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Old 20-05-2008, 12:22   #1
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Location: Boat Lying Kingston/Lake Ontario
Boat: C&C 44
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Rudder Bearing Replacement - C&C 44

I just brought my boat from it's previous owners port of Sarnia, Ontario at the south end of Lake Huron to Kingston, Ontario at the east end of Lake Ontario.

The boat is a 1986 C&C 44.

The boat surveyed fine and when on the hard over the winter there was no play in the rudder at all.
Over the course of our 5 day journey we started to get rudder movement at high engine rpms and then significant rudder movement while sailing.

The rudder shaft enters the hull and is contained in a tube that is approx 18 inch high. This tube is secured to the hull with substantial reinforcment.
In the tube there is a grease fitting. I assume there is a bearing below and a bearing above the grease fitting.
The rudder post exits the tube above this section for about 18 inches at which point the quadrant is attached and then the rudder post enters a receptacle below the helm seat.

While watching the rudder post work while under sail, the receptacle under the helm seat was bending significantly and the rudder shaft was grinding and squeaking.

Can anyone help with what bearings were used by C&C on their larger boats in the mid 1980's. I have numerous questions.

How many bearings are there? What are they made from?
Where can they be obtained from? What is the procedure to replace the bearings?
I assume it means hauling the boat despite the fact that the top of the rudder is above the water line.

Is it reasonable for bearings to degrade over a 400 mile/5 day period?
They seem to have gone from no play at all to totally worn out very rapidly.

After seeing the rudder post work in far from difficult conditions I feel the need to address the problem immediately.

Any information on this topic would help considerably.
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Old 20-05-2008, 13:18   #2
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It sounds like the rudder slipped down and out of the top bearing. My guess would be the bearings are now ruined. The bearings are proabably from Harken and can be a bear to take apart (speaking from experience). Sounds like you will need to haul the boat and yank the rudder out. Replacements should be available though. Sorry.
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Old 20-05-2008, 14:21   #3
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Boat: 1981 C&C 34
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Go see Wally Bryant's site (Wally Bryant - k/c Stella Blue, s/v Stella Blue). He's rebuilding a C&C Landfall 38 and has an unbelievable amount of info. One of the articles details how he almost popped the upper bearing out of the tube when he added grease. He's also rebuilt most of the boat and has great pictures of everything.

Another good place is C&C Yachts - C&C Photo Album & Resource Center. The mailing list is free to join and surely contains everything you might need.
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Old 20-05-2008, 14:26   #4
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Bruckmann Yachts is run by Mark Bruckmann who is the son of the man who used own C&C before they closed down. He's got a nice place in Missisauaga, Ont. where he does lots of work on boats both new and old. Since his dad built your boat and because he has vast experience with C&C, I would suggest giving him a call. The number that I have is; (905) 855-1117. If he does'nt know what you need he definitly will be able to point you in the right direction.

I hope that this helps and that you get your problem resovled.
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Old 20-05-2008, 16:32   #5
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Joli,

It looks like the rudder shaft is still in the upper bearing under the helm seat. I don't think it slipped down. In fact the rollers that could ride on the large washer are up about 1/2 inch above the washer.

Do you know that C&Cs of this vintage/size use Harken bearings?

I know the Jboats have had problems with the Harken bearings but I was unsure what bearings C&C used in the 1986 timeframe on their larger boats.
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Old 21-05-2008, 07:45   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Boocock View Post
but I was unsure what bearings C&C used in the 1986 timeframe on their larger boats.
Did you get a hold of Mark? I am sure that he would know.
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Old 21-05-2008, 10:19   #7
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Hello Jonathan,

That is very strange that you are getting that kind of movement if it is still in both bearings. We have the same setup on our C&C, the rollers ride on the lower bearing surface (large washer on top of the lower bearing) with the bottom bearing having a grease fitting, top nut, and stuffing. If you are set up this way then the bearings are brobably not Harken.

I don't think Bruckman will be any help unless you have a Bruckman built boat (ie stick built) all the C&C's that were built by Bruckman were either custom or initial production trial horses.

I think you will need to drop the rudder and find out what the bearings are made from. You may be able to retrofit a new bearing system then.

That sucks as a way to start the season with a new boat. Please post your findings.

Good luck,

Joli



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Boocock View Post
Joli,

It looks like the rudder shaft is still in the upper bearing under the helm seat. I don't think it slipped down. In fact the rollers that could ride on the large washer are up about 1/2 inch above the washer.

Do you know that C&Cs of this vintage/size use Harken bearings?

