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Old 01-09-2012, 06:18   #1
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Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

I am in the yard and have had the rudder dropped for repair. I am being told that I should also replace the original lower bearing, what appears to be a UHMW-PE sleeve, with a new JEFA roller bearing, which will entail cutting out the old rudder tube as the new bearing has a larger OD, and then glassing in the new bearing which comes in a FRP tube. I figure about 2 boat dollars by the time it's done. Anybody done this? Advantages worth the cost?
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:36   #2
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Re: Sleeve vs roller bearing on rudder

Converting from plain bearings to roller bearings
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:57   #3
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Re: Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

Thanks Gord, I saw the how on their site, just wondering if their touted backlash reduction is real (without changes to steering and upper bearing), and worth the expense.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:34   #4
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Re: Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

The roller bearing looks to be the ultimate fix for the bearing. Problem is cost. A sleeve bearing out of UHMW worked for quite awhile and will be a lot cheaper to repair/replace. How long did the original go before it became worn enough to need replacing and how often was the boat used?? A lightly used boat that wore the bearing in a less than 10 years points to design issue that needs upgrading.
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Old 01-09-2012, 13:22   #5
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Re: Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

That's the thing, I don't know that the lower bearing needs replacing, although I will likely at a minimum replace the sleeve as long as the rudder is dropped. Even though it was replaced in 2008, it's only a few hundred bucks. The question is should I spend the several thousand to replace it with the roller bearing?
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Old 01-09-2012, 13:59   #6
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Re: Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubadour52993 View Post
The question is should I spend the several thousand to replace it with the roller bearing?
NO. UHMW sleeves (tides marine) should work well and last almost 'forever', IF properly aligned. They are the ultimate in simplicity.

The Jefe roller bearings do NOT last 'forever', they actually have a poor* reputation (for life span) among the full time cruising fleet.

Why are they telling you to do this? What problem are they trying to solve?

*edit . . . perhaps 'poor' is over stating it, but they have a reputation for wearing and needing to be replaced which UHMW sleeves do not.
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Old 01-09-2012, 14:33   #7
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Re: Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

Thanks for the input, Evans. I did not get a "why" from them, and the only "why" I found on the JEFA website was steering backlash. I likely won't get any more info as to why until I can talk to them again on Tuesday, so I thought I'd get some feedback over the long weekend.

To me, it doesn't make sense to replace one bearing and not the other. Sure I'd like to have tighter steering and not feel a shimmy when maneuvering under power, but there's a lot of things I'd like and can't afford, and I'm not sure this will give me much for my money.
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Old 01-09-2012, 14:48   #8
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Its a pretty simple check...

When boat is out of water grab rudder near tip and see if it moves. First move for and aft and the athwartships.

As Evans stated UHMW sleeves should last VERY long periods of time. Even having a a couple extra on board to throw in during a haul out every 5 years should be enough for a decade or so. If they are wearing out there are other issues than the sleeves.
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Old 01-09-2012, 14:52   #9
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Also it is common on race boats with deep rudders to more seriously wear the lower sleeve. It gets substantionally more pressure than the top sleeve.
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Old 01-09-2012, 15:42   #10
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Re: Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

I find it perplexing that a professional would suggest an expensive procedure without even saying why.

Has our business culture become so self-absorbed that the needs of the business are routinely mistaken for the needs of the client?

"Shimmy while manoeuvring under power" seems a relatively small price to pay for a durable, simple and reliable rudder support.

If it's a problem when the sailboat is doing what sailboats are intended to do, then that seems it would be rather more compelling...
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Old 01-09-2012, 18:48   #11
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Re: Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

Unless you were very dissatisfied with the present set up, do not replace it. KISS is king on a boat.
Sounds to me that the installer is looking for business.
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Richard.
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Old 01-09-2012, 19:01   #12
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Re: Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

The plain sleeve bearings will load up and be hard to turn on a beam reach, whereas the roller bearings won't. The higher end race boats all have roller bearings. However, they are expensive and the sleeve bearings last a lot longer.
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Old 01-09-2012, 19:04   #13
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Re: Sleeve vs Roller Bearing on Rudder

GOto these guys - igus® - iglide® Plastic Bushings and get a replacement sleve bearing of any material that pleases you for small money. Unless you are racing and o.ooo1 knots is important, you will never know the difference. KEEP IT SIMPLE. What do you suppose happens when dirt, calcification etc happens to that expensive, complex bearing? This, to me, is like a doctor telling me he has a new experimental surgury he would like me to try, "RUN LIKE HECK". YOu don't need this. spend your boat bucks where it does more good.
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