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Leaking rudder tube - part 2 22 Nov 2022 19:32 #133034

  • Paul Hayes
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Well done Chris, keep it safe.

"It was rather more than a drop, I calculate it weighed between 200Kgand 300Kg! "

You don't want three of me on it then 😂.

Paul 

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Leaking rudder tube - part 2 22 Nov 2022 18:01 #133033

  • Chris Green
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> It is almost certainly a grease cup, a common form of greasing a
> component.

Yes, it is, I got to it properly today and the top unscrews to allow
one to refill it with grease and then screw it back to squeeze grease
into the rudder tube.


> it was again, almost certainly not intended to keep water from rising
> above the end of the "rudder tube", but just to lubricate two wearing
> parts.  Forcing grease in might have the effect of waterproofing the
> pintle, but this is not the primary function and shouldn't be relied
> on.

It's worked pretty well for 12 years or so! :-)  However, I agree, it
smacks of the previous owner's lack of practical engineering skills.


> After you initial post, we leaned about the after build swim platform,
> which probably is the cause of the draft of the stern increasing.

Probably/possibly, I'm not sure.


[snip]
> A deal of thought should be given as to how extending the pintle and
> tube is going to be undertaken. Is there access to allow good welding
> to take place?

It's not too bad for access once the cupboards above have been
dismantled and the bed partly removed.  However it will be quite
difficult to extend the pintle I think as there's only about an inch
of it showing above the top of the tube where one can see the bearing
(bronze, brass, ?) around it.  Maybe a job for 'next time out of the
water', meanwhile keeping the inside of the bathing platform empty of
water and making sure the grease in the steering is topped up will
have to do.


> If emptying a drop of water makes the difference between leak or not
> then there certainly isn't enough down flooding clearance. An extra two
> or three hefty crew could cause a flooding situation 😮.

It was rather more than a drop, I calculate it weighed between 200Kg
and 300Kg!  The bathing platform is around 2m x 1m and there was a
good 10 to 15cm of water in it.


... and it's not a flood, just a tiny dribble which was (just) enough
for me to notice a bit more water in the bilge than usual after we'd
been away for a few months.

As I said I'm aiming to keep an eye on the grease in the rudder tube
now I know what that 'funny round thing' is.  I may even add a grease
nipple to its lid so I can use a grease gun to top up.

I'm also aiming to put (another) automatic bilge pump in the bathing
platform, the water in there is clean as it's just rainwater so I'll
not be being antisocial pumping it out if/when it accumulates.

-- 
Chris Green
 

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Leaking rudder tube - part 2 22 Nov 2022 13:12 #133031

  • Paul Hayes
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Hi Richard

​​​​​​It is almost certainly a grease cup, a common form of greasing a component.
it was again, almost certainly not intended to keep water from rising above the end of the "rudder tube", but just to lubricate two wearing parts.  Forcing grease in might have the effect of waterproofing the pintle, but this is not the primary function and shouldn't be relied on.

After you initial post, we leaned about the after build swim platform, which probably is the cause of the draft of the stern increasing.

The only proper solution in my opinion is to strip the tiller assembly away and increase the length of the tube to well above water level. This may mean extending the pintle, re-engineering the tiller / cylinder linkage etc.

For what it's worth, I would incorporate a seal at the top of the tube, many boats have a stuffing box to achieve this, but it might be possible to engineer a lip seal housing.

A deal of thought should be given as to how extending the pintle and tube is going to be undertaken. Is there access to allow good welding to take place?

If emptying a drop of water makes the difference between leak or not then there certainly isn't enough down flooding clearance. An extra two or three hefty crew could cause a flooding situation 😮.

Good luck
Paul Hayes 
 

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Leaking rudder tube - part 2 21 Nov 2022 20:48 #133028

  • Richard Cooper
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The rudder shaft does indeed sit in some sort of cup on the 'skeg' so it cannot fall out, There is something on the photos taken on the inside that looks like a grease cup near the bottom of the rudder tube.I wonder if that is how the builder planned to keep the water out? if so then it might be worth filling it up with grease and repeatedly forcing grease into the tube. It might not be the best bit of design ever used on a boat as it could be close to the waterline (or even below) and a better arrangement might be a stern tube greaser properly fitted to the rudder tube.

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Leaking rudder tube - part 2 21 Nov 2022 16:12 #133014

  • Chris Green
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Just a quick additional picture of the rudder viewed from outside when the boat was out of the water recently.  I'm pretty sure this shows that it has a support at the bottom so it can't "fall out" whatever I do inside.  Have I got this right?
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Leaking rudder tube - part 2 21 Nov 2022 15:57 #133013

  • Chris Green
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A few weeks ago I posted some pictures and questions about my rudder tube which was (fairly slowly) dribbling water into the bilges.  At the time I was only able to bodge a repair with some tape and sealant, I now have more time to take a harder look.

The good news is firstly that my horrible bodge of tape worked pretty well and stopped the dribble and, secondly, that pumping all the water out of the bathing platform (see other post) has raised the back of the boat enough that the top of the rudder tube is now (just) above the water line.  Thus I have removed all the tape and gunge to get a better look and there's no longer water dribbling in.

So I have partially fixed the problem, especially if I can make the bathing platform cover more watertight.  However I would like to try and improve the rudder installation a bit too if I can.  I have attached some more pictures which are clearer than the previous ones because I have dismantled a lot of the cupboards around the rudder tube and post.  If anyone (Balliol?) can clarify what's there it would be very helpful.

I **think** the rudder arm (tiller) is held onto the rudder post by that bolt one can see, i.e. the tiller is welded to a bit of tube that fits over the rudder post and the bolt goes through the bit of tube and the post.  Is that likely to be how it's configured?  Also, what's that funny cylindrical thing one the side of the rudder tube lower down?

 
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