The rudder-packing gland is quite different than the drive shaft
packing gland. The bronze bottom portion is glassed into the PVC
tube that is glassed in to the hull. The stainless rudder column
rides inside that tube. There are 3 collars with female threaded
holes. The top portion is a bronze ring that attaches to the bottom
half with 3 bolts (9/16Ē as I recall). The 3/8Ē packing (same as
drive shaft, but different size) sits inside a groove in top edge of
the bottom half. The two bronze pieces are compressed (with the
packing in the middle) by tightening the three bolts to just where
they are snug. This seals the water from coming in.
That packing gland is above the water line when the boat is
static and most of the time under sail. Itís underwater while
motoring and some points of sail. So, I wouldnít screw with it
unless I found salt water in the ďskagĒ indentation of the hull.
Then Iíd only turn each bolt one turn down and recheck it again.
Iíve heard of more people finding a crack in the molded lower
rudder PVC tube to the hull area, than Iíve heard of having to
replace the packing. I have no idea on its life, but itís not
sealing a shaft that turns @ 2000rpm!! Itís wax coated flax, so I
donít think itís going to rot and we know that itís probably
not going to wear out, so your guess is as good as anyoneís.
I have it on my TO-DO Boat List, but it way down at the bottom.
Itís just after, chipping all the paint off the lead keel, shining
the lead and then repainting it (smile!!).
Important: The opinions expressed here are those of the
individual contributors to this page, and not those of the Catalina
34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc. Additionally, this
material has not been reviewed by Catalina Yachts, Inc. for
technical accuracy. This page's maintainer cannot guarantee the
accuracy of this information or the desirability of suggested
modifications or upgrades. Please obtain assistance from a competent
marine mechanic or boatyard prior to making any significant
modifications to your vessel.