Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-05-2019, 14:25   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Anchroage, Alaska
Boat: Pearson Countess 44
Posts: 35
rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

I think this is probably a pretty dumb question, and one I could answer for myself with a little experimentation, but I figured someone on the forum might have some advice that will save me time and frustration.... After having our boat hauled and the rudder replaced, which came with a fair bit of drama not worth going into, it has been stiffer--that is, harder to turn. It works well, but it is a little stiffer than I would like. The bushing in the shoe is fine (this is an old, full keep boat, with a shoe at the bottom of the rudder post), but I wonder if the stiffness might be relieved by loosening the stuffing box just a bit? That is, if the stuffing box was over tightened when the rudder was re-installed, wouldn't that explain the stiffness? And would it make sense to back off a bit on the stuffing box nut while the boat is in the water to see if the stiffness is relieved before water starts coming in around the rudder post?
__________________

Bill Streever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 15:45   #2
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Fort Pierce, FL
Boat: Cal 9.2 30 ft
Posts: 11
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

It sounds like the boat is still on dry land?
Once you put it in the water, if the stuffing box is under water, it should be lubricated by the water and turn easier. You probably will end up adjusting it some, but I would only do it with the boat in the water, so you can see the effects.
__________________

krivanj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 16:02   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Anchroage, Alaska
Boat: Pearson Countess 44
Posts: 35
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

We were in the water sailing for a season, and it was stiffer than I would like the entire time. I thought about loosening the packing nut, but never got around to it (access involves taking out one of the battery banks, and, well, you know, I was having too good a time to worry about it).

Now we are on the hard doing the usual maintenance. Sounds like it might make sense for me to try to back off on the packing nut once we are back in the water?
Bill Streever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 16:08   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,008
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

If the rudder is hard to turn, it is almost certainly NOT the packing. For that to make a difference, it would have to be HORRENDOUSLY tight because the steering system has a LOT of leverage on it. I don't even think it is possible to tighten it that much unless things are swollen from corrosion.

Assuming you have a typical cable steering system...

Have you checked all the sheaves? Are they oiled as they should be? Is the cable lead fair? Is there something rubbing that shouldn't be? Have you disconnected the cables from the rudder and tried moving it by hand?
billknny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 17:38   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2016
Boat: McCurdy & Rhodes Custom 46
Posts: 645
rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

I’ve had the experience (twice) of rebuilding cable and chain steering systems and finding that a lot of the friction was from the shaft packing. Removed it, cleaned out, new GFO packing. Big difference.
Mind you kk like to be able to steer with my fingertips so neither system was really heavy to start with.
And I second the suggestion to check the sheaves and the whole system carefully.
dfelsent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 18:11   #6
Registered User
 
stillbuilding's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Boat: Custom Freya 20m
Posts: 1,020
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

I have had a seriously stiff steering issue which turned out to be corrosion of the inner surface of the rudder tube.

Sounds like you have had issues with the rudder shaft Which have been addressed so hopefully that does not apply but something to consider.
stillbuilding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 19:01   #7
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 16,537
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

Don't know how your rudder shaft is supported in the tube, but many boats have nylon or similar plastic sleeve bearings there, and they have a habit of slowly absorbing water and swellling up slightly. Being constrained by the tube, the ID is reduced and thus grips the rudder post tightly, causing drag. This is a pain to remediate, 'cause ya gotta drop the rudder and ream out the sleeve to restore normal clearance. Hope that this isn't your case!

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Port Cygnet again, freezing our bums off.
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 08:39   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Jersey, USA
Boat: 1972 Cal 29 - Destiny
Posts: 40
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

to add to Jim's details about the nylon sleeve, I have that configuration on my Cal 2-29.

A couple of seasons ago the rudder suddenly got very stiff to turn, luckily just before the end of season haul out.

I dropped the rudder to find the sleeve had fragmented with some of the pieces slipping down effectively doubling the width, resolution was 'just' to replace the sleeve and all has been good since

G
grae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 09:28   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Guelph ON Canada
Boat: Morgan OI 37
Posts: 87
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

Had the same problem with my Morgan 37
Dropped the rudder
Installed new silicone bronze bushing in shoe
Emery cloth on the post and new grease.
New packing and re-tightened the nut.
Still stiff...
Loosened quadrant cables and voila all good.
BobLoucks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2019, 11:12   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New Franklin, Ohio
Boat: Homebuilt schooner 64 ft. Sold.
Posts: 1,175
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

You would be wise to cure this issue before you go back in the water. Loosen the nut would be your first choice after lubricating the system. If that doesn’t cure the problem just take the packing assembly apart.
captlloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2019, 05:20   #11
Registered User
 
wingless's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Boat: 2000 Searay 380 Sundancer
Posts: 905
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

When my boat is on land for maintenance I yank the rudders, clean / polish the shafts, lube the shafts / blocks / supports, then properly install / replace / tighten the rudders.

The rudders always have proper movement / action before and after service.
__________________
2000 SeaRay 380 Sundancer Mercruiser
454 MAG MPI Horizon 380hp / Westerbeke 7.0KW BCGB
many cool mods
wingless is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2019, 05:29   #12
Registered User
 
MartinR's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sweden, boat in Greece
Boat: 73´ULDB custom ketch
Posts: 980
Re: rudder stiff to turn: loosen stuffing box nut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLoucks View Post
H
Loosened quadrant cables and voila all good.
Always first thing to try!
__________________

MartinR is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
rudder

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hot stuffing box, leaky stuffing box. Is there an in-between? Ryban Propellers & Drive Systems 58 08-08-2019 14:15
Stuffing Box Tightening - Lock Nut Not Moving heraulc2 Engines and Propulsion Systems 22 24-12-2018 19:28
How stiff is too stiff??? gmakhs Construction, Maintenance & Refit 17 23-12-2018 07:45
Windlass clutch nut - which way to loosen? steve77 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 14 18-09-2017 19:19
Stuffing box or re-stuffing the box / dripless Dave in Eugene General Sailing Forum 10 28-12-2007 16:45

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:06.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.