Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube bearing materials are ideal for the submerged and corrosive conditions of the marine industry. Suited to both dry and underwater applications, Vesconite’s internal lubricants allow for prolonged life where the setting is characterized by irregular greasing schedules, or no greasing at all. Unlike most bearing materials, our polymers have a long wear life and a high load-bearing capacity with no distortion or delamination, despite the wet and abrasive working environment. Vesconite is also easily removed and refitted, saving in costly downtime. Over the past 50 years, hundreds of industrial and leisure marine applications – from yachts to supertankers – have been equipped with Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube, testifying to the polymers’ success in this industry.

Benefits for
Marine Industry

Vesconite does not swell or distort in water.

Vesconite does not delaminate or distort under higher loads.

Vesconite does not corrode.

Vesconite does not require lubrication.

Vesconite is resistant to oils and fuels.

Vesconite bearings are easy to fit and remove.

Vesconite prolongs shaft life

Common Marine

Stern tube bearings

Rudder bearings

Marine winch bearings

On-board machinery bearings

Container ship hatch covers


Bronze has a high friction rating and requires lubrication. Vesconite is self-lubricating and has a low friction coefficient.

Elastomers lack dimensional stability and have a high thermal expansion. This is not the case with Vesconite.

Laminated and composite materials tend to absorb water and swell.

Rubber has high friction and causes stick-slip, resulting in vibration and high shaft wear.

Marine Old Case Studies
Vesconite used in pulley system of sailing blocks
South Africa - A company manufacturing hardware for sailing yachts, has used Vesconite as the material of choice for the pulley system of its newly developed sailing blocks. These blocks are part of the rigging system which operate the running rigging or ropes on yachts sails. These blocks need to be extremely robust and withstand high loads, without wearing to avoid loss in the sail’s performance. Vesconite’s dimensional stability in water, high wearing properties and resistance to uv rays, makes it an ideal material to use in the blocks, which not only carry high strain, but are also subject to all weather and corrosive salt water.
Vesconite used as corrosion isolator on aluminium boats
British Columbia, Canada - A designer of recreational aluminium boats has specified Vesconite as a corrosion isolator on their latest hydrofoil supported catamaran designs. 3mm sheets of Vesconite are used as a layer between the stainless steel hydrofoils and the aluminium hulls they are bolted to. Without the Vesconite layer, galvic corrosion would quickly occur between the dissimilar metals. Unlike nylon which would soften, absorb water and deform, Vesconite remains dimensionally stable, making it the ideal material for heavy torsional loading. The material also machines easily to the tight tolerances required for this particular application.
Vesconite used for corrosion-free drain plugs
USA - A manufacturer of marine wake boats for the leisure industry required an alternative drain plug for its boats. The company had used a brass plug with a brass base originally, but had found this unsuitable due to galvanic corrosion, causing the drain plug to seize and become difficult to remove. The solution was to manufacture t-handle drain plugs from Vesconite, which does not corrode and can withstand the effect of ultraviolet light, offering a lubrication and seizure free solution. The Vesconite drain plugs are now widely available in the US and globally to ensure boating safety and ease of use. With Vesconite’s ability to withstand submersion in water over long periods, the drain plugs do not leak or degrade and can be easily removed should the boat be trailered.
Vesconite used on luxury catamaran daggerboards
USA - A manufacturer of top-end luxury catamarans required a suitable material for the daggerboard trunks on its flagship model. Vesconite’s hard wearing properties and lack of swell when subjected to water, made it the perfect choice. The daggerboards, which operate under load when submerged, need to be raised and lowered in the trunk without seizing and cannot rattle, so tolerances are very tight. The ease of machining Vesconite and the internal lubrication means that the trunks are easy to manufacture and fit, and once in position require little maintenance or lubrication to operate smoothly.
Deep sea fishing reels upgraded with Vesconite

Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique - A charter company operating deep-sea fishing expeditions required a tough and durable alternative to the standard handles and shafts used on its fishing reels. Its charter boats are launched from the beach in Mozambique - the equipment is exposed to sun, sand and salt water. The result is inevitable corrosion and loosening of parts. The company has since had stainless steel handle shafts manufactured, which have been fitted with custom-designed Vesconite grips. The result has been an overall increase in reliability and both smoother and stronger reel performance.

Vesconite fitted to super-yacht slipway

New Zealand - Multi-million dollar expedition super-yacht builders McMullen & Wing required a low maintenance bearing material for its slipway trolleys that would not distort under wet and dirty conditions. The trolleys are exposed to oils, salt water and debris - an environment where traditional bearing materials suffered excessive wear and ongoing replacement. Prior to the launch of the company’s Diamond Series super-yachts, the slipway trolleys were refurbished with Vesconite Hilube bearings, with excellent results, thanks to Hilube’s impressive dimensional stability and high load-bearing strength.

Vesconite replaces bronze on prime-mover axles

Asia - One of the world’s leading companies in container handling uses Ottawa prime-movers to transport containers within wharves. These consist of a truck and trailer spanning 30m and transporting up to four twenty-foot (equivalent) container units at one time. The loads and forces on the axles are therefore considerable. The original bronze bushings used in this application were found to be inferior and prone to rapid wear. Attracted to Vesconite’s hard-wearing, self-lubricating properties, the container handling company has never looked back, and for past 20 years has been a repeat-user of Vesconite prime-mover axle bushes.

Vesconite rudder bushing reduces wear on tug boats

Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina -  The waters of the Parana River tend to be wide and deep, with significant suspended debris and sand. Due to these abrasive conditions, rudder bearings on tug boats operating on the river are susceptible to rapid wear. The result is frequent dry docking for repairs. In response, Vesconite bushings have been successfully fitted to 20 tug boats working the Parana River. The combination of exceptionally low wear, self-lubrication and easy installation makes it an ideal material for this application.

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