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The Cabot 36: Classic Blue Water Sailor

A site to celebrate this great Canadian passage maker.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Standard Rudder Port


It does not seem possible that I am sitting in Boca Raton, Florida, doing a rough sketch for Cheshire Cat in Fiji while I am watching NASCAR from the Pocono's!
Cabot was fitted with standard Buck Algonquin Rudder Ports ( not to be confused with 'stuffing boxes' ) which have a long spigot containing a standard cutless bearing surmounted by a packing gland.
Out of sight, out of mind, the packing in the gland dries out during docking periods and also wears only on the 60 to 70 degree arc.of rudder stock movement. Worn packing and eccentric wear on the cutless produces a trickle of water and a worn cutless bearing.
Let us hope that the harder rudder stock has not worn through the rubber of the bearing and the bronze side wall of the spigot as this will necessitate the replacement of the rudder port.
!. The simple and temporary solution would be to center the rudder stock and repack the packing gland. This is not a recommendation for a trans Pacific crossing but if no other solution is available and the know problem can be attended during the crossing, it could work.
2.Unfortunately one of the things that we could not make 'maintenance easy' was the repacking of the rudder gland. If I remember correctly, there is not sufficient clearance between the gland nut and the bottom of the quadrant to remove the nut and repack the gland. .
3. It is not difficult to remove the quadrant, assuming you are a midget and can lay on your back inclined toward the stern. Relases the tension on the turnbuckles, drop the wire and slack of the nuts on the quadrant. This is a good time to look at the pulleys and condition of the steering wire..
4, The bottom of the rudder port should emerge from the outside of the hull sufficiently to see a hex retaining screw which holds the rubber cutless bearing in the holder.. ( It may be covered with fairing material; dig around)
5. You will have to remove the bolts in the bronze shoe to drop the rudder. Remove the bearing with a two leg or sleeve puller ( The countersunk screw is a "safety" only. The bearing should be snug in the holder. If I remember correctly the rudder shaft is 2" in diameter and therefore the OD of the bearing shell would be 2-5/8" or 3" in diameter. I would guess the former.
6. Obviously, check for wear within the bearing shoe and the bearing area of the rudder stock.which you have it apart.
Good luck, Let me know how you get along

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Rudder Issue: Cheshire Cat

Hi Ken,
We were trying to leave Fiji for Vanuatu last week when I noticed that the rudder position indicator on our new "Coursemaster" autopilot was off so I emptied the locker to look at it and found that I had water coming in through the seal on the rudder stock and there was a slight movement at the top of the stock. We returned to Fiji to check it out. Do you or anyone else have any ideas on how the seal is made and can it be replaced in the water with taking off the quadrant. In fact I assume that the whole rudder is only supported by the skeg and there is no other means off attachment above the water line. The rudder itself seems solid with very little movement in it.

Response from Blue Magic (#33)

On Hull 33 it’s a simple stuffing box type with shaft packing. You should be able to pull it apart in the water no problem. The only problem may be how much clearance you have on the top of the shaft to the deck, but you could always cut a hole and replace with a high quality hatch/deck plate. Good Luck
Banff Luther
Luther Marine Maintenance
Blue Magic #33

...and from David Ladell

Here are some digital camera shots of the drawing done by Ted Brewer. Not great but you may be able to make them out. It appears to be the same as what was done on Hull #27.
David Ladell

...and from George Kephart (original owner of Sarah Fraser)

I had this problem on Sarah Frazer. We solved it be having and extension welded on to the rudder shaft up to a bearing ring in the sole of the cockpit. The bearing ring was at the very aft end of the cockpit under the .seat andn ever caused any problems thereafter.
George Kephart