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Old 02-05-2019, 06:09   #1
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Bavaria 44, Rudder too tight.

Rudder problem on a Bavaria 44, 2002
Has somebody here experience with Rudder/bearing issues on a Bavaria 44?
The rudder on my Bavaria 44 is very tight. If this sounds familiar to you, would be nice to have a feedback.

Thanks
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:51   #2
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Re: Bavaria 44, Rudder too tight.

Friend dropped the rudder on his. Bearing was shot - aluminum. Replaced with a JEFA bearing.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:23   #3
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Re: Bavaria 44, Rudder too tight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salzstange View Post
Rudder problem on a Bavaria 44, 2002
Has somebody here experience with Rudder/bearing issues on a Bavaria 44?
The rudder on my Bavaria 44 is very tight. If this sounds familiar to you, would be nice to have a feedback.

Thanks
First, disconnect the steering cables to be SURE the problem is with the rudder and not the rest of the system. If the rudder is hard to turn with nothing connected to it, the diagnosis of a bad bearing is almost a sure thing.

It should be fixed sooner than later to avoid more serious damage. You certainly don't want it to seize tight while you are out sailing!
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:46   #4
Zai
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Re: Bavaria 44, Rudder too tight.

rudders can become tight after they have been on the hard for some time, if the bearing was not rinsed when the boat taken out of the water.
Usually it will loosen up after a while back in the water.

If it is very bad, you can destroy the roller bearings, some of the rollers can break up and jam with the others.


Been there and have the T/shirt!
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Old 03-05-2019, 16:37   #5
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Re: Bavaria 44, Rudder too tight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salzstange View Post
Rudder problem on a Bavaria 44, 2002
Has somebody here experience with Rudder/bearing issues on a Bavaria 44?
The rudder on my Bavaria 44 is very tight. If this sounds familiar to you, would be nice to have a feedback.

Thanks

I previously owned a Bav44-2002 and had this problem. The synthetic material used for the bottom bearing gradually absorbs water and expands while confined in its aluminium holder built into the hull. This causes it to tighten on to the rudder shaft. As others have said, it can be improved by time back in the water and I have used various detergents to help clean/lubricate the bearing for short term effect however it really needs to be replaced.


The Bav44 bearing is like a doughnut, it is not a needle bearing. Once the rudder is removed the bearing is turned 90deg in its holder so that it can drop out of the 'slot' for replacement - BUT - in my case not only was the rudder difficult to drop, being held tight by the bearing and needing 'persuasion' from above, the bearing needed to be cut out of the holder as it was locked in by partial corrosion of the holder. In fact, it is most likely that the aluminium holder was affected by anti-fouling paint used on the rudder and nearby hull area. I later used Trilux anti-foul for the top of the rudder and an area about 600x600mm around the rudder shaft to avoid further corrosion.


Bavaria dealers sell replacement 'doughnut' bearings. In my case I researched materials and had a new bearing made from Vescanite, a synthetic used in mining and other wet working areas, but I had already purchased Bavaria bearings for the machinist to model the alternatives from. 10 yrs on it was still working well but did stiffen up a bit if I didn't use the boat often (still left in the water). It usually freed up with a bit of dish-washing liquid poured down the shaft protector inside the hull.


The holder was still OK for further use once cleaned so I did not explore more radical solutions. A needle bearing by Jefa would be fantastic but I don't know if they make one to fit the existing holder or if you need to replace the holder too - a big and intrusive modification I would think.



I have since downsized to a Hanse with single wheel and Jefa needle bearing steering VERY smooth and free....ironically I find it TOO free for comfort when sailing alone and have to put a little bit of brake friction on it cos if I take my hand off the wheel for an instant it can quickly veer away whereas even when new the Bav dual cable control added sufficient friction to allow a brief 'hands off' period without having to engage the autopilot.



I know, some people are never happy! However, if there is a direct replacement by a needle bearing, it would be great solution for you.
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Old 03-05-2019, 16:37   #6
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Re: Bavaria 44, Rudder too tight.

My Dufour 35 has steadily increasing stiffness in the rudder.
I have already disconnected the drag link from the quadrant under the steering pedestal (Whitlock Cobra steering) and confirmed that the issue IS with the bottom bearing.
Current quote from the yard is $AUD 2 - 3000 plus for haul out and bearing repairs!

You might find this video instructive

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Old 03-05-2019, 21:40   #7
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Boat: Bavaria 44"
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Re: Bavaria 44, Rudder too tight.

Thanks for the advice.
I have disconnected the rudder quadrant. Rudder is still too tight. Bowden control cable working fine.
I'm going to order the bottom bearing as well as the top one.
I couldn't move the rudder with the emergency tiller.....
Keep u posted.
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