Vesconite Marine

Vesconite is ideal for many marine applications. First tested as a stern tube bearing in 1977, it is suited to both dry and immersed applications – in fact water is an excellent coolant and lubricant.

Vesconite is extensively used for rudder and stern tube bearings. Vesconite’s internal lubricants make it eminently suited to upper rudder bearing applications where there are long periods between greasing or no greasing at all, or where water lubrication cannot be ensured when operating with light ballasts.

The hundreds of vessels equipped with Vesconite during the last 39 years – ranging from pleasure boats to tankers – testify to the desirability of long life, low maintenance Vesconite in marine applications.

Common Marine Applications

Benefits to Marine Applications

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

Material Comparison

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

Vesconite Marine Case Studies
The Slim, a Gunboat catamaran, has had its second set of Vesconite daggerboards installed. The new bearings operate noiselessly and smoothly and the wear-resistant material has a low coefficient of friction for easy lowering and retraction of the daggerboards. In addition, Vesconite is able to withstand high loads, an important feature when all the load of a 22 ton cruiser, hurtling through the sea at 20 to 30 knots, is placed on the two daggerboard bearings.
A New Zealand ship repairer, who has traditionally only used rubber bearings, ordered Vesconite Hilube ready-to-fit bearings for two sailing yachts. Vesconite Hilube bearings are considerably cheaper than rubber bearings, exhibit no squeal at low speed, last longer, and are easy to fit and remove.
A Vesconite rudder bushing has been an important part of the step-by-step dismantling, parts procurement and reassembly of the rudder of a 30ft Jeanneau Arcadia sailing yacht known as the Ghaaata. When an annual maintenance inspection revealed significant rudder play caused by the internal structure, Jeanneau Arcadia sailing yacht owner Jorge Veiga embarked on a full rudder replacement, including everything from the pins, bolts and bushings, through to the actual rudder. For the rudder bushings he chose Vesconite Hilube.
A Dutch-born couple installed a Vesconite stern bearing in their 43ft aluminium sailing yacht, from the designer Koopmans in Lelystad, when they were docked in Singapore in 2008. They chose Vesconite because they found a machine shop in Singapore that could make the polymer bearings, which are suitable for the submerged and corrosive conditions of the marine industry and have internal lubricants that allow for prolonged life where the setting is characterised by irregular greasing schedules, or no greasing at all.
Launched in 2009, the 515′ x 88′ oil/chemical tanker Celsius Birdie has thousands of bluewater miles under her keel. When it was time to replace a stern tube bearing, Guangzhou Shipyard International and owner Celsius Shipping chose Vesconite. The advanced high-performance marine polymer has a deserved reputation for long service life and proven reliability.
When Roy McBride, founder of CKD Boats, needed to select bearings for the yacht he was  building, he chose the one bearing material he knew would last: Vesconite. The ultra-low friction, self-lubricating polymer is the ideal marine bushing for applications above and below the waterline. After 19 years, there’s no sign of wear.
A+ Rigging uses Vesconite exclusively on mast and deck sheaves, boom gooseneck fittings, hydraulic winches and furling gear. Vesconite is an advanced marine polymer and is suitable for components that routinely have massive working loads, yet need to run freely without lubrication such as halyard sheaves.
Sand and silt wreaked havoc on the bearings of the Aqua Cat Cruises fleet of liveaboard dive vessels. That is, until the company’s 105′ x 36′ flagship, the Aqua Cat, installed Vesconite, the high-performance, low-friction polymer that was engineered to shrug-off particulates. With Vesconite, bearing service is now beyond six years.
Vesconite Bearings, the maker of advanced, self-lubricating polymers, in March dispatched several marine orders to Namibia, the Southern African country that borders Zambia, Angola, Botswana and South Africa. The three marine orders that were from a ship-repair-supplier company based in Walvis Bay, Namibia’s largest commercial port, which receives about 3,000 vessel calls each year and handles about 5 million tons of cargo.
After years of replacing white metal stuffing box bearings on Calloo of Wivenhoe, Martin Wibmer chose an alternative. In 2007, he used Vesconite, the advanced, self-lubricating marine polymer. A recent survey found that the bearing was still sound with hardly any noticeable wear.
When the stern tube bearing on the 490′ x 75′ container ship M/V Marine Rickmers began to fail, South Africa-based Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH South Africa) replaced it with state-of-the-art, pollution-free Vesconite. The innovative self-lubricating polymer is far superior to oil-lubricated lignum vitae, white metal and composite bearings, especially with the implementation of ever more stringent environmental regulations.
Vesconite Bearings' marine bearings are currently certified by American Bureau of Shipping (ABS ), Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Japan) (NKK), Bureau Veritas (BV), Lloyds Register (LR), Det Norske Veritas / Germanisher Lloyd (DNV / GL), China Classification Society (CCS) and Registro Italiano Navale (RINA).
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