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Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:36pm

Post Subject: Rudder/Skeg

Hi Tony, could you please advise if there should be some type of bearing where the rudder sits in the retaining cup on top of the skeg, on a steel narrowboat.


Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:55am

Post Subject: Rudder/Skeg

Dear Ray, narrowboat building is very much a cottage industry so there is very little degree of standardisation when compared with cars etc. So anything is possible and without seeing the boat its hard to give you a definitive answer. If you mean something like a ball bearing I would say its extremely unlikely because of lubrication issues. There just might have been a plain metal (brass?) or plastic bearing in there but I doubt there was. By far the most common way is to use a simple mild steel cup which after a number of years wears to get a fair bit of play. If the play is causing problems with steering then when the boat is out for blacking it should not be too hard for the yard to cut the old cup off, file the rudder stock back to "about round", make anew cup with a smaller hole and the weld it on. If the rudder is squeaking when moved then lifting it and dropping a 1/2 or 1d (old copper penny) or a copper/brass washer into the cup often solves the squeak. Tony Brooks

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