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S&S Swan Maintenance - Should grease be applied to rudder bearings
03 August 2016 - 13:16
Join Date: 11 November 2010
Posts: 18

Should grease be applied to rudder bearings

Swan 48 (SnowWolf)

Should grease be applied to rudder bearings?

03 August 2016 - 14:18
Join Date: 28 July 2008
Posts: 79

In short, yes unless they are sealed bearings off course.

SKF website has some information on this.

Our lower bearing has grease nipples; unfortunately our upper bearing doesnt.  Not sure if this was factory fit or something a previous owner did.

Obvious, but use suitable waterproof grease.




Tidercae II

04 August 2016 - 07:39
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear SnowWolf

The skeg rudders on S&S Swans have 3 bearings. The bottom one is under water at the lower end of the skeg, the top one at cockpit floor level, and the middle one in the rudder stock casing just above the water surface. The big boats have 2 middle bearings, there is one each end of the long rudder stock casing.
The bearings see rather different moisture levels, only the top one is dry, and could benefit from an occasional greasing, but this is not strictly necessary.
The bearings are of the plain (journal) type, the sleeve material is POM (one trade name is Delrin). Do not use Nylon for replacement as this material swells in water.
SKF recommends age-resistant greases with a lithium thickener. Greases containing solid lubricants such as molybdenum disulphide are totally unsuitable.
The top bearing is accessible for greasing by opening the emergency tiller cover in the cockpit. At the same time it is checked that the cover can be easily opened.
Adrian's yacht has roller bearings for the rudder, and he is not entitled to write on this Forum as she is not an S&S design, sorry.
Kind regards

04 August 2016 - 13:56
Join Date: 28 July 2008
Posts: 79


I'm sorry to hear you dont feel I have anything to contribute to this forum. 

As there is considerable overlap in time (late 70s), fixtures and fittings, materials and design & build philosophies on "our" respect yachts I thought that there would be common gound; being all Swan owners at the end of the day.

I will off course respect your views as it is your forum/club; and will not post/participate again. (Please delete my account and any personnel information you may hold.)

If anybody see us out and about, you will always be welcome onboard my Swan for a glass of something.

I trust everybody has fair winds.


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