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Tiller/swans neck removal - unusual design


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Our tiller has an unusual fixing to the rudder - i believe the join is called a swans neck but apologies if I've got that wrong.


The tiller bearing is knackered and needs replacing. We asked at a boatyard last year and they couldn't figure out how to separate the rudder from the tiller to allow the bearing to be changed.. Their advice was to wait until the boat is out of the water next. That's due this year but the bearing is now really worn so could with replacing sooner ideally.


I've attached some pictures in case anyone has seen this design before.


This is the swans neck from the top (note absence of the usual bolt!):






This is the swans neck from underneath - you can't really tell but the rudder tube appears to be welded to the underside of the swans neck:




So you might think the rudder plate was bolted to the rudder tube (that's what the boatyard we asked last year suggested). That's definitely not the case as this photo from last time the boat was out of the water shows:





So any ideas on how this lot comes apart to allow the bearing to be changed??


We have had the bearing changed once before and I called the guy a couple of years later to ask how he did it. Unfortunately he couldn't remember the specifics, just that he didn't think it involved any cutting/welding but it was a bu**er to do!!


Thanks all

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I would have thought it's most likely to be a taper fit - it might be worth taking the paint off to see if the rudder post goes all the way through the base of the swan's neck and to see if there are any grub screws at the sides, locking it on.


It seems unlikely to have been welded on from underneath (unless that was done at a later date to stop slippage - in which case it should be possible to grind it off). If you can establish there's no locking nuts or welds then a puller/separator should be able to remove it.



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I wonder if the big round lump at the top has been welded to the rudder stock, poked through the bearing, down the tube that goes through the diesel tank (if it is under the counter) and welded to the blade,If so I would hacksaw the thing off as close as poss to the big round lump and carry on from there. If you cant get the square cast iron bearing housing off because the nuts / bolts are within the diesel tank it should be possible to turn the bearing sideways and pull it out then replace it without shifting the casting, however it may only come out from underneath in which case you have to think again. Good luck.

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Thanks for the replies.


I'm pretty confident there is no locking nut under filler on the top. When we had the bearing changed before we were left with some chips in the paint on the top of the swan neck, i guess from the boatyard whacking it back onto a taper. There was no attempt to repaint the (cosmetic) damage so I doubt any filler was used either. Equally I can't recall ever seeing a grub screw in the side of the swans neck - before or after the bearing was changed before.


Is it possible the swans neck is just a (good!) taper fit? i.e. it fits onto the tapered rudder stock but with no securing bolt to keep it there?




Bee - that's my worst case idea, that it's all welded together and would have to be cut up and rewelded. Given the boatyard who changed the bearing before don't call any cutting/welding I'm hoping that's not the case.

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Should have mentioned the shell is made by Taurus which I think built sailaways in Newark although probably not many!


I may be wrong but didn't Liverpool boats use a similar bolt-less swans neck design at some point?

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Our boat is a liverpool boat and we had the bearing changed this year, it was done in dry dock during blacking. The rudder was unbolted and the whole shaft lifted out from the top.

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