Hints and Tips



Jeanneau SO37 Rudder Bearing Replacement

Ian QV provides the comprehensive step by step guide


I thought I would share the delightful experience replacing the rudder bearings on my S/0 37with you all!!

No specialist tools or knowledge is required for this job, providing all of your bolts come undone it is a very easy job to do.

I will start with what Ian from Clarke and Carter sent to me (cheers Ian if are are reading this... it was v helpful).

Item 12: Elastomer ring (black rubber as shown in photo below): £53.90 each (two in system)

Item 13: Delrin bearing: £76.50 each (two in system)

Item 14: O-ring: £1.70 each (one in system)

Items 16 & 17 are “adjusting rings”(spacers) which I have not supplied before to people changing their bearings.

Above is the old bearing. The black rubber Doughnut pushes in to the hull and the stainless rudder stock moves on the inside of the white bearing. You can clearly see how worn and "skanky" it is.

Here is the nice new bearing... you can see the black rubber o ring on the inside of the white bearing. This keeps the water out and dirt / salt from getting on to the bearing.

Above is a close up.

Ok now the fun starts... Here's a pic of it going back together. I actually epoxied the rubber doughnut in position. To be honest these doughnuts are not the parts that wear, its the white nylon bearings that cause the problems. Anyway... once the rubber doughnut was fitted and the epoxy had gone off, I then started to push home the white bearing

One thing which I did whilst the rudder was off was to polish the shaft!! it was pretty grubby and you don't really want to mess up the new bearing. So fingers crossed it was a couple of hours well spent. I also wiped a small amount of grease over the rubber seal. This was really just to protect it during installation. Once in the water that should lube it. Don't forget (unless you dig a hole to drop the rudder into) you will need the boat lifted so you can slide the old bearings off and the new bearings on. Removal of the old bearings (sorry no pics) - once the rudder was out, it will probably leave behind both bearings, top and bottom in the boat. I used a metal tube first from underneath to knock out the top bearing, then from inside I tapped out the bottom bearing. They come out after a couple of taps with a rubber hammer.

To remove the old bearings I used a long tube (a trolly jack handle) - once the rudder was out, I then slid the tube from below into the hull and hitting it with a hammer drove out the top bearing (a couple of taps and it was out). I then removed the emergency tiller blanking plate from the deck and slid the tube down on to the bottom bearing.... again a couple of hits and it was out!! Pic below is of the top bearing just about out.....

The view from inside without the bearing in place

I then epoxied the new bearing (aka rubber doughnut in place)

The next step was to push in the white nylon part of the bearing. These were too tight to push in by hand.... so more pressure was required. For the bottom bearing I cut the old bearing on half lengthwise, I then zip strapped this on to the rudder shaft. This was to protect the new bearing during this process -

With a bit of lube and a trolly jack.... she pressed home nicely!

pic of the bottom bearing all in place


The top bearing: sorry no pics - but again whilst I was laying inside the boat, my helper passed a tube through the emergency steering hole (on deck), place a clean piece of wood over the new bearing and tapped it in - luckily it was much easier than the bottom bearing.

Below you can see the retaining spacer covered in grease and the bolt which passes through it (to the right)

Once cleaned up it looked a little scuffed up

So after a little buffing...... it looked like this (being a smooth shiny surface "should" help it run better on the white nylon bearing)- after all, the whole weight of the rudder runs on this surface.

But as already mentioned........ this collar is variable for the amount of spacing it gives. Looks closely at the holes, there are 4 holes which are spaced 90 degrees from each other. Depending on which set of holes you use, will depend on how high or low your rudder is mounted i.e you don't want it rubbing on the hull as you turn the rudder. Also, turning the bearing the other way round i.e upside down this will give you a further two spacing options.

See the difference in height between the two holes

You can clearly see the two holes in the background at different heights (the ones which are out of focus!!.. sorry!)

Now the concluding episode of rudder bearing replacement. As before a trolley jack will be your best friend for this job!

First on is the retaining collar.

However, take note as to the spacing of this retaining collar, as shown before there are 4 holes in this collar, 2 drilled in the center and 2 which are off set (this an give you a high / low shim affect depending on which way up you have the collar. This pic shows the collar off set the wrong way around (by now the rudder has been fully jacked up).

This pic shows the collar flipped over so that the spacing matches the protruding hole in the shaft.

Next up is the woodruff key which goes in to the stock. this stops the quadrant from rotating... you will find it much easier if you disconnect the steering cables!

The back part of the quadrant is held on by 4 17mm nuts / bolts. you can only see two in this pic, the other 2 are on the other side in the same position.

This pic shows the quadrant in position, you can also see the woodruff key in position, as well as the 4 securing nuts for the quadrant. The steering cables are also now in position (but still have to be adjusted.

Jeanneau fit two 17mm nuts on to the steering cables, none of which are nylocs! I strongly suggest if you do any work in this area to fit nyloc over the top of the two nuts..... they will never shake loose then!

Here is the nice new bearing

All in all a pretty easy job! no specialist tools or know how is required.

Ian's original article (with additional comments) is on the Jeanneau Forum at: SO37 Rudder Bearing Replacement