Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax

  • Andrew Schoenberg
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10 years 2 months ago #463 by Andrew Schoenberg
Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax was created by Andrew Schoenberg
I am about to replace the rudder flax packing on my 1980 Whitby 42. Can anyone verify the rudder post diameter under the quadrant - I am not sure whether it is 1 1/2 or 1 1/4 and do not want to make this mistake. I cannot get a tape measure around the post beneath the quadrant and I am not sure if it tapers through the hull into the rudder itself. Thanks
Andy

Sisu

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10 years 2 months ago #464 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Re:Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
1 1/2" diameter, no taper. I used 1/4" GTU Gore Shaft Packing. I was able to get the cap completely off which makes removing the old packing much easier.

Gerry

theincrediblehull.blogspot.com/search/label/Steering

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10 years 2 months ago #465 by Andrew Schoenberg
Replied by Andrew Schoenberg on topic Re:Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
Thanks Gerry
Yep 1 1/2 did the trick - I got three 1/4 PTFE wraps on - would have had to take the quadrant off to do much more. Seems the PO just had one wrap so that would explain the leaking last summer.
Thanks for the help
Andy

Sisu

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5 years 4 months ago #2014 by Michael Collins
Replied by Michael Collins on topic Re:Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
Hi Gerry,
I think my rudder post is leaking on by Brewer. Can I tighten on the post if so what would that be and how much.

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5 years 4 months ago #2015 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Re:Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
Hi Stargazer

The short answer is that you can try tightening it. If the packing is very old and compressed it will be very obvious. The nut won't move very much and the leaking will continue.

I will take a series of photos tomorrow and post them for general information.

Gerry

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5 years 4 months ago #2016 by Michael Collins
Replied by Michael Collins on topic Re:Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
Thanks, I'll get a eye out for the pics

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5 years 4 months ago #2017 by Jack Dexter
Replied by Jack Dexter on topic Re:Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
Gerry, I have a follow up question to Stargazer's. My rudder gland isn't leaking. I check it every year at launch. However, I don't know when the packing was last replaced. Is it safe to leave well enough alone? If it does start to leak during a cruise of several months does the leak develope gradually? I've never even tried to tighten it because I've never needed to.

Thanks in advance for your wisdom. It was great to see you in Miami.

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5 years 4 months ago - 5 years 4 months ago #2018 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax





OK, first answer. If its not leaking leave it for the moment (That's the answer most people want). The rudder packing does not suffer as much as the prop shaft packing. At some stage, however, a major look at the whole steering system should merit some attention. From pre-delivery inspections of many boats this is generally a sadly neglected area.

If its leaking you have two options;

1. Tighten down on the compression nut: If your system is the same as mine then it has two nuts. The packing nut and the locking nut. This may not be immediately obvious and if you treat them as one nut then it probably won't budge. Wire brush the exposed threads and back off the locking nut. Then tighten up the packing nut. Re-tighten the locking nut and you are done.

2. As part of a major refit I would re pack the rudder gland: Remove the Bronze arm / Quadrant. Unscrew the locking nut. Remove the packing nut. Dig out the packing, this can be packed very hard and might need some serious digging out. Replace with the correct size packing, try and get three wraps on. Cut the packing as you would for the prop shaft.

Compass Marine How To Article
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Last edit: 5 years 4 months ago by Gerry O'Donoghue.

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5 years 4 months ago #2019 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
While you are head down in the aft locker, check the tiller arm (hydraulic steering). This is clamped together at the rear sometimes with a stainless steel bolt. If this bolt corrodes and breaks then the side loading on the tiller arm will cause it to fail.
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5 years 4 months ago - 5 years 4 months ago #2020 by Frederick Chance
Replied by Frederick Chance on topic Replacing rudder packing gland flax
Reference Rudderpost Gland. Stargazer 44 When you are motoring & the stern squats down a few inches your rudder post gland will leak if it is not tight enough or it has no more packing to be tightened. Mine leaks on WildOats hull # 281 under these conditions. It may also leak when healed to the point that the rail is nearly awash. When the boat is at rest( heavily loaded as mine is it is all the time) it does not leak as it is higher than this & obviously above water line. I have put a counter on the bilge pump so I can tell how often it runs. If I were motoring all day at 7 plus knots it might be an issue but the amount of water that goes in the bilge is certainly not enough to cause great concern unless you do not have a working bilge pump.

