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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I seem to be taking on a little water through my rudder shaft when motoring. Since I will be hauling the boat for bottom work and a survey this winter, I wanted to repack it while it was out. Does anyone have any tips that I should know before I start this? My biggest concern is that I can't get back to it and will have to find a very small person to do it. Access to the systems behind the engine are my biggest/only complaint about my 34, I'm just to big to get back there. I've actually been stuck down there and needed to be pulled out.

John
 

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John, You might consider posting this question on the 'Gear & Maintenance' forum, also. You might get more responses there. Sorry I can't help you with your query:eek: ...I sail a boat with an outboard. Anyway, good luck with the water ingress problem. I'm sure some of the folks here will have a solution to your problem.

Pat
 

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John, You might consider posting this question on the 'Gear & Maintenance' forum, also. You might get more responses there. Sorry I can't help you with your query:eek: ...I sail a boat with an outboard. Anyway, good luck with the water ingress problem. I'm sure some of the folks here will have a solution to your problem.

Pat
 

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Coastal Carolinas
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John,
Your right about it being a very tight space. I had the same problem with water ingress while motoring and needed to repack the rudder post gland. No way could I fit back there. My wife volunteered to tackle the job. She is 5'2" and petite. She was able to wriggle her way back there and did the repair in 15 minutes. She claims it was a piece of cake. Loosen 3 bolts and lift the collar of the gland up. Pull out the old packing with a packing pic tool, install new packing and snug up the bolts. No more leaks.

John S.
PSC 34 #201
"Norstar"
Norstar Ventures, LLC
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks John,
That's exactly what I wanted to hear. Now all I need to do is find a very small person who is not claustrophobic.

Did you have the boat out of the water when you did it, or can this be donw in the water?
 

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Coastal Carolinas
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John,

We did the re-pack while in the water. The packing point is above the waterline. Thats why you only notice the leak when your undereway when the stern is squatting down in the water a bit. Best of luck on your repair. Let us know how you make out.

John S.
PSC 34 #201
"Norstar"
 

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Repacking rudder post

Hi:

Access back there is very difficult. I'm not a big guy but I too have been stuck and pulled out by my belt. The only time I've repacked the rudder post was when we repowered and the engine was out, but since then I have cut an access hatch at the rear of the quarter berth which gives me accesc to the post so I can tighten the adjustment. If I had cut the access port before repowering I could have repacked through it.

This is one of the few design flaws on this boat. I got the access idea from my prior ownership of a Morgan 38. Good Luck

David and Jo on Spirit
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks David, I've been thinking about doiing that and also putting an access plate in the cockpit sole. Now that I know someone else has done it and it helps, I'm pretty sure I will. I am very troubled by not being able to access those critical systems in an emergency.

My memory is getting worse every year. David, didn't I just meet you in Port McNeil?
 

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Thanks David, I've been thinking about doiing that and also putting an access plate in the cockpit sole. Now that I know someone else has done it and it helps, I'm pretty sure I will. I am very troubled by not being able to access those critical systems in an emergency.

My memory is getting worse every year. David, didn't I just meet you in Port McNeil?
A member of the Orion Yahoo group put two bronze access plates at just the right place in the cockpit sole to get to the rudder shaft packing and in good proximity of the quadrant. if i can dig up the pics i'll post them here.

besides that, you think its bad getting into that space in a 34? try an Orion..wheeeeeew
 

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We have a 1990 vintage 34 with access ports on both sides of the emergency tiller access port. It's not easy, but I can get to the packing bolts from these ports. I don't know if these were installed by a previous owner or were done by the factory but you might check under your pilot seat.

Good luck,
Sam
s/v Grace
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Sam, I do have those access ports. I didn't think I could reach it from there, but I'll revisit them and see when I'm ready to start on it. If I can, it won't be easy, but at at least I won't have to worry about getting permanently stuck in the hole aft of the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No, there's no way I am going to be able to get at the packing gland through those ports. To further complicate the whole mess, I have a below decks autopilot that takes up a lot of room and has a control arm attached to the rudder shaft just above the packing gland.

 

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I have cut an access hatch at the rear of the quarter berth which gives me accesc to the post so I can tighten the adjustment. If I had cut the access port before repowering I could have repacked through it.

This is one of the few design flaws on this boat.

David and Jo on Spirit
This seems like the right idea. I cannot think of any downside to cutting an access port in this location and the upside is tremendous.

Did you just cut it with a saws-all and frame it out in wood? What size did you cut? If you were going to do it over, would you make it the same size?

Brian
 

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Wing n' Wing
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rudder shaft seal

We rebuilt our rudder seals a year ago. Charter put it into the rocks.
If you have the boat hauled, have them set the boat as high as the stands will allow. You then have the option of dropping the rudder from the boat. Not hard, just heavy and you can reseal the mounting bolts at the foot, replace the hose at the seal, and check the shaft bolt/shaft hole at the Quadrant for wear and going into a oval. (serious slop) Take the entire rudder and shaft to a Stainless Steel weld shop, have them weld up the hole and re-drill. Now's the time while the boats on the hard.
 

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Wing n' Wing
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John, Larry here, as I indicated to you in my email, be good to see you again.
I am coming up to work on our boat soon. Is your crealock on the hard?
If it is going to be, have them block the boat as high as they can. We had our Crealock 34 on the hard after a charter group put her on the rocks. We took the time to pull the rudder and shaft. replaced all the worn parts and repacked everything. The Rudder shaft drilled hole for the quadrant bolt had egg shaped out and was causing loose steering. Had that welded up while it was out of the boat. New bolt, and we now carry backup bolts (check out earlier posts about this) Lube the lower pivots while you have it out. Hard to get yourself to do this process, but now would be the time. I would be glad to crawl back in there and replace the packing for you. I too have been stuck, and I am a little guy! Now when I have to go into the engine compartment while alone on the boat, I rig a halyard with block and tackle on the low end; attach it to my climbing harness and lower myself head first. Mean" I can get back out, and I can hang upside down to adjust the stuffing box. (no pictures please) Drop me a line..
 

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John,

In case you need it, the blocking height to pull the rudder is 13 inches, unless you're on dirt where you can just dig a hole. The packing size is 3/8".

I notice from the picture that the edson drive wheel was installed upside down, presumably to facilitate the autopilot install. I don't know. However, this leaves a lot less room for working with the packing gland. Ordinarily, there is plenty of room to remove the top half of the gland and replace the packing.

It is possible to loosen the drive wheel and move it upward on the shaft (loosen the steering tension first). I've done this several times. I'm assuming the autopilot arm can be loosened as well.

Dave Mancini
PSC34 #305 "Swan"
 

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John,

Sorry, I just realized I was looking at the picture wrong. The drive wheel is right side up after all. Don't know what I was seeing. Still, the drive wheel can be raised to give you room to get at the gland (assuming the autopilot arm can be too).

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is an old thread so I'll give an update on what we did.

The keyway in my shaft was bunged up at the coupling to the transmission so I went the full route and had the shaft replaced as well. We dropped the rudder, pulled and replaced the shaft and coupling, put in a new cutlass bearing and replaced the autopilot tiller arm. Also, while in there, we replaced the cockpit scupper hoses. It was a lot of work at great expense since I couldn't fit in to do it and had to pay yard prices to get it done. It was well worth it, however, since the autopilot tiller arm was aluminum and badly corroded from the saltwater getting on it from the leaking seal and the scupper hoses were getting bubbles. I kept telling the mechanic that I planned on cruising this boat into my 70's and I didn't want to have to go back in there for 10 years, so do it right and do it well and let's take care of everything down there that might need taken care of.
 
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