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Thordon Bearings supplies water-lubricated rudder bearing to research vessel

April 15, 2024

The Ocean Endeavour, a 77.1-metre (253-foot) research ship operating in environmentally sensitive marine areas has been retrofitted with a water-lubricated rudder bearing from Thordon Bearings.

Managed by Gardline, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boskalis marine survey company, the Ocean Endeavour was retrofitted with Thordon's SXL rudder bearing while drydocked at UK Docks Marine Services Teesside docks in Middlesbrough. Bruntons Propellers, the authorized distributor for Thordon Bearings in the United Kingdom, facilitated the order.

On the 38-year-old Ocean Endeavour, the previous bronze rudder bearing needed replacement due to wear and tear, which is environmentally risky with a grease lubrication. The water-lubricated replacement eliminates that risk.

“A like-for-like bronze bush replacement would have taken 12 weeks for the part to be delivered and been very expensive,” adds Neil McDonald, Thordon Bearings’ regional manager for Northern Europe and Africa. “We were able to get the SXL material to the yard in a matter of days and for significantly less.”