The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

When Did Your Steering Last Feel The Love?

I’m just about finished rebuilding the steering gear, less the rudder since we did that last year, on our new to-us J/109.

When I pulled it apart half the bearings fell out and there was not a drop of grease or oil on any of it…except the brake pad, where we don’t want it!

I’m guessing Tillotson Pearson assembled it dry 18 years ago when they built the boat and it has not been looked at since.

A steering failure looking for a place to happen.

  1. So even if your boat is brand new, it’s worth checking that the steering gear was greased by the builder.
  2. And, in my view, the steering gear should be fully disassembled and checked over every five years or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first.
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