Head-sail Swivel Ball Bearing Replacement

Ian Shepherd

Dany was spot on when he suggested that the reason my ballooner would not lock into the swivel was because the locking tongue in the inner part of the swivel had worn away allowing the mouse trap to rotate to any old position. I believe the reason this happened was because the plastic ball bearings that the inner swivel rotates on had worn first, causing the locking tongue to move out of the fore-stay groove and hence break or wear off the tip.

I have obtained a new tongue (€15 + tax) and new ball bearings (24 cents each) from Amel. However, I need guidance on how to replace the balls. Annesofie said there was a file in the files section on how to do this in the files section, but I cannot find it. Can anyone who has it please forward it to crusader53 (AT) gmail.com. Thank you.

Can I replace the balls by dropping the furler and motor off the foil to  deck level without disconnecting the fore-stay?

Is the way into the ball race by removing the plastic insert? If so, how is the insert safely removed without breaking it?

Any tips would be most welcome.

Ian Shepherd SM2K Crusader (2003) Cyprus

Ian Park

I replaced mine 4 years ago. Misshapen and broken bearings galore!
I just attached a masthead halliard to the bow roller and cranked it fairly tight. I put tape on the forestay thread to mark exactly how far it was tightened, then undid it. Removed the motor and furler gearbox from the foil and dropped the drum off.
There is a plastic plug inside the drum. When you prize it off all the balls just drop out. Once the top and bottom set are out the two parts just separate. Beautifully simple.
You may need a new plug. The inside is curved to match the curve of the inner ball race. This plug needs a ridge on the outside that fits the foil groove to stop it rotating and blocking the movement of the bearings. The ridge had worn away on mine so I had a new one machined.
Not a difficult job.

Good luck

Ian. Ocean Hobo SN96