View Full Version : Rudder Shaft Seal?

06-07-2009, 04:46 PM
Hi Gang,

I caught wind from a thread of a different subject that the rudder shaft is sealed with an o-ring. I have been getting water in my boat, more this season than last, which prompted me to take apart the exhaust at the transom to re-seal them. I also found a potential problem with my transom drain, so I replaced the drain tube. Unfourtunatly none of this seemed to improve the water in the boat problem. I decided that my rudder shaft seal might be the culprit.

Today I decided to take the the rudder shaft stuffing box apart on my 1987 Comp. While doing so, I noticed that the big brass nut over the shaft pass through was only finger tight. I continued taking it a part to see what the seals look like. The only seal I found was a white plastic contoured material imbedded in the big brass gland nut. I decided to reassemble and tighten the gland nut down firmly in hopes that it would improve the seal.

But I am also suspicious that I don't have all of the parts. Perhaps an o-ring should reside beneath the white material in the nut? Do any exploded diagrams exist? Do any of you have experience with these rudder shaft seals? Should their be an o-ring incororated?


06-08-2009, 09:37 AM
The material in the gland nut is actually a rope packing. There is no O-Ring if you have a gland nut. The newer rudders use an O-Ring. I just changed the rudder on my Comp to the newer rudder style because it was bent. If your ruddder is not loose or bent, just tighten the gland nut and enjoy the summer.

06-08-2009, 11:50 AM
Well is this the rope packing on the prop shaft or is it actually on the RUDDER arm?? If this is really your rudder arm the agetech is totally right you can also order new rope to pack in there if needed. Tighten the nut and hopefully that should do the trick. No o-rings for you.

saltare inverts
06-08-2009, 12:44 PM
I took my rudder out because it was leaking to replace o-ring. I cant find a replacement oring anywhere. I have been to three farm stores, lowes, home depot and autozone. So I just ordered a new rudder. My old one was bent anyhow. But I am still curious were to find a o-ring. Any ideas?

06-08-2009, 03:07 PM
Thanks for the feedback Guys,

I was expecting a traditional stuffing box full of wax rope. The material in the gland nut appears to be more like plastic, but I chose not to remove it to investigate further. Perhaps wax rope should be incuded below the plastic in the gland nut? Because of the fuel tank, I couldn't look inside the stuffing box to see if any wax rope existed inside that should have been replaced.

I tightened the gland nut upon re-assembly, as several recomended. I haven't tested it to see if this helps keep water out, but based upon your input, I suspect that I am on the right track.

Something else I noticed: the stearing arm that attaches to the rudder shaft rests upon the gland nut, and appears to be the only thing that keeps the rudder attached to the boat. If I remove the arm, the rudder will dorp right through the gland nut and shaft bushing, and fall to the ground. There is no other means of attachment? Does this seem normal? This would mean that the the arm rides upon the top of the gland nut in normal use, potentialy causing wear. I was wishing that I had a teflon washer to throw in there.

While this arrangement does seem to work, I just think it seems inapropriate.

Thanks again,

06-08-2009, 05:31 PM
Saltare Inverts - Dang I found my o-rings really easy at NAPA auto parts but any auto store should have o-rings. They keep them behind the counter so you need to ask an employee. They are standard sizes nothing tricky... Skiers choice should be able to give you a vendor or an item number if you need to use the internet.

Rick - My rudder has a cotter pin atop the rudder and just above the rudder arm.

06-09-2009, 08:46 AM
Okay...to get to the rudder seals and steering zerks do I need to remove the gas tank. Any done these jobs with the gas tank in? I am assuming that it must be possible with the gas tank in.

06-09-2009, 09:16 AM
I replaced my whole rudder assy without removing the gas tank. Just remove the rear seat.

06-09-2009, 01:21 PM
ditto what agetech said. But it may take two people to get the rudder back in from underneth and we had to use a car jack to apply pressure to the rudder and get it back in the hole.

06-09-2009, 11:43 PM
My rudder fell right out as soon as the gland nut was removed. When I replaced it, I inserted it from the bottom, and held it in place with blocks of wood between the lower end of the rudder and the prop cage on the trailer.

There is enough room below the gas tank to access and disconect the steering linkage. You will need to make room in the boat to lay down, and the back seat needs to come out.

06-10-2009, 11:40 AM
I am sorry...you guys have probably been over this already. I am going to replace the packing on the drive shaft and while I am at it I guess I should probably replace the rudder seal. Does it use packing or is it a rubber oring piece. I have yet to get in there and look closely at it. Sorry...I am sure you guess have already addressed this. If so just refer me back to the post.



06-10-2009, 12:23 PM
Sorry Chautauq it can be either/or. It will be a wax rope packing, OR a couple o-rings, OR it can be a graphite ring (what Skiers Choice told me I would find). NAPA carries o-rings and the graphite. I have no wax packing on my 87. SkiDIM has more rope packing.

I don't think you're going to be able to tell until you remove the rudder. Thankfully it's a realy quick job.

saltare inverts
06-10-2009, 11:59 PM
Just replaced my rudder tonite also. I bought it from viper customs. It slid in perfect.

06-23-2009, 10:57 PM
Well, it has been some time since I put a wrench on my rudder stuffing box, but I finally got the boat back into the water yesterday. I am thrilled to say the the water coming into the boat has reduced significantly!

I still get a very small amount of water, but it is manageable.