This thread reminds me of an experience. I was helping a buddy and his wife bring a newly purchased Catalina 30
up from Rhode Island
to Saint John, NB, Canada
. After having rain come through a window seal onto the electrical equipment
, having the motor
mounts break and the engine be pushed out through the cabinet just as we were cueing up with some barges to go through the Cape Cod
Canal, losing reverse after that repair, being plagued by great misunderstandings about the plumbing
and especially the ability of the head
to flood, and countless other problems, the story about the rudder post starts.
Although as careful as could be through the great maze of lobster buoys along Maine's coast, we finally caught one on the rudder. After an hour struggle, caught so that we were not moving, we finally got it cut and disentangled. We went back to sailing, without much trouble. Later, when motoring was called for, we once more noticing the water rise in the bilge
. As with other incidences, we noticed it when the prop shaft universal started to throw water around.
We were still troubleshooting an intermittent bilge pump
, which was complicating every other problem. That problem was not figured out until the end of the trip, when we realized the pump was controlled by a toggle switch that was along the main passageway, and was often accidentally flipped just by traffic up and down the main hatch
As for the rudder shaft leak, it happened only when under power, and stopped each time we stopped to tear up all areas below the waterline to look for it. It is comical to recall
, but so frustrating to think how many times we transferred equipment
, stores, bedding, spare parts
, tools, and panels
to look for the phantom leak, and to try to get the bilge pump
to continue to work continuously.
When we finally did look while under way, it didn't stop there. I assumed my buddy, a good mechanic
, understood how the packing gland
at the top of the rudder post sleeve worked. He didn't. I kept sending him back under to stop the leak, and he kept tightening the gland to the post. He tightened that sucker until it moved with the post, and loosened the gland housing from the sleeve. The strain also caused the steering cable to break from the rudder quadrant.
We ended up steering with the emergency
tiller through an 8 hour storm until we rounded Cape Elizabeth and entered Portland
. This was made worse by the previous owner, who had shortened the emergency
tiller so he would not have to remove the wheel
(I assume). It took two of us to steer, while a third stood up and told us which way to go.(As I recall
, we found out about the lost
only after reverse was needed to keep us off the dock
We sorted it all out after nice nap, took all bedding and clothing
to a laundromat, and ultimately had a nice sail to Canada
. However, by that time, the wife was acting irrational, suffering a bit of a meltdown. She is fine now.