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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - I just got back from a fun two-day sail and noticed that there is some water leaking from the rudder stock of our PSC 34. It seems to leak only when we're underway, not so much when we're moored. The bilge pump can easily keep up with the water coming in, but still it's a bit more than I'd like. I assume it is the stuffing box for the rudder stock that may need adjustment - any recommendations on how to do this? Access is just so difficult. Any and all suggestions welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Does any PCS 34 owner know if it is possible to replace the stuffing in the rudder stock stuffing box without hauling the boat? The stuffing box is not leaking at the mooring, but when sailing fast or motoring it is leaking more than I'd like - thanks - Joost
 

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also make sure it is really the rudder post. At least two owners I know of have found a hole at the bottom of the propane locker. When the stern squats enough for the drain holes to go under water, this hole will start leaking into the boat. It looks a lot like a rudder post leak. Obviously this is something you want to fix ASAP.

I have the same rudder post leak. Replacing the hose clamps did nothing for it. Hoping you figure it out for me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I haven't yet, but will do so today. I think access is the biggest problem. I've tried many times to get in there, but I'm just too big (or not flexible enough :(). The hose and clamps look fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Raindog, thanks for the heads up about the propane locker. That's definitely something to check. I do believe it is the rudder post as the previous owner built a little clay dam around it and I found it full of water. I'll let you know what we figure out...
 

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If you can find someone small and limber enough to get back to the rudder post packing gland, try to just tighten up the bolts to compress the existing packing a little more. We had the same leak issue when underway and just a little snugging up on the packing adjustment bolts took care of it.
John S
PSC 34 #201
Norstar
 

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Ask your surveyor if the packing material can be replaced while the boat is in the water. If it can, make friends with a small agile, mechanically adept person who wants to sail. (wouldn't that be nice?)
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I talked to Thumper at PSC a few days ago and he strongly recommended hauling the boat if I wanted to change the packing - that's what they do at PSC.

It turns out that the stuffing box is not the problem - water is leaking into the boat between the hull and the rudder bearing. I had the boat hauled out yesterday and the yard will drop the rudder to find out how to best fix the problem. I'll post an update for future reference once I know more. Raindog - if you get water coming in and it's not the packing gland - it may be the same issue.
 

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I had the same leaking on Kenalnu which is a 1985 PSC 37. Tightening the bolts on the stuffing box helped but they worked loose in a matter on months. Next time I did the job with a bucket of locktite (well not a bucket, but you get the idea) and they are still in place. AND I still have water coming in from back there which I finally traced to the holes in the Propane locker. All this is to say it can be just the rudder stuffing box, it can be the propane locker, or, because it is a boat, it might be both!

Of course nothing should be able to leak from the propane locker into the rest of the boat so the real "solution" is to seal that bulkhead more effectively.

Hope you figure yours out without too much contortion

Jay
SV Kenlanu, PSC 37 # 171
 

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I would suggest having a child now. They will still be small enough to fit in there in about 5 years, and if well trained from birth they will be able to handle a wrench by then. So just make sure you have a good bilge pump for the next 5 years and you are golden. Big question is what to do with the child after that? You definitely don't want to keep them much longer than that, have you seen the price of college? My oldest son is starting and $64,000 a year. Heck that used to be a jackpot on a game show, now it is a year at college!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would suggest having a child now. They will still be small enough to fit in there in about 5 years, and if well trained from birth they will be able to handle a wrench by then. So just make sure you have a good bilge pump for the next 5 years and you are golden. Big question is what to do with the child after that? You definitely don't want to keep them much longer than that, have you seen the price of college? My oldest son is starting and $64,000 a year. Heck that used to be a jackpot on a game show, now it is a year at college!
I had twins about twelve years ago, so the first thing I did was send one of them in there to take pictures of the rudder post - not something I'm willing to do with the engine running, though...

If sending one kid to college is bad, imagine sending two at the same time...
 

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You can change the packing in the rudder packing gland with the boat in the water because the gland is above the waterline, unless you have the boat so heavily loaded astern that the boat is severely below its lines there—not likely. If the leak does not occur except underway while the boat is squatting in its wake, that's your clue that you are good to change it in the slip. I have done this twice. Piece of cake.

I don't understand the issue with the water leaking into the boat between the hull and the rudder bearing. The lower bearing is not water tight anyway. The packing gland, hose and clamps are what prevent water ingress, not the bearing. So, some clarification there would be nice.

Dave Mancini
PSC 34 #305 "Swan"
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't understand the issue with the water leaking into the boat between the hull and the rudder bearing. The lower bearing is not water tight anyway. The packing gland, hose and clamps are what prevent water ingress, not the bearing. So, some clarification there would be nice.
That's a good point - I was relying on the yard when I made that statement. The problem is that I'm just too big to get in there and find out for myself what is going on (not for lack of trying). Meanwhile, I am starting to think that the water is coming in through the gas locker and the bulkhead and that should be easy enough to check (and fix).
 

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I just found this issue yesterday while out sailing. Mine is definately bubbling right up around the rudder stock. This looks nothing like the packing gland on the drive shaft. Anyone want to key me into what i'm going to find when I open this thing up. I used the goretex packing material when I redid the drive shaft and have been very happy. It is basically dripless. When I reach down there things are just damp not dripping and cool enough that I can wrap my hand right around it. (After engine has been turned off). Is it the same type of packing material for the rudder post?
 

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My surveyor told me it was one of the funniest things he'd ever seen.
Says more about the surveyor than the PO....
Your surveyor lacks imagination and knowledge.

Building dams like this is not a solution but it's an effective way to isolate the source of a leak.

If you empty the dam for water, pump you bilge dry and go for a short sail.
And find water in the dam without it overflowing and your bilge is dry.
What do you conclude from that?:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Says more about the surveyor than the PO....
Your surveyor lacks imagination and knowledge.

Building dams like this is not a solution but it's an effective way to isolate the source of a leak.

If you empty the dam for water, pump you bilge dry and go for a short sail.
And find water in the dam without it overflowing and your bilge is dry.
What do you conclude from that?:)
Actually, that was exactly the purpose of the dam - and we were both quite aware of this - it just looked really funny. The PO did a terrific job maintaining the boat and documenting everything he did. Except the paint on the mast, she's in great shape.
 
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