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Old 28-06-2016, 10:46   #1
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What grease for rudder shaft

I have my boats skeg now removed and see that the stainless rudder shaft fit in the skeg into a socket or cup without any cutless bearing. So question is what kind of grease should I put in shaft socket? It is below the water line and can only be greased if the skeg is removed.
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Old 28-06-2016, 10:47   #2
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

Nothing IMHO.

Grease down there will collect grit and actually accelerate the wear.


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Old 28-06-2016, 11:06   #3
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

Still, I like the idea of something to lubricate.
What about wax? As in Bee's wax melted on prior to assembly?
Many years ago in my bicycling days, we used to wax our chains by soaking a cleaned chain in molten wax, it lubricated well and was very clean, of course wax is very waterproof
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Old 28-06-2016, 11:10   #4
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

You might like the idea of magic bycycle grease but heed the previous posters comment re grit. Wax is not waterproof when any load is applied. All it will do is trap water in a bycycle chain. Wax only coats the surface. Works well for bottles and corks.

Your rudder bearing is not subject to high speed rotational loading. Most greases will either wash away, change composition and collect or grow. None of which is going to help.

You do want to take opportunity to ensure the shaft and existing bearing are still in good condition. Rectify any wear. Water is a lubricant.

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Old 28-06-2016, 11:29   #5
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

Some rudder shafts are equipped with an injection point for grease. If you don't have one then you don't need it. May want to look a replacing the packing instead.

http://www.sailmagazine.com/diy/ask-...w-your-rudder/
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Old 29-06-2016, 12:59   #6
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

If it has been some time since last repacking of the rudder gland or you notice that the nut is tightened down pretty much all the way then it is time to remove the rudder packing gland nut or cap and remove the old packing. The packing has it's own lubricant depending on what type your choose. Flax, PTFE etc. Even many of the flax ones have a PTFE "grease" embedded.

Once the nut is fully tightened down and your back in the water without replacing - the re-packing job just became a harder job - to replace the packing because the rudder has to be supported to prevent it dropping out while the cap nut is off. Can be done without fully removing but not much fun and takes much longer and with much more effort in most case.

While on the hard is the time to do this job.
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Old 29-06-2016, 17:06   #7
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

doo you ride your tredly in the sea/salt water lube works ok
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Old 29-06-2016, 18:35   #8
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

Quote:
Originally Posted by knockabout View Post
doo you ride your tredly in the sea/salt water lube works ok

Is that a drunk type?


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Old 29-06-2016, 18:55   #9
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

I wondered about this too when I built my boat. I used bee's wax, it being the stiffest lubricant I had sitting around. My rudder is about 2' by 5' and very heavy, on a 2" shaft. I removed it and the foot under it after five years, and found that the bee's wax had worked quite well, still there and no scoring from grit, despite an embarrassing number of soft groundings over those years.
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Old 01-07-2016, 00:23   #10
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

I wonder how a mixture of bee's wax and powdered graphite would go in this application. One used to be able to buy powdered graphite at auto parts places.
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:35   #11
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

I used my old favourite, lanolin grease. Just reinstalled the rudder and it needed the grease to help it slide into place without rubbing anyhow. At any rate, I wouldn't expect the grease to last more than few years.
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Old 01-07-2016, 14:52   #12
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

If your rudder shaft was set on a lathe center and turned, you have the additional option of setting it on a ball bearing.
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Old 01-07-2016, 16:37   #13
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Re: What grease for rudder shaft

You're talking about a shaft with an effective rotation of about 2 RPM, while your prop shaft is running 1,000 RPM after reduction in the gear box. You don't need a fancy lubricant for that, you just want to keep two pieces of metal from grinding against each other. Wax or a stiff grease will do that job just fine. The rotation of the shaft is not going to heat it up, making viscosity a problem, and your steering cylinder is dealing with the force against the side of the rudder. The shaft rotation is the least of its problems, so you are not really trying to reduce friction. The major task is getting something between the shaft and the cup when the force against the side of the rudder bends the shaft, ever so slightly, and rubs it against the side of the cup. Not rocket science, more like oxcart science.
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