Sunday, October 11, 2015

Rudder Bushing Over Haul


                                                              Rudder Bushing

During the scraping of the bottom I did found some silicone around the nut of the starboard rudder bushing. I did not pay much attention to it until later this year when we started to paint the inside of the boat under the water line.
What I noticed was that the bushing from the inside looked a bit loose and further investigation from the outside showed that there was quite an amount of silicone placed around the nut, more or less covering the nut, could be to protect the vessel from water ingress.
Could not find any information on the internet about this rudder bushing how it was installed or fitted into the hull.
So I started to dismount the area. First thing to do is to remove the arms from the actual rudder stock.

Next step is to remove any damage scratches from the rudder stock to prevent when the rudder is pulled through the rudder bushing that scratches can occur on the bronze bushing which can create friction when the rudder is placed back.
Also the compression nut for the packing is loosened.
The rudder is then removed.

To be able to remove the bushing with gasket one needs to remove the plank above the rudder bushing.

When the support plank is removed the compression nut for the gasket after which the two lock nuts can be removed to be able to push the rudder bushing outboard.
In my case when I start to remove the compression nut for the gasket the complete rudder bushing started to turn resulting that I was able to pull the bushing inside.

Next step was to clean all thread bushing inside the compression nut removing the gasket. Checking the hull of the ship for wood rot and to my amazement the hull was sound no rot could be detected, hull inside was cleaned as well.

Inside the compression nut is the gasket which was removed to be changed for a new one, this is pretty easy when all is removed compared to when the complete construction is in the boat.

As can be seen from the next picture the gasket material was not properly inserted, one should not make one long gasket like a spiral but one should make individual gaskets for each turn this to make it able to compress the gasket better.


When all was cleaned and de-greased with acetone the bushing was placed back into the hull.
To prevent that when the locking nuts were tightened inside that the complete bushing would turn again, like when the bushing was removed the outer nut was installed with thread lock.

Next step was to install the bushing in place and to seal it against the hull, for this I used seal and glue, as from the picture can be seen I used an excessive amount to make sure that I would have a guaranteed 100 % sealing between the rudder bushing and the ships hull.  Excessive amount of sealant glue was removed shortly after the installation.

Nuts were tightened on the inside, rudder installed and new packing placed.
The easiest way to cut packing on the right length is to pull the packing around the rudder stock make a small cut as reference point then remove the packing and cut under a 45° angle on both side the packing to the correct length. Insert after the rudder is in place with the 45° cuts on top of each other. This way when the compression nut is tightened each individual packing will be compressed. When the packing is installed the wooden support can be installed as well.
Below pictures are from the propeller shaft packing but the principle is the same.

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