Rudder Bearing Replacement

Rudder Bearing Replacement - click here to add to this discussion RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

Quicklinks for Rudder Bearing Sources. See also Article - Rudder Removal

From: John Eldredge, Cheap Sunglasses Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002
Subject: Rudder Bearing Replacement

I have an original rudder and need to replace the internal bearings. Has anyone done this? and what's involved? It seems I will need to cut away the bottom of the fiberglass support shaft (tube) at the hull exit point to get to the bottom bearings and race. Removing the set bolts does not allow the rudder to drop. There seems to be a coupling internal to the support shaft that fixes the bottom bearing race. Advice from anyone who has actually done the work, or had the work done would be highly appreciated. Phone # of a knowledgeable yard would also be a good thing.


From: Paul Lockwood, EZ Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

I have had my rudder out many times, I have hull 34 with a 2 1/2" SS shaft. The Harken Rudder bearings are set screwed to the shaft the top bearing has screws to the boat. There is a hole in the rudder tube under the deck that gives you access to the 4 top bearing set crews. Once you loosen those you can push out the rudder shaft and the lower bearing comes with it is not attached to the fiberglass rudder tube. The top bearing could be corrosion attached to the rudder shaft, usually a chemical agent like PBO Blaster can work on that corrosion between the SS and the aluminum bearing case.


From: John Eldredge, Cheap Sunglasses Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

Thanks for the response. Seems Pacific Boats did a bonehead thing. The bearings aren't Harkens. Tiller is off; top bearings are out; all set screws are removed; rudder doesn't drop. We banged on the top of the shaft using a 4x4 and a sledge; broke the 4x4. Oh well. I'll give Nelson Marek a call. They're just down the road. Ciao.


From: Dean Briggs, Stop Making Sense Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002
Subject: Re: Rudder Bearing Replacement

I have replaced the bearings 2 times and the rudder which I loaned to someone and they broke. I replaced the bearing with a Harken and went to HI in 96, it was then replaced again under warrantee. They seem to nee replacing every few thousand miles.

I my case the tube is completely smooth and dropped right out when the rudder head was removed. The bigger problem for me was keeping the bearing from going up into the tube. I put in a PVC pipe to keep this from happening.


From: Trevor Baroni, Picanti Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

Picanti has gone through 3 sets of bearings and the original rudder reworked twice and two rudder posts later. Our biggest problem was the corrosion factor was so great you had to destroy the bearings in order to get them off. To over come this problem, (and the problem of the boat rounding up when it was blowing over 15 Knots) I redesigned a hollow rudder which has a stainless steel shaft (2" Dia. 1/4" wall thickness) wrapped in Graphite glass in which the bearings ride on.

The rudder is also 7" deeper , 1" longer and 1" fatter. This stopped the roundups. All in all the rudder weighs 40lbs. If you would like more information on this I'd be glad to share.

I also did a rudder rehab for Absolute Chaos. The rudder wouldn't come out of the boat without drilling both bearings out. Not an easy task . . . Had to turn the post back down after that one!!! Also included in that job was lighting of the rudder and a Kevlar skin. Interesting though . . . When I called Harken, they didn't make a replacement for those bearings because of all the problems. So I used some company in Florida, which I'll get the name, that makes a solid plastic bearing.

After that I got together with my company and designed an Alum. Roller bearing which is similar to Harken Bearings If your interested let me know.


From: Richard Jones, Outrageous Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

Soverel 33 Rudder Removal [from the Dealers Manual]

Step 1
Remove tiller from rudder block by removing 1/2" bolt. Replace 1/2" bolt back into hole without tiller.

Step 2
Remove rubber plug from rudder tube inside of boat to expose the upper rudder bearing set screws.

Step 3
Rotate rudder to loosen all 4 set screws. Do not remove them entirely.

Step 4
Chock rudder from bottom with wood blocks.

Step 5
Remove 1/2" bolt from tiller block and loosen 3/8" bolt on aft side of block and remove tiller block. You may have to drive a screwdriver into split in block in order to loosen from rudder shaft.

