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FAQ: Rudder Packing Gland 


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!!).

Ron Hill

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.   


Last modified by Phil Imhof, Wednesday, August 11, 2004 . Copyright © 2001 by Catalina 34 International Association.  All rights reserved.