The fix for this problem is certainly much more difficult. It requires removal of the large steering quadrant & the cables that are mounted on the top end of the rudder post. Once this is removed it should be a rather simple job to remove the nuts & put in more packing then tighten down just as you would a conventional stuffing box. This could be done without hauling the boat because it is above water line. My suggestion would be unless you are doing steering cable replacement leave well enough alone & live with a minor leak when motoring or when heavily healed.
Last edit: 5 years 4 months ago by Scott Lee. Reason: Moved from different category

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5 years 4 months ago #2021 by Michael Collins
Replied by Michael Collins on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
My Brwer has a different set up on the stuffing box nut. Looks like I would have bro rotate the top nut all the way to line up with the next bolt hole on the top nut. ThAt could be too tight
What do you think Gerry and Fred?
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5 years 4 months ago #2022 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
The good news, your stuffing box is not a threaded type. Its simply two pieces of bronze compressed by the three bolts. The bad news is that it looks pretty compressed.

www.fisheriessupply.com/edson-marine-bro...er-post-stuffing-box

You could try gently tightening on the bolts in succession to see if you can get any more compression. Take is easy, I doubt if you could break off anyone of the wing pieces but I wouldn't want to find out the hard way.


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5 years 4 months ago #2023 by Michael Collins
Replied by Michael Collins on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
Thank you I'll give it a careful try

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4 years 5 months ago #2303 by Bill Fiegener
Replied by Bill Fiegener on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
hi, my rudder packing gland looks just like the one in the picture on my Brewer 44. I took the steering quadrant off and was able to remove the top of the gland by taking out the 3 bolts. My issue is that I do not have the expected packing material. It appears that the PO put an o-ring attached to some type of metal ring that I cannot get out. Im concerned that I might damage the post if I try to pry it out.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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4 years 5 months ago - 4 years 5 months ago #2304 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
A few possibilities come to mind;

An chance it looks like this?


I have never come across one. Do you have any photos of yours.

A second possibility I have encountered is that the packing gets so compressed it looks like shiny metal. I had to hammer it with a metal pick to get it to break away. It took a while and I began to believe that I was hammering into bronze.
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Last edit: 4 years 5 months ago by Gerry O'Donoghue.

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4 years 5 months ago #2305 by Bill Fiegener
Replied by Bill Fiegener on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
Doesn't look anything like the picture. It could be like the second thing you mentioned. I'll have try your suggestion and try to hammer it out. Whats the depth of the area where the packing material goes in? 1/2"
thanks for your help.
bill

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4 years 5 months ago #2306 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
probably closer to 1"+, it takes three rings of 1/4" packing.

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4 years 4 months ago #2315 by Bill Fiegener
Replied by Bill Fiegener on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
I was able to get out what was there and its no where near 1" deep. I was only able to get one wrap not three. Depth is about 3/8". Hopefully it will be enough to keep it from leaking. I'll let you know after we launch in the spring.
thanks for your help.

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2 years 7 months ago #2653 by Brian Stewart
Replied by Brian Stewart on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
On our trip from St Lucia to Guadeloupe last week our bilge pump started running 14 seconds every 18 minutes ... not enough to cause concern but worth investigating. Turns out that the rudder stuffing box was leaking but only at 7 k and moderate heel. It stays dry at anchor. I have tried to locate a 2.5 inch wrench to remove the lock nut without success and have tried a pipe wrench, C clamp and various other maciver techniques without any luck. I amlooking for some suggestions on how to remove the lock nut.
Thanks

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2 years 7 months ago #2655 by Hannah Gardner
Replied by Hannah Gardner on topic Replacing Rudder Packing Gland Flax
We have exactly the same problem on Rita T, so are following this thread with high hopes of a solution. We bought a set of large wrenches from Harbor Freight and are going to take them to the boat after Christmas. I am afraid none is 2.5 inches, though. We went through the same trial and errors, including using PB Blaster and other anticorrosive. Ours is leakign as well, but we've owned the boat 24 years and it just started this year. Not a bad run. Fair winds.

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