Some pictures taken during rudder removal for bearing service this winter. Its not a hard job, but access is cramped and it consequently takes several hours.
You will need 18" of extra clearance - below level with the bottom of the keel - to get the rudder post out of the the tube. Usually that means digging a trench, or being in the travelift.
Under the emergency tiller access cover you will find the top bearing, collar and retaining pin. Under the deck you'll find the rudder arm (maybe two if you have an autopilot ram) and the waterproof gaiter between the top of the rudder tube and the rudder post itself (flexible rubber that prevents water entry up the rudder tube). You need to unclamp the rudder arms from the rudder post and release the gaiter from the rudder (you can leave it attached to the rudder tube). You do not need to disconnect or diassemble the steering mechanism from the rudder arm, nor any of the rudder-stop gantry.
Two people will be hands on - one headfirst down the stbd lazarette, the other waist-deep into the service bay below the gas bottle - and a third will be passing tools and turning the wheel to orient bolts and sockets for best access.
Once the people are in place, sockets and hex tools are all you need, just keep tabs of which bolts are which because they're all different and there are lots of them by the time you're done. You'll need sockets up to 22mm and hex drives up to 10mm, plus a selection of extensions. Write top/bottom on the rudder arms and collar when you remove them and mark the positions where the rudder arms clamp on to the post unless you want to take it apart and put it back together again more than once. 😉
Then pull the pin and catch! The rudder is heavy - probably about 60lbs. There is just one pin holding the rudder but often the rudder will not fall when it is removed. Some wiggling from the person "catching" and some banging on the top of the post will eventually do it.
Once the rudder is out, the bearings can be easily accessed - rotate then remove. Top bearing come out from the top, bottom bearing from the bottom. Roller bearings should NOT be oiled or greased. Just clean them up and replace then dry.
Finally have a beer. You earned it.
Lets talk Rig Tune...
D2s. The intermediate diagonals. "Hand tight" say all the tuning guides. Well, that strikes me as pretty vague and open to interpretation: My hand tight or yours? Have you seen my biceps? How well lubed are your threads? These factors will easily make several turns of difference to what "hand tight" means.
So what are the D2's doing? Keeping the top 2/3 of the rig in column, and either resisting/permitting backstay induced bend.
I care because I have the rig tip falling off to stb when sailing on port tack, and maybe the slightest hint of stb bend at the dock. I'm thinking slackening the port D2 off a bit (half or one turn maybe) will likely be a big part of the cure. Or should i be tightening the stbd D2? I figure the latter will do nothing since the leeward D2 goes slack anyway - which brings me back to the "how tight is hand tight" anyway. Should it be going slack?
Anyone got anything more scientific than "hand tight"?
Does anyone run their motor on the hard before launching? What's the best way to do this? I'd prefer not to detach any hoses to avoid creating problems.
What's the best way to test the engine pre-launch? Can you remove the lid and keep water flowing into the raw water filter?
Due to a small water leak at the base, I am replacing the galley faucet (made in France). Has anyone else changed it out and if so, what fittings did you use to connect to existing supply hoses? European threads vs North American thread standards. I purchased a Moen faucet as s replacement.