Thordon Bearings reports increasing demand for its COMPAC water-lubricated propeller shaft bearings as superyacht operators and managers opt for more environmentally friendly propulsion solutions.

Since the first installation of its system to the 2007 Italian-built 154m (5053ft) long Savarona, Thordon Bearings now has more than forty superyacht references for the award-winning COMPAC system, the most recent of which being the Blue Bird of 1938.

The 31.6m (104ft) motor yacht was retrofitted with a 105mm (4.1in) COMPAC bearing during an extensive refit at Astilleros De Mallorca, Spain.

“We have seen a substantial increase in the number of yacht builders and repairers specifying COMPAC, especially in Europe,” said Thordon Bearings’ VP Business Development, Craig Carter.

Despite the sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs, the superyacht industry is booming, with newbuild tonnage expected to increase fourfold as companies invest in vessels to operate under charter. This combined with a flurry of orders from traditional buyers has pushed the global order book for vessels of 100m (328ft) in length or more to 27, with shipbuilders at full capacity until 2025. All told more than 1200 vessels are on order, according to analysts.

Carter furthered: “It is apparent that owners and operators are now investing in technology and systems designed to reduce the environmental impact by replacing conventional oil lubricated bearings with the more environmentally friendly seawater lubricated alternative as part of their sustainability goals.”

Thordon’s COMPAC bearing system uses seawater as the lubrication medium in place of oil. Seawater is taken from the sea, pumped through a polymer COMPAC propeller shaft bearing and returned to the sea.

The technology is the bearing system of choice for cruise ship owners and over 50 of the world’s navies and coast guards. With minimal wear rates and zero pollution risk, many users have been operating with the same bearings for more than 20 years.

Since 2020, Thordon has installed COMPAC to some 15 superyachts with shaft diameters ranging from 105mm (4.1in) to 320mm (12.6in). Projects include Jester, Pacific, Mgambo, Dytan, Valeri, Annamia, and Aura.


The superyacht Blue Bird of 1938, was recently fitted with Thordon’s COMPAC seawater lubricated bearing system

About Thordon Bearings

Thordon Bearings designs and manufactures a complete range of journal bearing and seal systems for marine, clean power generation, pump and other industrial markets. The bearing systems are manufactured using Thordon proprietary non-metallic polymer materials that are lubricated with water eliminating oil or grease usage, meaning ZERO risk of oil pollution to our rivers, lakes and oceans and elimination of lubricant costs.  Thordon systems and bearings are available worldwide through over 70 agents and distributors.