Rudder packing material on Hunter Cherubini

kito

.
Sep 13, 2012
2,011
1979 Hunter Cherubini 30 Clemmons
I need help again on my H30. I want to replace the packing on my rudder. As far as I can tell, it looks like a thin material that is compressed between the 2 flanges on the rudder post. It looks like a pita to get to the 3 bolt heads since the steering cable sheave is on top of the flanges. I need some new packing installed since I can see pieces missing and can see the rudder shaft. Question is, what type of material did Hunter use?. The packing looks like it gets compressed together to about 1/8" thick. Help and tips would be great. This is a job where I wished I was 3 foot tall and 75 lbs rather than 6'5' 240. :)
 

kito

.
Sep 13, 2012
2,011
1979 Hunter Cherubini 30 Clemmons
Much easier on the H37C but still a pita. I use the same 1/4 inch packing on the rudder as I use in the shaft box.
So you just made a few wraps around the shaft? I used Gore GFO in my prop shaft stuffing box. Should work in this application too. Thanks!
 

kito

.
Sep 13, 2012
2,011
1979 Hunter Cherubini 30 Clemmons
I am on the hard but on my H30 it looks like changing it on the water would not be a problem since the flanges are way above the waterline.
Another question............what is under the rubber boot? Is there another stuffing box that needs packing also or does the hose just connect the volcano to the bottom flange?. I want to spend the least amount of time back there as possible ;)
 
Jun 2, 2004
5,802
Hunter 37-cutter, '79 41 23' 30"N 82 33' 20"W--------Huron, OH
Like you said, it's above the waterline. The hose is a way to connect the hull to the stuffing box as well as get it higher.
 

kito

.
Sep 13, 2012
2,011
1979 Hunter Cherubini 30 Clemmons
Thanks Ed. You have been helpful. Just wondering if you ever had to change out the hose. Mine looks ok but would rather change it out now. That does look like a major undertaking.
 
Oct 6, 2007
767
Hunter H30c 1982 Chicago IL
I replaced my rudder log hose a couple years ago. You have to drop the rudder to do that job and, on my '82 H30, you have to take the skeg off to drop the rudder. I don't know how the rudder and skeg are set up on your '79. Hopefully it's not as big a job.
The hose looked OK, but I was sure it had been the for decades, and I already had the skeg off for repairs, so it was a good time to do it. Replaced the shaft log hose and cutlass bearing at the same time.
I used regular flax packing. I don't recall the exact size, but it was larger than what the stuffing box takes.
 
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Alctel

.
Dec 13, 2013
263
Hunter 36 Victoria
I think I am going to replace the hose on mine as well, as I will be hauled out. I need to adjust things slightly to make room for a tiller arm for my autopilot.
 
Jun 5, 2010
1,067
Hunter 25 Burlington NJ
I would change out the hose if you can. The problem tends to be in removing the quadrant, etc. I redid a Raider 33 which in this system is almost identical to the H30 (the boats have the same waterline length; you don't increase scantlings just for LOA). We laid in new flax packing (I think it was 5/16"; take it to WM with you) and replaced the hose, reused the old gland and completely rebuilt the Edson quadrant, including painting the plain-steel stop. I got major points for that.

I would recommend something like 4200 around the bottom of the hose, against the 'glass, if the fiberglass is rather rough. Just run a finger's fillet around the bottom edge (you can slick it over with plain water immediately and minimize/avoid the stickiness). Remember if you sand the 'glass layup to be smoother, you also reduce the OD, making the hose's fit easier but looser. Leave it rough, jam the hose down about 2 inches (use heat if necessary but very sparingly-- quickly), double-clamp it (make clamps go opposite ways) and use the sealant.

