Hi Hummingbird

There are a couple of things you can check before the rudder bearings.

Firstly, is the wheel firm on the shaft i.e. can you wobble the wheel at all when the boat is stationary? If it’s loose, you can tighten the bolt (if it has the recessed head) with a winch handle.

Secondly, have you checked the wheel connections to the rudder (rods and/or cables and quadrant etc) – again you can check this while the boat is stationary on a berth – get someone to push against the rudder (with a deck brush or similar) while you try turning the wheel. Also, have a good look in the lazarette at the mechanism while stationary.

Thirdly, is there anything that could be causing turbulance near the rudder – anything trailing for instance or the propeller rotating (put the prop in reverse maybe).

Finally, if you like swimming (or know someone who does) you could try actually shaking the rudder to assure yourself that the bearings are OK.

If it’s any consolation, the usual problem with Bavaria rudders is stiffness, not looseness!

Good hunting