Tag Archives: Maintenance

Rudder Post Post

From Jim H. on Sabrina – reply below if you can help a brother out!

Hi folks…happy Spring to all. Had my first sail last weekend and my rudder is sloppy, making clunking noises in a seaway. Does anyone have the Jefa part numbers to replace the original Harken bearings?



How big is your stick?

From Kimball on ‘Hall Aboard’,
Well, its definitely still winter here in the northeast, but boat work is under way.
My boat got dropped off in the yard in RI in early December, which puts it in the front of the line for going in the water in April.  I live about an hour away from the boat, and have a couple of kids, so project time is somewhat limited, but I have 3 main projects that I’d like to get done before the summer:
  1. I’m replacing the rod rigging, because I have no idea how old it is, and it is showing some signs of wear.  I’ll feel much better if I know where I stand on that one.
  2. I don’t have a holding tank.  A previous owner put in a macerator pump, whcih discharges the waste directly overboard, which is a big no-no pretty much anywhere I’m going to be sailing.  I need to add a holding tank, but I think I’m going to keep the macerator pump on one side of the Y-valve downstream of the holding tank as an option for pumping waste overboard if needed.
  3. I was thinking about keeping the wheel for the first year to see if I like it, but I just can’t do it.  I’m removing the wheel, replacing the lower rudder bearing, and adding a tiller, engine throttle, and compass.  This is the one I have a question about.  Do you have a picture of your tiller you could send, including the attachment to the top of the rudder post?  Also, do you know how long your tiller is?

Pre-made tillers for the Express 34

Hi Kimbal,
I’ve got two tillers. The one in my garage is 58” long. The one that’s currently on my boat has been chopped down to 44” long. Both have butt ends measuring a hair less than 2 7/8” x 2 7/8” to fit my Schafer rudder head hardware.
I’m assuming the previous owner did this to reduce the cockpit clearing sweep of the long one. I’m now curious to try the long one. Neither tiller has much ‘drop’ to them. In fact the long one has a bit of ‘rise’. See the pics.
Greg Sutherland
Wailana – Express 34  – Hull #1

Thanks for the pictures and info about the tiller length, I’d be curious to know how long other boats tillers are.  Do you ever feel you don’t have enough leverage with the shorter tiller?  14″ is a lot to cut off!!!

Yes, I was a little stunned when I saw the long one!

It’s interesting that the one from Rudder Craft is the same length as my short one.  It might also have to do with where you sit in the cockpit with the hiking stick.
I’ll post this to the site and see what we get. What say you internet?
So how long is your stick?


Tiller with hiking stick

Wailana’s short tiller with hiking stick

Rudder Post Head

Rudder Mount

Close up of the rudder post head.

Wailana’s Long Tiller

Long tiller top view

Traveler blues

Sticky. Hard to pull. Unsmooth.
Time to rebuild the mainsheet traveler.
It’s a Harken windward sheeting 27mm standard car (not high-load). Retail 2018 price is $708 for just the car!

Getting the track off was the hardest part. It’s easy to screw up the gelcoat. Using the halyard was key. I used Bed-It Butyl Tape to re-bed it.

Removing the caulk from the traveler was a pain. Slight amount of corrosion between the aluminum track and the stainless steel bolt plates inside the track. I coated them with Teff-Gel before reassembly.

I soaked everything in a bucket of warm soapy water overnight and then rinsed. Broke them down as far as I could, cleaned and then re-lubed before reassembly.

If I had the money I’d spring for the ‘High-Load’ car and new blocks on the fine tune system.

Flat spots on your balls are bad.


Using the main halyard to help lift the track.

Patience…working one side at a time – just a little.

Success! Only a little gelcoat was harmed during this process…

Time to strip, clean and rebuild.

Removing the adhesive caulk. #!%&*@!

Time to break it all down and make it shiny.

Everything back in…doesn’t look all that different!

Cost = $50 for the  48 – 8mm torlon bearings, $80 for the stand up toggle (to keep the block from flopping around when the sheet is slack). $20 for the OneDrop lube. $20 for bigger washers for the inside of the hull to disperse the load better. Added larger eye straps where the control line exits as the old ones were too confining. $20.

Total = $190

Time = 12 hours.

Hint: Take of picture of how the mainsheet is run before disassembly. You will forget.

Harken Traveler Q&A

How to wash your balls.

Projects – The good, bad and the ugly.

You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with Express 34s and those who dig. You dig.

The sailing season is winding down. That means that the project season is winding up!

What are you working on? I want you to record your projects and send them to me.

The good, bad and the ugly. I’ll take them all.

This is how we learn.

Raw Water Blues

So my Yanmar 3YM20 engine is pretty new ~600 hrs – which for a diesel is barely just getting out of bed in the morning. A couple of weeks ago I noticed some water in the bilge and back traced it to the seawater pump on the engine. The hoses were my first suspects but they turned out to be fine.
I pulled the pump and found it was leaking from one of the seals around the bearing on the shaft. After doing some research I had three options:

  1. Rebuild the pump myself
  2. Buy a new pump
  3. Have somebody else rebuild it

I could have rebuilt it myself but I don’t have a bearing press. Yes…I know I could constructed a homemade press using a rudimentary lathe but the it seemed like a hassle and something with lots of fiddly bits and parts in freezers that I’m prone to screw up.

I called the local Yanmar dealer and gave them the part number.
“We don’t have that and we don’t know what it is… can you send us pictures?”
Are you serious? I sent them pictures.
“Hmm…never seen one like that before…not in our books…don’t know…we have something similar for $350”
Yanmar dealers out of your area won’t even talk to you. $350? Are you kidding me?

So bless the electronic heart of the internet I found Tony at the Flying Dutchman Pump Rebuilders.

For a $130 he cleaned it, rebuilt the pump, including machining the shaft and surfacing the face plate, installed new stainless steel  springs and explained to me what was wrong and why these crappy pumps routinely fail and that I should use Super Lube grease when I change my impeller. Oh, and that includes shipping back to me.

And he painted it.

Tony and his crew are my heroes!

Flying Dutchman
Tony Coenradi
200 Davis Creek Road
Selma, OR  97538    USA
Toll free (U.S. and Canada) 1-888-595-1110

The Less-Than-Stellar Raw Water Pump

Close up of the old leaking raw water (seawater) pump.

The rebuilt pump!


Anybody want my old Martec prop?

For the cost of shipping you can have my old Martec 16″ X 10″ RH folding prop. Fits a 1″ shaft.

It needs to be refurbished by Martec; cost = ~$300. This was the standard equipment I believe and would work well with the standard 18 HP engine. I would not recommend it with a larger engine.


Greg S. – Wailana Hull #1