In the real-world field, these bits of hose (like engine-intake lines) tend to be removed with a pneumatic cut-off wheel. It isn't a case for reusing the hose. So if there were a little 'permanent' sealant (I would not use 5200 unless it were absolutely all I had), you can scrape that off with a chisel or knife and move on to getting the new hose back on. (Don't waste your time with silicone; it's actually too slippery to get a good fit of the hose on the 'glass.) This should be wire-reinforced hose, like that used for exhaust and intake lines (doesn't collapse, resists failure due to torsional loads). It's not cheap but this is what the money is for.

Your little bronze packing gland is probably from Buck-Algonquin and it, and others just like it, have been used for decades and are still used throughout the boatbuilding industry (typically on just about all-- okay, all-- motorboat rudder shafts). It's a little gem of a part and still not very expensive when it needs to be replaced, which happens only when it's too worn to reuse (which it can become after, oh, maybe about 40-45 years of use). :wink:
 
Jun 5, 2010
1,067
Hunter 25 Burlington NJ
What Ed says about the hose extending the shaft log is correct; but its more important purpose is to adapt the bronze, adjustable packing gland to the tube, whatever it's made of, that leads into the boat from the sea. On wooden boats this was all one piece in bronze (no hose at all). Since the advent of fiberglass, we can 'glass the tube into the hull, eliminating leaks there; but now we have to find a way to close the end of the tube around the shaft, calling for a packing gland and the hose to accommodate it.

Motorboat rudder shafts are typically a one-piece bronze fitting, like a vertical standpipe, with the packing gland nut screwing down onto it (no hose). And, being motorboats, their makers don't care about lifting this connection above the waterline; indeed most are well below it. So your little packing gland is all that holds the sea from flooding your boat; and it's the very devil to adjust, or to replace flax packing in, when the boat is in the water! But, being motorboats, their makers and users don't care about this as much as we sailors do! :frown:
 

kito

.
Sep 13, 2012
2,011
1979 Hunter Cherubini 30 Clemmons
I would change out the hose if you can. The problem tends to be in removing the quadrant, etc. I redid a Raider 33 which in this system is almost identical to the H30 (the boats have the same waterline length; you don't increase scantlings just for LOA). We laid in new flax packing (I think it was 5/16"; take it to WM with you) and replaced the hose, reused the old gland and completely rebuilt the Edson quadrant, including painting the plain-steel stop. I got major points for that.

I would recommend something like 4200 around the bottom of the hose, against the 'glass, if the fiberglass is rather rough. Just run a finger's fillet around the bottom edge (you can slick it over with plain water immediately and minimize/avoid the stickiness). Remember if you sand the 'glass layup to be smoother, you also reduce the OD, making the hose's fit easier but looser. Leave it rough, jam the hose down about 2 inches (use heat if necessary but very sparingly-- quickly), double-clamp it (make clamps go opposite ways) and use the sealant.

In the real-world field, these bits of hose (like engine-intake lines) tend to be removed with a pneumatic cut-off wheel. It isn't a case for reusing the hose. So if there were a little 'permanent' sealant (I would not use 5200 unless it were absolutely all I had), you can scrape that off with a chisel or knife and move on to getting the new hose back on. (Don't waste your time with silicone; it's actually too slippery to get a good fit of the hose on the 'glass.) This should be wire-reinforced hose, like that used for exhaust and intake lines (doesn't collapse, resists failure due to torsional loads). It's not cheap but this is what the money is for.

Your little bronze packing gland is probably from Buck-Algonquin and it, and others just like it, have been used for decades and are still used throughout the boatbuilding industry (typically on just about all-- okay, all-- motorboat rudder shafts). It's a little gem of a part and still not very expensive when it needs to be replaced, which happens only when it's too worn to reuse (which it can become after, oh, maybe about 40-45 years of use). :wink:
The two flanges that squeeze the flax on my 79 H30 is only about 1/8" apart. I haven't taken mine apart yet but is there a larger groove inside the flanges that will fit 5/16" flax? I can't see squeezing 5/16" flax down to 1/8" thick. There isn't much room to get a wrench on the flange nuts as it is with the quadrant on top. I would love to replace my hose but is removing the skeg and dropping the rudder required? The rudder shaft comes up to within maybe 2" to the stern seat. Not enough room to remove the quadrant. I got to say, I have been working on this boat for 2 years and have suffered busted knuckles, lumps on my head, various cuts and contusions and a sore back that has kept me up many a night but tackling this rudder shaft seal and hose may do me in. So does the rudder need to drop just far enough to slide the quadrant off to remove/install a new hose? Anymore tips/advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
 