I know the Jboats have had problems with the Harken bearings but I was unsure what bearings C&C used in the 1986 timeframe on their larger boats.
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Old 21-05-2008, 11:08   #8
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Joli,

Could you describe your bearings in more detail. It sounds like it may be the same as mine. What model of C&C do you have?

I was told yesterday by Rob MacLachlan at South Shore Yachts that my boat has a delrin lower bearing. The rubber rollers ride on a bearing washer. You mentioned a grease fitting (which I have), top nut and stuffing.
Are the top nut and stuffing under the bearing washer? What does the top nu do and how is it tightened.

In addition there is a delrin top bearing under the helm seat which can be tightened down in some way. I am not sure how. It sounds like it may be done from below.
How is your system tightened down?

The interesting thing is that earlier in the year (when it was smooth) the rubber rollers were riding on the bearing washer. After the problem manifested itself the rollers ride at least 1/2" above the bearing washer. Is it possible the rudder floats and with nothing to force the rudder post down that it is riding up.

It makes more sense to me that something vibrated loose over the 5 day trip creating slop in the system rather than the bearings went from good to bad over this period which was mostly motoring with little force applied to the rudder post.

Thnaks for your help!
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Old 21-05-2008, 11:56   #9
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On our C&C61 the top and bottom bearings are both machines bronze castings with (I believe) teflon packing that can be compressed with the nut assembly. The packing can be greased through the grease fittings to lubricate the system and stop any minor leaks that develop in the lower bearing. Our rollers (SS) ride on the bottom bearing surface. I'll be at the club this evening ans will get some photos for you.

Can you back off the nuts and reset the rudder back to it's correct position and then retension the nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Boocock View Post
Joli,

Could you describe your bearings in more detail. It sounds like it may be the same as mine. What model of C&C do you have?

I was told yesterday by Rob MacLachlan at South Shore Yachts that my boat has a delrin lower bearing. The rubber rollers ride on a bearing washer. You mentioned a grease fitting (which I have), top nut and stuffing.
Are the top nut and stuffing under the bearing washer? What does the top nu do and how is it tightened.

In addition there is a delrin top bearing under the helm seat which can be tightened down in some way. I am not sure how. It sounds like it may be done from below.
How is your system tightened down?

The interesting thing is that earlier in the year (when it was smooth) the rubber rollers were riding on the bearing washer. After the problem manifested itself the rollers ride at least 1/2" above the bearing washer. Is it possible the rudder floats and with nothing to force the rudder post down that it is riding up.

It makes more sense to me that something vibrated loose over the 5 day trip creating slop in the system rather than the bearings went from good to bad over this period which was mostly motoring with little force applied to the rudder post.

Thnaks for your help!
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Old 21-05-2008, 20:36   #10
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Hello Jonathan,

Here are our upper and lower bearings. Our bearings are, I assume, simply grease, packings, and bronze sintered bushings on the lower bearing and a sintered bronze bushing on top. They look like a pretty simple and robust bearing to me.

I do not understand how your rudder could have ridden up? I am also curious how the top bearing could be moving? Has the top bearing broken free? Is your quadrant still in the correct orientation? Are the cables leading cleanly or has the whole assembly ridden up?

Pics?

Lower



Upper

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Old 22-05-2008, 06:14   #11
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Thanks for the photos.
Your arrangement on the 61 is certainly more substantial than mine, particularly the mounting of the top bearing.
I am unfortunately 2 1/2 hours away from the boat and will go down on Fri to see what I can find out.

What kind of grease do you use on the grease fitting?

Thanks to you I have some things to try to determine what has happened.

Thanks for your assistance on this, it is much appreciated.
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Old 22-05-2008, 07:12   #12
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Our stuff is pretty substantial, the rudder shaft is ~ 6 inch solid SS shaft. The concepts should be the same though from boat to boat. If the top bearing has broken free that would explain the movement and the rudder moving upward. Did you hit a net when transporting the boat? I know the Canadian fisherman used to surface fish with a cable on floats (got hung up on those more then once). If you hit something like that the rudder may have torqued and damaged the upper bearing.

Anyway good luck, hope the damage is minor and you are soon on the water. PM if you have more questions.

Oh, we use the same grease we use for the Max Prop, it's waterproof so it does not wash out. Lubriplate 130 AA
PYI Inc. Max-Prop PSS Shaft Seal Seaview Radar Mounts R&D




Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Boocock View Post
Thanks for the photos.
Your arrangement on the 61 is certainly more substantial than mine, particularly the mounting of the top bearing.
I am unfortunately 2 1/2 hours away from the boat and will go down on Fri to see what I can find out.

What kind of grease do you use on the grease fitting?

Thanks to you I have some things to try to determine what has happened.

Thanks for your assistance on this, it is much appreciated.
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