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Lowering the rudder of a 33 for re sealing.

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  • #76368
    SeeSeaCSi
    Blocked

    Hi. How easy is it to lower the rudder of the 33 and seal the rudder post from the hull out side? While on the hard obviously. Looks like i have a tiny leak between the brass pipe that goes in the hull (rudder shaft pipe housing) and the fiber. Did anyone lower the rudder? I dont think i need to take it out completly..

    #76377
    Andrew Ballantine
    Participant

    I have an NC33 mk1 so this advice applies to that.
    You unbolt the rudder rather than drop it. So unbolt the bottom support bearing (two bolts), unbolt the top connection to the rudder post (four bolts), now with the help of another, preferably strong, ease the bottom out till the bottom pin drops or is clear of the keel and lower the rudder which is heavy stainless steel.
    You can now go into the aft cabin and dismantle the centre cubbyhole to access the steering gear. After disconnecting the control cables and the autopilot position sensor you will then be able to remove the top hub which slides up on a key. Then you will get access to the small stuffing box which should be undone. The rudder shaft can then be lowered or pulled down depending on how tight the stuffing is.
    Now you can get access to the lower end of the rudder tube where your leak is.
    I would fix the leak with West Systems flexible epoxy. You want a permanent repair here.
    Before reassembling check the state of the supporting metalwork for the rudder tube. Mine was made of mild steel and was in a poor state with half the thickness of the metal corroded in some places. I have had these parts remade in stainless steel.
    If you want access to the top of the rudder tube you will need a 1 7/8” deep socket to undo the nut that holds the top of the tube to a glassed in plate, also mild steel, which will have to be cut out if you feel the need to seal up the inner end of the rudder tube. Suggest you replace this plate with stainless also.
    Are you sure your leak is not just from the stuffing box?
    When refitting renew the stuffing when you reassemble and check the bearings of course.

    Hope this helps. I have written this from memory so some minor steps may have been omitted, but you hopefully get the gist of what is required.
    I have done this work myself as a committed diy-er. If you wanted this done professionally, you will be looking at a four figure sum for the labour. If you find someone to do it for less than four figures, please let me have their name and telephone number :-).
    Kind regards,

    Andrew Ballantine.

    #76378
    SeeSeaCSi
    Blocked

    Andrew, Thank you very much for your comment and help! I appreciate. So did you remove the rudder tube and install a new one instead of it or just repair? I am thinking that I can actually clean all the glass from inside around the tube to inspect it (while on the hard) and re do with flexible west epoxy. The only issue I have is that I have a feeling there can be actually rot in the tube itself as why should water come in from here? I have attached a picture to show where I found wet. With wet I mean one drop. I am sure its not the packing as packing area was dry.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by SeeSeaCSi.
    #76381
    Andrew Ballantine
    Participant

    Before going to all the trouble of dismantling the rudder, I would sand or scrape back the fibreglass around the tube and see what state the tube is in. If the boat is in the water have a tube of CT1 handy in case the leak gets worse. Also try pumping a load of grease into the tube and see if any comes out where the leak is. If it does the tube is perforated and will need replacing. You should also treat the rust on the mounting plate especially underneath and paint it with at least two coats of 2k epoxy primer (perfectly safe using a brush) and then two coats of bilge paint.

    On my boat the tube is fine, just needed to replace the mild steel plate work which should have been stainless.

    Hope this helps.

    Kind regards,

    Andrew Ballantine.

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