Oct 6, 2007
767
Hunter H30c 1982 Chicago IL
Yes, there is a groove which holds the packing. Do you need to take the skeg off to drop the rudder? That was the case on my '82. Maybe your '79 is different. Take a look at the bottom end of your skeg. If it looks like mine (image attached), I don't know any other way. Maybe someone else with a '79 can weigh in here.
I've had my share of boat bites and back aches working on Dalliance over the years, but the satisfaction when it's done lasts long after the pain is forgotten. Have to agree though, even at only 6', 150 lbs, that area of the H30 is the worst.
 

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kito

.
Sep 13, 2012
2,011
1979 Hunter Cherubini 30 Clemmons
Thanks Dalliance. Yes, my skeg comes up under the rudder. If you can help me out, I am just wanting to get a grasp on what I am getting into and the design of this wonderful rudder system. First, the bottom of the rudder pivots on the lower skeg pin. The rudder shaft passes through the hull in a bronze sleeve bearing (?) and up through the volcano where a hose connects to the volcano top and to the lower packing flange. Packing goes between the 2 flanges and is compressed against the rudder shaft. The steering quadrant is then attached to the rudder post. So I assume I need to remove the skeg first and drop the rudder just low enough to slide the quadrant off the top so I can remove the flanges and old hose? Sorry for all the questions. I am an old draftsman/designer that wishes there was a cross section of this rudder system so I know what to expect. It killed me just replacing the strut last year. This is even further back and more confined.
 
Oct 6, 2007
767
Hunter H30c 1982 Chicago IL
You've got it. Your description of the rudder log system and what you need to do is pretty much dead on. The only difference is there is no bronze sleeve thru-hull (on my '82 anyway). Just a fiberglass tube that is part of the hull; the volcano. Mine was a real tight fit, with some scale & dirt inside. I cleaned it out with a Scotch Brite pad and the rudder went back in easier than it came out. The pin is part of the rudder and pivots in the bronze fitting at the bottom of the skeg. There is a bushing between the two. You might have to dig a hole to drop the rudder far enough. We thought we would need to, but with the boat in a cradle, sitting on wood blocks and the ground sloping away, we lucked out.

The skeg design changed through the years of production. Earlier years seem to have some kind of metal frame and foam core, attached to the hull like a keel; with bolts, large washers, nuts and the most tenacious sealant of the time. Mine has a solid wood core and is attached with five lag bolts. Some owners have glassed over the joint, for added strength I guess, but that doesn't work in cold climates. There is no way to glass the top end of the joint since the rudder goes on first. Water gets behind the added glass, freezes and pops it off. That's part of the reason mine was off for repairs.... When we put the skeg back on, we used 3m 5200 (the Devil's glue) around the perimeter and 4200 around the bolts. No glass on the joint this time. Don't skimp on the sealant. We taped a piece of cardboard around the forward end of the rudder to keep any ooze of 5200 off it. This is a two person job.
 
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kito

.
Sep 13, 2012
2,011
1979 Hunter Cherubini 30 Clemmons
Thanks again Dalliance. I figured I would need to dig a hole under the rudder to drop it down far enough. My skeg is the metal frame/foam design. Not sure if that's good or not. The PO used some kind of hard sealant on the skeg seam. I will have to grind it all out first. When I grab the top of the rudder shaft, it seems pretty solid. That's why I figured it passed through a bronze sleeve instead turning against bare fiberglass. I guess they figured a tight fitting sleeve could get crud in it and bind up the shaft. I am not looking forward to this project. I better plug my heating pad in........
 
