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Author Topic: Leaky Rudder Post Without Slop in the Rudder?  (Read 364 times)
SailorGuy
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Posts: 16


« on: June 15, 2017, 11:26:28 PM »

Hey Everyone, I just bought an Aloha 32 and it looks like I may need to repair the rudder post. It is currently on the hard, but according to the previous owner of 21 years he experienced water coming into the boat when moving forward, which he said is coming from the rudder tube. He initially thought it was a keel problem and had the keel bolts tightened, but still had the water intrusion which led him to determine it was rudder. I see that is a common issue on these Aloha 32's.

What has me wondering though is that there really is not much play in the rudder. I can move the post slightly, but I wouldn't call it terrible. Did you experience rudder post leakage with little play in the rudder post? Does anyone happen to have pictures of their repair jobs on the rudder post?

Thanks for any info!
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Holdech
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S/V Teliki, HYC - Toronto ON


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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 11:47:03 AM »

We have three other A32's at our club so I checked their "rudder wiggle" and found it varied from about 1/8 to almost an inch (measured at the bottom of the rudder).
Ours had zero play and was actually tight and hard to move. I soaked Captain Phab (same as McLube but 1/4 the price) around the tube and freed things up sufficiently.
I'm pretty sure the shaft is bent slightly accounting for the binding. I have seen several A32's with a solid shaft or inner sleeved with solid stock because the tube was thinner than what the designer specified. That was their story anyway...

I'm losing my point lol. While deep in the bowels of the boat it started to rain and I noticed a ton of water coming in from the upper rudder bearing. When topside I checked it out and the bearing is barely above the drains. I solved this problem by adding some butyl to the cup that covers the bearing/emergency tiller. The cup is still easily removed but no more cockpit water ends up in the bilge.

I still get some water from the lower bearing/tube when motoring - about a cupful after four hours motoring. Many boats have a seal or a packing gland but the A32's have neither.

The best solution (and actually more common than packing glands) is a "gaiter" like in the pic. You can read more and purchase them from: http://jefa.com/products/sealing/sealing.htm

The pic is not my boat but I plan to add a gaiter in the future.

Chris



* gaitor.jpg (4.14 KB, 160x120 - viewed 34 times.)
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SailorGuy
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Posts: 16


« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 06:32:27 PM »

Hi Chris, thank you for the information, you may have just saved me a ton of work! I've never heard of the gaiter and I'm very glad you told me of it. Do you think that there would be enough clearance between the steering quadrant and the rudder bushing to install this system? Off the top of my head, I recall that the steering quadrant sits fairly snug against the lower rudder bearing.

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Holdech
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S/V Teliki, HYC - Toronto ON


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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2017, 08:08:10 AM »

I was thinking just the same thing and came across the old "projects" section that used to be on this website.
I just get blank pages when I click projects now but here is a link to the old section: http://www.alohaowners.com/projects/projects.htm

If you check the "Rudder & steering post rebuild - Part 1" it mentions that the rudder quadrant is only about 1/8 above the top of rudder tube.

So the gaiter won't work but when I consulted with a friend in the boat repair business he suggested a different solution. He has seen boats where this space is filled by multiple O rings - basically enough so the rudder quadrant presses them together and into the rudder tube. The O rings are coated in a silicone paste (dielectric paste -
 doesn't harden, swell the rubber or wash off with water) so they slip against each other and don't get chewed up as the rudder turns.

Unfortunately there is no way to add the O rings (or a conventional shaft seal) without dropping the rudder about six inches. Still, from reading the rudder post rebuild articles it seems the rudder quadrant has serious corrosion issues so maybe it's a good idea to have to remove it.

I was originally thinking of adding a zerk fitting to the rudder tube and using a grease gun and thick silicone paste. If the pressures are not too great this might be enough to keep the water out (and cut down further wear plus make the steering easier/smoother).

Let us know what you end up doing as I plan to fix this issue after haulout this fall.

Chris
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SailorGuy
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Posts: 16


« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2017, 10:40:36 PM »

That was a very informative article. I assume that the author is an engineer from the detail in which it was wrote. Admittedly, I cringe at the thought of drilling holes in the hull to access the lower rudder tube to inject the epoxy and would rather avoid that if possible. An interesting point I saw was about flipping the steering quadrant upside down (I assume the cable alignment was the same either way). In this configuration it sounds like this may give adequate clearance for a gaiter to be installed on the rudder stock as the hub would now be on top. I emailed PYI, the American distributor for Jeffa gaiter sealing systems and bearings, and inquired about specs on how much space is needed above the rudder tube to install a gaiter. I'm waiting for a reply and I'll let you know I find out. Time permitting, I'm going to head out to my boat tomorrow and take a gander at the rudder tube and steering quadrant setup, I can't recall off the top of my head the specifics of it.

I like the idea of the O rings below the steering quadrant, it sounds like a simple fix. I would be surprised if it blocked 100% of the water but I'm sure it would prevent most of it. I'm going to do a little research and check O ring sources through industrial suppliers to see if I can source a large diameter O ring in order to use only 1 O ring to avoid stacking multiple ones. I think this will be my backup plan if all else fails (my backup plan to the backup plan is to put off this project to another time and just rely on the bilge pump to evacuate the water....).
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SailorGuy
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Posts: 16


« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2017, 10:53:24 PM »

It looks like Fastenal sells a couple of appropriate size O rings that would work well in this application. The rudder stock is listed at 1 7/8'' in diameter according to the article you posted the link for. I'll have to do some further research to see how tight I should have an O ring stretched because the #328 O ring may be overly loose on the shaft. The cross section thickness of these O rings are listed as .210", so if the measurement is accurate of 1/8" (.125") gap between the rudder post and quadrant, then this might be perfect for this job.


DynaFloŽ

#328 1-7/8"ID x 2-1/4"OD 0.210" Cross Section Nitrile Standard O-Ring
#327 1-3/4"ID x 2-1/8"OD 0.210" Cross Section Nitrile Standard O-Ring
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mechone
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Posts: 78



« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2017, 08:29:59 PM »

look for a skf v ring seal or forsheda seal same thing have used these over the years with success the lip would go against tube
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SailorGuy
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Posts: 16


« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2017, 12:27:17 PM »

Chris, I am well underway with my rudder tube repair and replacement of the upper bushing. Do you need any pictures of the job to help you in your future repair? I ordered a rod of 4'' delrin plastic for the upper bushing and it looks like I may have some left over if you would like it. I can send it up your way via ups.
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Holdech
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S/V Teliki, HYC - Toronto ON


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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2017, 04:11:31 PM »

Definitely post some pictures. This may be my fall job after haulout.
Where are you located? If you end up with leftover rod let me know.

Chris
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SailorGuy
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 06:52:04 PM »

Hi Chris, sorry for the long delayed reply. I will post pictures in a separate thread
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