulout, I guess I'm gonna have to fabricate something and try to figure out how to connect it to the rest of the boat.

Maybe you've got the same problem...

Cap'n Gary
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