Shoot The Juice To Me, Bruce

No brain surgery here, Doc. Just do it or die!

Again, the engineering of the RC Laser incorporates a very simple servo control system. The through-the-deck installation is really state of the art, simple and functional – and it would be fool-proof, if you never got water on your deck!! Water?

Actually, both servos were tested running under water by the OTT lab (Jon in his bathtub). He tested a number of different brands and decided on HiTec because their servos did the best under water.

But the exit shaft tolerance on these servos is not always the same, and water can creep down the post and inside the servo if you don’t “Shoot the Juice”.

The idea is to “juice” around the exit post, as it comes though the deck, to keep water from going down the post into the servo. Also, if the servo fit to the underside of the deck is a little off, your juice will help keep water out of the cockpit too.

So what “juice” are we talking about here?

  • Vaseline® is easy to get, cheap, and easy to clean up. Vaseline® is a petroleum jelly and it does very well in this application.
  • Lithium grease A small tube of white lithium grease is available in any hardware store. Again, inexpensive, easy to clean up.

So how do you “shoot” it?

Each servo has a control fitting on deck. The sail winch has a round drum – the steering servo, a double arm. Both have screws to unfasten before these fittings can be removed.

Sail Servo

This one is tricky – only because of the tensioned monofilament control line. After you remove the screw, be very careful to pinch together the two control lines as they enter the drum before prying the drum up and off the post. And don’t let go. If you can’t “shoot the juice” to the post with one hand, then you will need to tape the control lines before putting the drum down.

With the post exposed put an ample amount of “juice” in the cavity around the post. Better too much than too little. When you reinstall the drum, any that squirts out is easy to clean up.

Steering servo

This one is a piece of cake because you can pull the arm off without any adverse affects. Follow the same procedure for juicing around the post. Before reinstalling the arm, make sure you center the rudder.


You should do this as routine maintenance. I would say you should at least inspect your juice job every 15 hours of sailing or so. It really does depend on just how much water has been sloshing down the deck. Also, make sure to do this when your boat is new.

Now you know how, when, and why, to “Shoot the Juice – Bruce!”

This article was written by Steve Lang of