Rudder Bearings

Rudder Bearings
Warren Elliott
Hull #: 44

Here’s another topic that’s received quite a bit of attention. It seems that a number of boats are sending out “clunking” sounds from the rudder shaft. This occurred on my boat near the end of the 2001 summer, when the boat was 5 years old; I traced the sound to the upper bearing, which is easily accessed through the emergency tiller deck plate [at the helm]. I could see the upper end of the rudder shaft moving back and forth, albeit a small amount, in synchronism with the sound and rolling motion of the boat.

Further investigation took place after our 380 was “on the hard” for the winter. By holding the bottom of the rudder and moving it side-to-side, I found both upper and lower bearings had some “slop”. Initial measurements indicated that there was about 1/16″ top and bottom. But

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