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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #1
So I went for my first real sail today with good winds. I had only motored really except for a little jib only sailing.

When going fast or heeling, I don't know which, a small amount of water came out my cockpit floor. Where the tiller attaches to the rudder. Not much. Maybe 1/8 cup three times.

It looks like my rudder post comes up a fiberglass tube into the cockpit where it meets the tiller.

How big of a problem is this? Big meaning I have to haul out to fix. What causes this? Is a rudder post like a stuffing box for an inboard? What do I do to fix?
 

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Many rudder posts will have a seal similar to a stuffing box. Depends on how low the post exits the tube. Boats with wheel steering almost always have one as the quadrant is below the cockpit. Tiller steered boats may have one depending on the configuration. Chances are it can be tightened to reduce any leakage. Not likely its major to the point of requiring the boat be hauled. That would probably only be necessary if the seal was very low and leaking badly when the boat is not motoring or under sail.
 

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Just started I take it. Leaks don't get better as time passes. I don't particularly like gambling. Easy answer.
 

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Leaking into cockpit just a little bit is irrelevant as the cockpit drains will take care of it - but you have to make sure the rudder does not leak into the bilge - that can sink your boat. Could be packing (most likely) or cracked tube. If it is a cracked tube, the repair may require a contortionist or a nimble dwarf to do it right.
 

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like above like a stern gland you will have a tube that goes from the sea or outside of the hull up into the cockpit...

older pearsons, albergs, bristols and the like had a bronze shaft that goes up into the cockpit sole, the sole will have some sort of locking nut washer, packing material, deck fitting

first thing is check the rudder tube...after that look into what hardware you have at the cockpit sole
 
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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #8
Basically it's like you say. If I open the lazarette I can see the fiberglass tube all the way from the bottom of the boat to up where it meets the cockpit sole. There isn't any water leaking in there and no visible cracks.

Do I need to repack or is this just not something to worry about at all. Like I said. Small amount only under moderate sail. Thanks!
 

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Basically it's like you say. If I open the lazarette I can see the fiberglass tube all the way from the bottom of the boat to up where it meets the cockpit sole. There isn't any water leaking in there and no visible cracks.

Do I need to repack or is this just not something to worry about at all. Like I said. Small amount only under moderate sail. Thanks!
I would wrap a dry rag at the bottom of the tube to see if the tube is not leaking under some point of sail which stresses the rudder and produces the leak.
But it may be as simple as tightening the packing on the tube.
I would also check the rudder stock to see how loose it is or how much play it has side to side. Loose stock wears out the tube leading to leaks which are harder to fix with packing alone, and may eventually lead to tube cracking altogether.
 

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The water coming in is probably from hydrostatic pressure coming up the tube. this is usually caused be looseness around between the post and tube. So the tube be worn a bit which allows the water to percolate up the shaft. If it bothers you, you can try to bond a piece of flat rubber in front of the rudder post outside with a flap against the post/fwd edge of the rudder. This should relieve the problem! this is the same problem some dingies have with the center boards, and the fix is to attach a rubber strap to either side of the slot so they overlap. this then stops the water from welling up inside the board trunk and into the cockpit!!!
 

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you can do that absolutely but the fix or real fix is to repack the tube itself...

on dinghies there are a lot of sailors who design real nice flaps, rubber, or neoprene, slits and the like to allow the board to be nice and tight and prevent gushers

i did this on my last dinghy, a 505
 

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If it is the tube leaking and you have access to it you can try what I did with a similar tube that drains my cockpit.
I got a can of the aerosol rubberized spray that is used to seal leaking eavestrough. I sprayed several coats inside the tube (while on hard) and I sprayed what I could reach of the outside of the tube underneath the cockpit shell. in your case you would just do the latter.

The spray dries in 20 minutes and it leaves a flexible rubber coating.
 

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Poseien and Mother Nature usually get together for a real gut busting, knee slapping laugh party, when mariners use an infomercial repair. Then one of them drinks too much and gets mean.
 

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That sounds like a strange setup for a Bristol. I have never heard of a Bristol that could not be converted to a wheel. Meaning you should have some exposed shaft under the cockpit. And most have a stuffing box. I have a fiberglass bushing in the quadrant supporting the top of the shaft in the cockpit floor. I think this bushing has dropped down on you and is sitting on the stuffing box. If you come over to the private yahoo Bristolowners.com forum you will find more help with this and picture of the setup.

I would like to see a picture of your setup, under the cockpit.
 
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