Our rudder bearings need to be replaced – during ÅF Offshore Race last summer we had 30knots of downwind and relatively large waves for the Baltic Sea, and I was sure the rudder was going to lock up several times when we maxed out at over 15kn boat speed. I’ve also heard it “creaking” when moored and waves making it turn so it’s due time to have the bearings replaced.
So, what do you do when you don’t have your boat on a marina? You start digging. Then you dig some more… until you think you’ve dug enough 🙂 This a job you really don’t want to overdo…
Once you think the hole is deep enough you remove the two screws from the brass mount around the heartstock. Then you squeeze into the aft-cabin and try to unscrew the six remaining large screws.
Remove the top fittings from the heartstock/tiller and the rudder should come lose. We put an IKEA bag around the rudder with lines to the winches so that we could easily lower it into the pit we dug. Then, fingers crossed, you anxiously see if you got enough clearance to remove the rudder – we had about 2 cm 🙂
Now the rudder will get some TLC in the form of epoxy and grinding to a smooth finish. Stay tuned for the reassembly with the new rudder bearings!