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Rudder post / sleeve leaking near hull

Apr 25, 2020
Catalina 30 Long Beach
I've got a 1982 Catalina 30 that I've been slowly working on over the past year. When underway recently, I noticed that there was a salt water leak coming from aft near the rudder. I looked closer and attached some pictures, which I labeled. It looks like there was a previous repair at the hull / rudder post joint and it was leaking from underneath where the repair was. It was slow, and barely perceptible at dock. I had my girlfriend turn the rudder at dock, and the leaking increased slightly.

I read that it could be the rudder packing gland, but that was completely dry and I tightened those bolts slightly to see if it would stop the leak, but it didn't. In any case, the whole post above the hull is completely dry.

Is this a known issue on early Catalina 30s? Has anyone seen a leak like this? I suspect that there could be fiberglass damage and it will require grinding it down and reglassing, but wanted to get advice before going forward. Thanks!


Feb 26, 2004
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Hi, it looks like someone tried a repair there earlier, I agree. And they seemed to have applied whatever material they used all the way up the tube to the packing gland. You are also right about that: Home Page Brochures Contribute Cool stuff Database FAQ Fleets For sale Gallery History JOIN Links Mailing List Manuals Message

Seems two choices:
1. Cut out just the bottom of the repair and see if it's leaking through from above (as you seem to think it's not). Do this and work up to find where the leak really is. In my experience, it's usually from where the tube meets the hull.
2. Remove ALL of the old repair, find the source and redo the repair in its entirety.

One is a step-by-step, the second is a complete redo.

In either event, investigate the material you would use to do the repair, I'm sure some here will provide you with good ideas.

Good luck, and good for you for noticing and taking action.
Mar 20, 2016
Beneteau 351 WYC Whitby
As well as above recommendations you may what to look at glassing in some gussets to better support the post ,seems like a weak link, my boat has them glassed in and I actually added another