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Rudder Packing

Hi, I accidentally unshipped the bottom of rudder stock from the skegg cup while changing the rudder top bearing on my narrowboat. I replaced the rudder back into the cup but it now squeaks and vibrates and seems loose as if I have lost some packing. Can you recommend what I should repack the cup bearing with? Many thanks Peter Heath

Asked by: Peter Heath  | 8.28pm, Thursday 7 September

WW says:

This is not an easy question to answer as I would imagine that different builders have different methods. My Les Allen has no packing at all at the top or the bottom. The rudder stock simply sits in a steel cup on the skeg. It has some sideways movement but not enough to be a problem or make a noise.
You best bet is probably to ask the builder what he used and how he recommends you replace what ever it was.

Graham Booth  | 10.30AM, Friday 8 September

It sounds as though the rudder stock is loose in the skeg cup and being supported solely by the upper bearing. The weight of the rudder should be supported on the skeg with the top bearing providing location and rotational guidance. The problem should be resolved by moving the top bearing slightly further up the rudder stock.

Rupert Smedley  | 2.29PM, Monday 11 September

Readers say:

Hi Rupert, you were right! I unscrewed the set screws holding the top bearing to the rudder stock and managed to push the rudder stock down about 1/8 of an inch. The squeak and vibration have now gone. Many thanks Peter Heath

Peter Heath  | 8.49PM, Wednesday 27 September

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