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Old 31-03-2014, 20:54   #1
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Auto Pilot

I just bought a Irwin 37 Ketch. I am new to the big boats and big water. I have only been a lake sailor.
I have a question. Where my autopilot goes thru the hull, under the bed in the aft stateroom it is leaking. The seal or packing needs to be replaced. Is there an easy way to do this or any secret to it.

Thank you,

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Old 31-03-2014, 21:06   #2
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Location: Oakland
Boat: Cross 40
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Re: Auto Pilot

Are you talking the rudder shaft? Does it look anything like this?

This is a typical packing system around a shaft. Small drips might be cured by loosening the lower jam nut then tightening the upper nut. If that doesn't work then you loosen the upper nut all the way, add a ring of packing (available at your chandlery, but you will have to pull the nut up to measure the distance between the shaft and box to get the right size) then tighten all up again. If you are just adding a ring it can be done (carefully) in the water. If you want to dig out all of the old packing and replace all of it (should probably be done at some point if it is really leaking) you probably want to do it out of the water (I'm sure lots of people here, including myself, have done it in the water, but if you've never seen one before that might be stressful).

If it doesn't look anything like this then you might want to post a picture.

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Old 01-04-2014, 03:59   #3
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Re: Auto Pilot

you think that shaft going through the hull is the autopilot
stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:35   #4
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Re: Auto Pilot

Your auto pilot does not go through your hull. Lots of other things do though. Take a photo and post the image so we can help you figure out whats wrong without anyone guessing and giving you bad advice.
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