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      I did some damage to the rudder assembly on my 2001 Bav 40 Ocean yesterday; trying to unfoul the auto prop from a pesky bit of, which I later found the shredded remains, plastic bag. The theory of throttling forward and then reverse was sound but my execution was too aggressive in reverse – the wheel slid through my fingers as the rudder slammed against the stud stop limit. Thank you in advance for not pointing out the perils of manoeuvring too fast in reverse… Before my manoeuvre the wheel steering was fully functional without any binding throughout the full range of control.

      Interior and underwater inspections revealed no leaks, fwd top of rudder spade close to hull but not touching, lower bearing housing seems approximately 5mm askew on stud side and I can see glimpses of what appears to be brass housing with nothing showing on port side of the housing, and steering to port and stbd is stiff but fully functional, steering quadrant centre mark is displaced approximately 10-degrees and pedestal wheel centremark lashing is now displaced 90-degrees, which yields about 10-degrees rudder deflection on the rudder displacement instrument. There is now about a 20-degree arc of sloppiness at the wheel.

      It would appear either the lower bearing housing’s askewness is causing binding whilst manipulating the wheel or the rudder post is slightly bent. In either case, she’ll be going onto the hard after the holidays for repairs.

      In the meantime, I’ve searched this and other forums and tried googling for a rudder post schematic without any success. I’d imagine Bavaria used similar assemblies on the 38-foot plus models in 2001, so I’d be happy with any of those. I’ve tried the Bav Distributer in SYD but since it’s holidays… well – you know.

      Would anyone have the elusive rudder schematic they would upload for me or kindly point me to a link that might have one?

      Thanks and Cheers,



        Hi Ed

        The attached is a schematic from JP3 manufacturers of the bearing system used on my 2003 Ocean 40. [attachment=0:uzdeu5kf]JP3 Type 1 Bearings V3.pdf[/attachment:uzdeu5kf]

        If you need a replacment lower doughnut they can be obtained from Clipper in the UK or from the manufacturers JP3 direct in France. The cost should be around GBP100.

        If you are having the the rudder dropped then on replacment it will be worthwhile replacing the tube seal that fits at the top of the internal rudder tube. These important things prevent the boat from sinking if the rudder falls out! They are standard bearing seals made out of nitrile rubber with a stainless steel garter spring – handy tip is to fit 2 of these – one in action and higher up the stock ready for future in case the active seal fails.

        Although not specifically required I have success so far with an initial lubrication using Silicone grease. Roger Leaman suffered from stiff steering caused by a seized bearing as was recommended GRAISSE-3790 from Molydal.

        I have lots of photos from the time I dropped my rudder due to stiff steering – it’s not an uncommon problem and many owners of boats with JP3 bearing systems (including other makes) have suffered. JP3 know about the problem of bearings seizing but don’t seem to be forthcoming with a solution (they stopped responding to my emails)


        Martin Altham
        Bav 40 Ocean


          Thank you for taking time during the busy Holidays to upload this information. I’ll be phoning North South Yachting in SYD when they re-open from their Holiday break to determine whether they have the JP3 replacement bearings in stock. Having the schematic that you kindly uploaded has prepared me to at least prepare and perhaps tend to the removal aspects of the repair and, depending upon what I find when I drop the rudder, have information at hand to provide a repair facility if required.

          I’m also planning to put the rudder stock on the bench and use a dial indicator to determine whether the stock is still true or if the impact forces have created a bend in the stock, which I’m hoping is not the case but remains a possibility.

          I would imagine that others may also find the schematic a handy reference as it appears bearing stiffness is a factor with the Bavs.

          Thanks again,



            Hi Martin,

            Your information helped make the rectifications required on Nashira much easier. Thanks.

            Fortunately, the rudder post came out without difficulty. The lower bearing was seized within the housing. We scraped what white residue we could access away from the junction of the bearing hips and the housing and doused the housing assembly with repeated squirts of soapy water. In the end it took applying a long metal tube of the same diameter as the rudder post to ‘exercise’ the bearing to a point we could rotate it and remove it from the housing. Surprisingly, the both bottom and top bearings are in quite good nick.

            The theory is that oxidation existed within the housing before the rudder slamming into the stop event. The oxidation and force of the impact combined to seize the normally self-aligning bearing to fix in a misaligned position that caused the stiff steering.

            The lower bearing housing showed evidence of oxidation and pitting; however, after an application of a steel rotary brush to the interior surface, it now looks serviceable. We lubed the interior of the housing and rudder post liberally with silicone lubricant and re-installed.

            I can now move the wheel through it’s full range with finger pressure – it is even noticeably more free-turning than before my ‘accident.’ I have yet to recalibrate the autopilot, but that’s an easy procedure.

            After seeing the evidence of the oxidation / crystalisation inside the lower bearing housing and participating in the removal and re-installation of the rudder assembly, I shall drop the rudder from now on during the annual hardstand maintenance routine. The rudder is significantly heavier that I expected, but advice from this forum had me prepared with an old tire beneath the rudder was well as a couple of extra people to help secure it.

            To other Bav Owners experiencing stiff or stiffening steering, there is no need to live with it. Since the problem is a known and widespread anomaly and the fix is simple and straightforward, routine maintenance on the bearing may yield rewards and perhaps save a seized bearing drama during a trip.

            Thanks again, Martin

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