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      Dear fellow BO’s,

      I have a 2002 41 ft fully batten unit. With well over 15 000 nautical miles around the Med, the rudder became progressively stiffer to operate. Greasing did not help. Once on the hard I removed the rudder and rotated the lower spherical bearing out which is made of HDPE. I then had a Vesconite unit turned out by Vesconite in South Africa. The cost of the 2 units, including machining and shipping with four thrust washers was less than one Bavaria spherical unit. Vesconite bearing made a huge difference requires no greasing as it it self lubricating.

      Highly recommended and now my rudder is feather light that it can be moved with less than 5 kgs force on the rear trailing edge of the rudder. Whole job took me less than five hours work and a few helpers. Rudder weighs about 55 kgs. I also replaced the two HDPE washers or thrust units with vesconite. Using Devcon plastic steel I fixed some of the aluminium housing on the exterior where corrosion had occurred.

      When the rudder was out I re-greased the cables with a high quality water proof grease – not the white stuff!!

      Total cost was about 15% of a quotation offered. This was four years ago and three major storms later with no ill effects. Anyone wanting more info please PM me. I now have a spare bearing set which I shall never use – ever. anyone wanting it, PM me.


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