Crealock 37 Rudder maintenance - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-30-2016 Thread Starter
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Crealock 37 Rudder maintenance

I read this article from Sail Magazine Rudder Awareness - Sail Magazine
Does the Crealock rudder have a grease fitting on the rudder tube? How is the rudder constucted? Type of bearing, stock, etc?
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-30-2016
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Re: Crealock 37 Rudder maintenance

Originally Posted by brokesailor View Post
I read this article from Sail Magazine Rudder Awareness - Sail Magazine
Does the Crealock rudder have a grease fitting on the rudder tube? How is the rudder constucted? Type of bearing, stock, etc?
This is one of those questions that drive me crazy because it reminds me, just when I start to relax, that there is ALWAYS something to worry about on a boat!

I've got a Crealock 37. My hunch is that the rudder arrangement is, more or less, as strong as one can get in a production boat of this size.

On my boat, the rudder system's overall integrity is very reliant on the skeg. That's because I have wheel steering, meaning that the rudder tube does not extend well above the waterline as would be the case in an ideal setup. (I think the tiller version has this tube. Someone reading this can confirm or correct me on this.) The rudder stock is supported by the skeg. Thus the condition of the skeg is just as important as the condition of the rudder itself. I think both the skeg and rudder have steel reinforcement inside, but I don't think this extends the full length of the skeg (I say this only because I once saw a picture of a PS that was grounded and the skeg was broken halfway down, with no sign of steel reinforcing at that point -- probably explaining the break). So all the advice in that article about checking for water ingress and the like seems to apply to the skeg as much as to the rudder, i.e., more things to worry about and work on during haulout (as if my lists weren't long enough each time already).

I don't know about the bending load of the rudder stock. It looks to be extremely strong, so I am guessing that it is NOT like the spade rudder designs, which are intended to bend easily to protect the hull.

There are no grease fittings, but the manual recommends greasing the bushings (if my recollection is correct). I have never noticed any problems at all with these bushings on my decade-old boat, but surely they will need to be replaced eventually.
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Last edited by Lantau; 01-30-2016 at 10:04 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-31-2016
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Re: Crealock 37 Rudder maintenance

Here is a photo of the grease fitting on my boat which has a factory tiller. It is amid the tangle of dock lines in the rudder tube as it rises from the level of the cockpit sole to the cockpit seat level. It is a stainless steel grease fitting with a little plastic cover. I installed it to replace the one that was there when I bought the boat. It ripped out of the fiberglass when my grease gun did not release from it. The new one has 1/8 NPT threads. The old one was 1/4-27. (I think.) I give it about 10 pumps of grease per year.

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post #4 of 5 Old 01-31-2016
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Re: Crealock 37 Rudder maintenance

Here is a sketch I received of the rudder from Don Kohlman (former company owner) when I was about to drop the rudder it to get the prop shaft out. I believe it is the same sketch used in various PSC promotional pieces.

I don't have the grease fitting shown the other response. When we converted from wheel to tiller Robin (Thumper's predecessor in SoCal) sold me all the bits including the upper Orcot bearing (graphite impregnated, spiral wound tube). At that time (1999) no mention was made about the necessity for a grease fitting. The upper bearing I removed was just a fiberglass tube glassed in place below the emergency tiller deck plate (probably a good place for a grease fitting). So maybe the Orcot upper bearing is only needed for tiller steered boats. I need to look into whether it's advisable to grease Orcot bearings.

Also, Don Kohlman recommended and sold me two Orcot thrust bearings to put above and below the rudder. I was able to put the lower one on the bronze gudgeon but there was not enough room for the upper one. Since PSC sold them to me I am guessing they became standard on boats after 1999.

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-31-2016
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Re: Crealock 37 Rudder maintenance

Doubling, or even tripling the hull thickness around the rudder, in the building process, does no harm , and costs little.
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