The rudder bearing assembly consists of three subassemblies:
• The top bearing assembly.
• The middle packing assembly (uses 1/2" packing)
• The lower bearing
• In addition, a metal bearing retainer is included. The retainer fits above the upper bearing and keeps the rudder from dropping out of the boat.
Used during the entire production of Florida built boats: Catalina 309, Catalina 310, Catalina 350, Catalina 355, Catalina 375, Catalina 380, Catalina 387, Catalina 400 and Catalina 445. Catalina 42's built in California after early 1999 used these same bearings. Some Catalina 42 owners have successfully retrofitted the lower bearing to earlier boats.
We have had numerous requests for individual replacement parts for this rudder bearing assembly. Unfortunately, these parts are all molded at the same time in a "single shot" mold. One mold cycle produces one of each part. There is no way to mold just one of the parts.
1) This non-metallic bearing system is designed to operate with no lubrication other than water. Specifically, no lubricants such as: Petroleum grease, WD-40, aerosol, paste, silicon gel, PTFE gel or lanolin paste. ONLY WATER.
2) The molds for these rudder bearings were changed at some point in the production run, but the date was not recorded. Some early boat owners report that the sections of the bearings that insert into the fiberglass rudder tube were a bit longer on their original bearings. Other than the slight differences in the lengths, the fit and function of the current bearing sets are the same as earlier versions.
3) You may find minor radial hairline cracks on the inside diameter of the cylinder. These are due to the molding and cooling process. The manufacturer of the part reports these hairline fractures are only cosmetic and there is no loss of structural integrity. They report this "feature" has been present since the original parts were molded decades ago. Over 2000 of these bearing sets have been installed during the construction of new boats.
Their normal mode of failure is wear to the inside diameter of the cylinder due to age and wear.