Rudder Shaft Seal - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 25 Old 12-25-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Rudder Shaft Seal

Jessewbowen, Thanks for the input you provided. Your boat is about 5 years newer than Hush. Unfortunately for me, and what started my whole adventure into the rudder work was the replacement of my old unserviceable steering pedestal by Meriman. My new pedestal is an Edson Vision II but I used the Old Meriman radial and stuffing box.

At the time my mechanic was putting the stuffing box together he had 3/8 and 5/16 stuffing with him. The 3/8 was too large and the 5/16 seemed to be a bit small...problem one.

He put three separate strands into the gland and was barely able to put the three compression bolts in. He was confident that the compression of three strands would sufficiently seal the rudder post from leaking.

He compressed the packing leaving me 1/16 adjustment. We splashed the boat for sea trial and every thing appeared to be fine. Under heavy load, the exact point the stuffing box is below the waterline, it started to leak. Since the leak wasn't horrific, I returned to my slip. My mechanic will add another strand or two to gland and compress again.

After everything was done, he mentioned that he wasn't "too comfortable" with the set up. Boy I wish he would have said something so I would have stopped the project and saved us both aggravation. He is a stand up guy and will be having to fix this issue on his own time.

If I had to do over again, we would have added packing with the gland dry fitted to the rudder shaft until the compression created friction on the shaft. Afterwards, the rudder assembly would have been put in place. Live and learn I guess.
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post #22 of 25 Old 12-25-2016
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Re: Rudder Shaft Seal

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Originally Posted by Hush34 View Post
Jessewbowen, Thanks for the input you provided. Your boat is about 5 years newer than Hush. Unfortunately for me, and what started my whole adventure into the rudder work was the replacement of my old unserviceable steering pedestal by Meriman. My new pedestal is an Edson Vision II but I used the Old Meriman radial and stuffing box.

At the time my mechanic was putting the stuffing box together he had 3/8 and 5/16 stuffing with him. The 3/8 was too large and the 5/16 seemed to be a bit small...problem one.

He put three separate strands into the gland and was barely able to put the three compression bolts in. He was confident that the compression of three strands would sufficiently seal the rudder post from leaking.

He compressed the packing leaving me 1/16 adjustment. We splashed the boat for sea trial and every thing appeared to be fine. Under heavy load, the exact point the stuffing box is below the waterline, it started to leak. Since the leak wasn't horrific, I returned to my slip. My mechanic will add another strand or two to gland and compress again.

After everything was done, he mentioned that he wasn't "too comfortable" with the set up. Boy I wish he would have said something so I would have stopped the project and saved us both aggravation. He is a stand up guy and will be having to fix this issue on his own time.

If I had to do over again, we would have added packing with the gland dry fitted to the rudder shaft until the compression created friction on the shaft. Afterwards, the rudder assembly would have been put in place. Live and learn I guess.
Not sure I completely understand, the packing needs to fill the space before compressing. You just use the right size whatever those measurements are. I cant imagine enough friction on the packing to "feel" it at the wheel just too much leverage and other forces there. I also don't understand the sequence of installing the packing then installing the rudder assembly doesn't the packing bear on the rudder shaft? If your guy is not comfortable with how its set up what will make him comfortable, does he have an answer to that what are his suggestions or do you need new eyes on this. The problem with your mechanic fixing on his time is problematic, first the problem needs to be solved, I would flatten the 3/8" and force it in if a better size is not available. https://www.emarineinc.com/categorie...-Shaft-Packing. Looks like other sizes are available you might talk to them.
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post #23 of 25 Old 12-25-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Rudder Shaft Seal

Albrazi, First of all, thank you for the information you provided. In my situation, the 3/8 packing was too large the 5/16 a bit to small. The dry fit I spoke of would be done before the rudder was installed into the boat. I had the rudder and post completely removed from the boat. The fit of the gland could be tested on the post before it, the post was inserted into the boat. When fit, the post would be inserted and the gland installed onto the post.

I was to understand that the packing dimensions can be altered by compression. Provided there was enough material to fill the void between the interior wall of the packing gland and the rudder post the water would be prevented from passing thru the gland and into the boat. The three strands used up to this point nearly did the job. I am hoping that removing the top of the gland and adding another strand of packing will provide sufficient material to make a water tight seal. Am I missing something?

Indecision may or may not be my problem.
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post #24 of 25 Old 12-26-2016
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Re: Rudder Shaft Seal

Makes sense to me. Another ring or two should do the job. Just surprised another ring wasn't added when you only had 1/16" left for further compresssion.

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post #25 of 25 Old 12-26-2016
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Re: Rudder Shaft Seal

Either Get the right size (Preferable) if available, flattening the too big packing, or adding more after compressing the too small packing. In that order. Thanks for the explanation. There is just so little movement there it should be so easy to seal. Still don't know about the bladders maybe they work by creating a pressurized air pocket above the packing, but a good packing will easily cure that and any leakage is easily manageable (arguably) Im not sure mine is not leaking but uts hard to be in a place to inspect when conditions would allow it. It's on my service list but down low.
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