Step 6
Support weight of rudder and remove wood chocks from beneath rudder and remove rudder complete with lower bearing from boat

To install rudder, reverse the procedure for removal.

This is from the Dealers Manual. The problem is over time the top and bottom bearing corrodes to the shaft. You will need something to break it lose. You will need to hammer it out.


From: Chris Merkel, Moisture Missile Date: Thur, 18 July 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

I ran aground last week during the Sandusky Islands Race. Does anyone know where I can get another set of Harken bearings? The bearings were impacted by the grounding and the insurance is going to replace them for me if I can find another set.


From: Paul Jeka, Santana Date: Thur, 18 July 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

I know that Harken discontinued making these bearings years ago...my suggestion is that you send them back to them for rebuild.....but I am not aware of any other options that are not a huge project . . .


From: Chris Merkel, Moisture Missile Date: Thur, 18 July 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

I thought Edson had some of these as well?


From: Paul Jeka, Santana Date: Thur, 18 July 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

Harken has gotten out of the bearing business and has designated Edson as their replacement vendor. Ask for Barry Steinberg.


From: Al Johnson, Pegasus Date: Wed, 4 September 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

Questions for the group on rudder bearings - I looked at the website and the chain of e-mails from February 2002 regarding rudder replacement, but still would appreciate any further advice. Pegasus (1985 SVM #45) is hauled out for bottom paint, and the yard manager told me the rudder bearings "were suspect". The guy who actually looked at the rudder wasn't available, and the hull wasn't very accessible under the tenting, but we could feel some wobble when we pushed the rudder from side to side. The bearings are probably original - I haven't touched them since 1996 when I bought the boat, and I'm pretty sure the immediately previous owner ('91-96) likewise didn't touch them. The yard manager said that the last time they replaced Soverel rudder bearings it was a nightmare because everything had corroded together.


From: Jerry Kedziora, x-Zot Date: Wed, 4 September 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

I took out the Harken bearings myself. The bottom one was "glued" in the hole with Some type of silicon caulking. Once a was able to loosen the silicon I had to push the bearing and the rudder from the top. I had a guy catch the whole works underneath the boat. The lower bearing is also set screwed to the rudder shaft and I had to drill those out. I took both bearings apart and I put in some Teflon sheet stock , about .008" thick to Tighten the bearing up to remove the "slop". So far this season, the bearings are doing OK. The one big advantage I had is that my boat has always been a fresh water boat.


From: Paul Jeka, Santana Date: Wed, 4 September 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

D.C. replaced the rudder bearings on Menace X prior to her sale. The tech guys at Harken worked with him for a replacement . . . I had long discussions with them as they discussed the tube diameter, how the race bearings welded themselves to the shaft and how they would attempt to rebuild the original cases. They wound up using some application from their custom department . . . I believe it was performed at All-Seasons Marina on Lake Norman , with his Capt. and the yard workers. The Tech team at Harken no longer produces rudder bearings....they may be able to accommodate you on a custom basis. What we all must think about is how much play is acceptable...on Santana she does not vibrate and steering is smooth......no up and down motion ....but if deliberately shaken there is some even play.


From: Gordon Brown, Haarstick Sailmakers Date: Wed, 4 September 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

 

TPI Composites has Rudder Bearing solutions for most J/Boats including the J/33 & 35. There might be one that works for the S33 as well. Call Henry Williams at TPI Composites, or email him at hwilliams@tpicomp.com.


From: Joe Bonness, Maria Date: Fri, 6 September 2002
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

Three years ago we cut the lower bearing off and replaced it with a prop shaft bearing. We had to fit a sleeve around it to fill the shaft whole but it works better than the ball bearing Harken with less play and cost very little.


Note:
To Add to this discussion, send an e-mail with RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement in the Subject to the Discussion Group or the Webmaster.

- example

From: your e-mail address
To: Soverel33@yahoogroups.com
Cc:
Subject: RE: Rudder Bearing Replacement

top100