Join Date: May 2007
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West System Rudder Bearings
I'd like to hear from anyone who has used the West System technique for creating rudder bearings. I'd read about this 25 or so years ago and was intrigued by it.
I'm considering using it on my 2007 Catalina 309. My wheel became difficult to turn, so I had the boat hauled and placed on her cradle. I removed the rudder. IN MY OPINION, the original installation was poorly done, resulting in early failure of the system. Nuff' said?
At this point I can order a new bearing set for $450.00, and wait about a month for delivery. The new bearings, like the originals, will have to be ground (modified) to accommodate the mis-alignment between the rudder tube and the top attachment (at the deck) of the rudder shaft. Forgive me if I don't go into detail.
If the West System is viable, it would in theory, eliminate the problems with the mis-alignment, and make the repair considerably easier.
Would like some input from anyone having experience with the technique on a boat of 30 feet or more.