Jun 5, 2010
1,067
Hunter 25 Burlington NJ
Kito, if you have the Edson round quadrant (why do they still call it a 'quadrant' if it's round?) then it comes apart in two halves to be removed. The first piece comes off the through-bolt; the second one requires some serious wiggling to pull it and the bolt out. This part is still available at Edson.

If it is the other Edson quadrant, there is a removable clamp on the forward side with two bolts, stainless into bronze, each side. This will come apart and separate from the rudder stock, with the same effect of getting the through-bolt out. I've never seen a quadrant that installed by lowering it down onto the rudder stock and removed the opposite way. This is because stainless-steel schedule-40 pipe is never made to machine tolerances. You could order a quadrant to fit one place on the pipe and it wouldn't fit somewhere else-- too tight going on or too loose where it had to seat. They should all come apart somehow.

This is also, needless to say (or is it?) the best time to change your rudder cables. If there is any place at all on them that is hairy, brown, black (worst!) or giving you any idea that they're more than 15-20 years old, change them. Edson can make them up for you from their in-house data or you can take them to any rigger, or even to WM, and have them made up or do it yourself. And, yes; I would replace the chain too, if it's original. Yes; this will entail about $300-400 in parts but if it hasn't been done in 20 years, it's long been time for it.
 
Jun 5, 2010
1,067
Hunter 25 Burlington NJ
Dalliance's solution for reattaching the skeg sounds right on. But, for cold climates, why not the 'glass? Too cold for good curing? The 5200 will be much less flexible in cold water than the 'glass will be. Just use plenty of MEKP and keep it warm as it cures. This is what God invented Harbor Freight heat guns at $14.99 for. :dancing:
 

kito

.
Sep 13, 2012
2,011
1979 Hunter Cherubini 30 Clemmons
Kito, if you have the Edson round quadrant (why do they still call it a 'quadrant' if it's round?) then it comes apart in two halves to be removed. The first piece comes off the through-bolt; the second one requires some serious wiggling to pull it and the bolt out. This part is still available at Edson.

If it is the other Edson quadrant, there is a removable clamp on the forward side with two bolts, stainless into bronze, each side. This will come apart and separate from the rudder stock, with the same effect of getting the through-bolt out. I've never seen a quadrant that installed by lowering it down onto the rudder stock and removed the opposite way. This is because stainless-steel schedule-40 pipe is never made to machine tolerances. You could order a quadrant to fit one place on the pipe and it wouldn't fit somewhere else-- too tight going on or too loose where it had to seat. They should all come apart somehow.

This is also, needless to say (or is it?) the best time to change your rudder cables. If there is any place at all on them that is hairy, brown, black (worst!) or giving you any idea that they're more than 15-20 years old, change them. Edson can make them up for you from their in-house data or you can take them to any rigger, or even to WM, and have them made up or do it yourself. And, yes; I would replace the chain too, if it's original. Yes; this will entail about $300-400 in parts but if it hasn't been done in 20 years, it's long been time for it.
Thank you for your input. I have the round quadrant. So if I separate the quadrant and remove it, could I just unscrew the 3 bolts holding the flax flanges together, loosen the lower hose clamp and break the hose loose from the volcano and push it all up the rudder shaft and out the emergency tiller access hole? It sure beats digging a hole and removing the skeg. I know there is a bolt near top that needs removed, apparently for the tiller to connect to. Btw, the top plywood support piece were rotten and removed and are not in the way. I have new ones made that will be installed after this rudder job is done.
 
Last edited:
Oct 6, 2007
767
Hunter H30c 1982 Chicago IL
That's much better if you have the clearance. This is the danger of trying to give advice based on knowledge from a boat of a different model year. My '82 does not have these plywood support pieces; just a glassed in lazzarette shelf which the top end of the rudder post passes through inside a tight plastic collar. Glad JC weighed in. I might have caused you do a lot more work than needed.