Repacking The Alberg 37 Rudder Stuffing Box
By Tom Assenmacher  

Date Page Edited 11/19/2013

Regarding repacking the rudder stuffing box, we repacked ours several years ago with the boat in the water.  The rudder stuffing box is slightly above the water line (at least on our 1975 MK-II yawl SHEARWATER, but you might want to check this out first!).  The stuffing box is somewhat difficult to reach, but can be done through the port cockpit locker (at least on the MK-II - not sure if you have the same setup on the MK-I).

 

In order to remove the stuffing box gland  and move it up the rudder post , you will need to loosen the rudder quadrant (assuming you have wheel steering), and slack off the steering cables (2 eye bolts on either side of the quadrant), and then loosen up the quadrant clamp which attaches the quadrant to the rudder post.

After you have loosened up everything, you will need to slide the quadrant up the rudder post (may require  some tapping with a hammer, as the quadrant is keyed to the rudder post).  You don't need to remove the quadrant, just move it up enough to completely disengage the packing nut.

Anyway, on our boat, the stuffing box is accessible, although you have to be somewhat of a contortionist to get to it!    Suggest that you back off the stuffing box  jamb nut, and then back off the stuffing box nut itself, to see if you get an influx of water (if you do, you will probably need to haul the boat to repack the rudder stuffing  box).  If you don't get any influx of water, you can do the job in the water.   

If the packing nut has nearly bottomed out, you may not really need to remove the old packing, but it's probably just as well to remove the old packing (may require some innovative use of an ice pick, or small screwdriver).  Recommend that you use PTFE Flax or TefPack packing, which is great stuff.  My  (original) prop stuffing box has been repacked with PTFE, and it simply doesn't leak.  Our rudder stuffing box uses 5/16" PTFE packing material (yours may be slightly different), which is available at West Marine.  We last did this job about 4 years ago, and have had no leakage since that time.

 

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