1. I just bought a 1979 watkins 27.
    I am working on her to bring her back in to shape.
    I have a tiller and the rudder stuffing box is leaking or the base of the rudder post where it passes through the hull is leaking.
    Have you ever taken off the rudder, and if so how difficult a job is it.
    thank for any info
    Your blog is great and i love the watkins 27
    Take care.

    • Hi Doug, thanks for visiting.

      My boat is a little different, being an ’81 model. I don’t have a stuffing box on my rudder stock. The tube through which the stock passes extends fairly high into the hull, so there is no need for a stuffing box.

      Some of the older Watkins have a stuffing box, and a fitting on the hull that is bolted on, onto which the stuffing box is connected. This fitting can leak after 30-plus years, and requires rebedding with sealant. I think this is something you can do fairly easily next time you haul out, and I don’t think you need to remove the rudder to do so.

      The stuffing box also needs to be repacked occasionally, and it is the same process as repacking a propeller shaft stuffing box. You have to measure the gap between the inside surface of the box and the rudder stock, then buy the correctly-sized packing material (check West Marine or Jamestown Distributors). I don’t know the size for your stock/box, but it will be a standard fractional size, like 3/8″ or 1/4″ or something like that. This is something that should be done when you haul out too. Here a link to a photo essay on how to change the stuffing box packing: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/stuffing_box.

      Where do you sail, Doug?

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