Join Date: Dec 2013
Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts
Rep Power: 7
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.