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Old 20-06-2013, 09:38   #1
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Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

Just about to replace the rattly top rudder bearing on our Beneteau Oceanis 461 and probably going to fit a Jefa Self Aligning Roller Bearing as I dont like the design of the standard Beneteau fitting. THEN I though why not go the whole hog and fit a Jefa SARB at the bottom too. BUT when I spoke to a few people they said BAD IDEA for Caribben sailing. Now I know that if I sit in any Caribbean anchorage for a week or more (doubly so Simpson Lagoon in St Martin) then before I move I need to pull my paddle wheel transducer and clean it as it is well gummed up. Also the prop needs a monthly scrub. So the local expurts say I will have the same issues if I put roller bearings on the bottom of my rudder and I cant simply slip them out for a quick clean spit and polish. JEFA of course say nonsense and that as 90% of EU boats are fitted with their bearings and also their rudders now and they are unaware of any such issue or problem. They would say that though. I did not get anywhere goggling Jefa Rudder bearing problems/issues so I thought I would try posting here.

What i am looking for is factual feedback please NOT your opinion OR your version of the truth.

Thanks in anticipation.
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Old 20-06-2013, 10:07   #2
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

I am in the process of replacing an older lower Jefa bearing with a new one now. The roller bearings do not seem to gather any growth, as far as I can tell. I would only use the PETF composite bearings, not the aluminum race bearings.
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Old 20-06-2013, 10:12   #3
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I am in the process of replacing an older lower Jefa bearing with a new one now. The roller bearings do not seem to gather any growth, as far as I can tell. I would only use the PETF composite bearings, not the aluminum race bearings.

Thanks my thoughts too i am going for a composite solution not one in an alloy housing that just looks like 'trouble ahead'

Why are you replacing it? after how many years? how much sailing?

BUT where do you sail? is it a high fouling area?

thanks again
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Old 20-06-2013, 13:26   #4
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

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Originally Posted by Highland Fling View Post
Thanks my thoughts too i am going for a composite solution not one in an alloy housing that just looks like 'trouble ahead'

Why are you replacing it? after how many years? how much sailing?

BUT where do you sail? is it a high fouling area?

thanks again
I've had Jefa bearings on my last boat and this one. The aluminum race ones can be troublesome if certain things happen during install, etc. My current boat had an AL one, so I was hauling and decided to replace with a composite.
I've spent the last 3 years in Central Am, Pacific and Atlantic, and the Bahamas plus up the east coast.
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Old 20-06-2013, 15:35   #5
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

Like a lot of Beneteau 40.7 owners, I replaced the original JP3 sleeve bearings with Jefa roller bearings when the original sleeves swelled so badly you could barely drive the boat. 8 years and the Jefa bearings are perfectly fine. Granted our water is a lot colder, but even during big coral growth season here I've never had a problem, and the other local owners appear to be as happy.

FYI, Jefa is a wonderful company to work with in my experience. We had enormous problems with our steering system, and at one point when Beneteau was unwilling to help Jefa came to the rescue with the design files for the rudder stock sleeves and races.
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Old 20-06-2013, 19:10   #6
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

This fellow is installing a fairly complex Jefa steering system in his Westsail 42:

Building A Westsail 42, Hull #60: Steering Components Have Arrived

Search his blog for more commentary and rationale as to why he chose Jefa. I know a Scandinavian sailor who did the same. Both gentlemen strike me as careful, skilled and logical sailors well able to evaluate quality manufacturing.
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Old 21-06-2013, 09:35   #7
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
This fellow is installing a fairly complex Jefa steering system in his Westsail 42:

Building A Westsail 42, Hull #60: Steering Components Have Arrived

Search his blog for more commentary and rationale as to why he chose Jefa. I know a Scandinavian sailor who did the same. Both gentlemen strike me as careful, skilled and logical sailors well able to evaluate quality manufacturing.

I really like the Jefa PETP solution and i am an experienced enough engineer to appreciate the quality of the Jefa product.

I just KNOW how bad the fouling is down here and i am even thinking of replacing my paddle wheel speed transducer with an ultrasonic one as pulling the PWT to clean it can be a RPITA doubly so when i forget and we are off the mooring/anchor when i notice we have no speed/log input.

So i am very wary of putting another under water rotating component onto Highland Fling doubly so when it is to do with the steering and not easily maintained. Then there is the cost this is not a cheap and cheerful solution. The Beneteau solution is two plain SS Bearing surfaces glued onto a composite (GRP/FRP) rudder post. The Split Bottom bearing surface in the hull came loose and the top bearing surface/SS sleeve came loose on the rudder post. Also the top bearing is about 3 mm bigger than the diameter of the SS sleeve and the knock is taken out by the rubber? lip seal. To call it an inelegant solution is being nice. But then if the top bearing was a nice running fit the alignment would need to be spot on and IF the stock bent under load the bearings would sieze up. I suspect i will leave the bottom bearing alone and fit a PETP self aligning upper bearing and a new Jefa SS sleeve That should remove the knock and make things a bit nicer it wont give me a super light ultra sensitive feel to the helm though but that was not really why i started this work.
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Old 21-06-2013, 11:35   #8
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

You may find a Norwegian acquaintance's experiences of value:

Dropped the rudder for inspection
Upgrading the autopilot with a new linear drive

The guy knows what he's doing.
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Old 21-06-2013, 11:43   #9
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
You may find a Norwegian acquaintance's experiences of value:

Dropped the rudder for inspection
Upgrading the autopilot with a new linear drive

The guy knows what he's doing.

Thanks for these links

YES WELL it took a full day to get the quadrant off of Highland Fling Eventually we had to cut three of the four the bolts in half as only one came out 'easily' <sik>.

THEN once we had it out we had to send the quadrant away to have an engineering shop remove the seized solid remains of the SS bolts from the alloy quadrant.

FUN it WAS NOT

Amazingly I am about to upgrade the Autohelm with a linear drive BUT there is no room on the stock for another tiller arm and the quadrant is too small for to get a 14" centre that the Raymarine Type 2 Long Drive needs. So i will be modifying the quadrant (adding something an alloy plate probably or maybe even a composite construction) to take a drive pin at a 14" centre MORE FUN

BUT in that link to the Autohelm upgrade

I am very surprised that the actuator is not at right angles to the tiller arm.

Maybe the helm is hard over but if it is not (and it does not look like it is) for sure the neutral position should have the actuator and the tiller at right angles to each other.
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Old 22-06-2013, 08:51   #10
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

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Originally Posted by Highland Fling View Post
Thanks for these links

BUT in that link to the Autohelm upgrade

I am very surprised that the actuator is not at right angles to the tiller arm.

Maybe the helm is hard over but if it is not (and it does not look like it is) for sure the neutral position should have the actuator and the tiller at right angles to each other.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS all i can say is i got that wrong

My excuse is i was on a very very slow WiFi link and i only saw the first picture..there are three pictures one each of the rudder at each extremity and one on the straight ahead position
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Old 22-06-2013, 10:45   #11
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Re: Jefa Rudder Bearings Feedback Wanted

Well, I hope it helps, now that you can see the whole set!
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