Pics of the upper rudder bearing and housing.
The bearing is a Jefa self-aligning roller bearing, as spec'd by our engineer. The original plan provided to us had the bearing directly glassed to the hull above the port for the rudder stock. But, we modified that slightly...
Anticipating that there may be a need to replace the bearing in the future, we opted to instead build a bearing housing and have THAT glassed into the hull. The housing is a piece of G10/FR10 tubing (very dense/strong epoxy/glass tubing) with the inside turned to recieve the roller bearing. A matching "cap" made of the same stuff, with the outside turned, fits in the top to hold the bearing in place. The assembly is of the order...
- glass lower assembly to hull
- insert bearing
- insert cap
- glass cap to lower assembly
Should the bearing ever need replacement. Simply cut along the outer seam where the cap and lower assembly meet. Pull out the inner piece of the cap that was just cut. Remove the roller bearing.
Replacing the bearing will require a new cap as removing the original will require destroying it.