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Old 15-04-2012, 08:02   #1
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sailing with the wheel lock on

So yesterday I confirmed that I sailed all last year with the rudder lock on.

I really discovered this because I felt the lock didn't work. This led me to finding directions etc on how to replace the pad on my Edson rack and pinion unit (looks like a big PIA). But this led me to question whether I really understood how the unit worked to start with.

So yesterday I turn the know counter-clockwise, which just means that the metal knob unscrews from a plastic piece pressed on the shaft, took a pair of pliers and turned the shaft. And it turned and the wheel now spins pretty easy.

So how could I have sailed all year with the lock dragging? Well last year when I went to move my boat for the first time I noted the wheel was kind of hard to turn. Turned out the previous owner was at the dock to get his new boat, so I asked him if this was normal. he tried it and said "that's normal it always like that". So I didn't think about it other than not liking it!

So the question is since he said it was normal, has the boat been sailed 11 years with the lock on?

Wonder if this is going to solve my issue with the autopilot beeping noise now that the lock is off?
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Old 15-04-2012, 08:11   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas
So yesterday I confirmed that I sailed all last year with the rudder lock on.

I really discovered this because I felt the lock didn't work. This led me to finding directions etc on how to replace the pad on my Edson rack and pinion unit (looks like a big PIA). But this led me to question whether I really understood how the unit worked to start with.

So yesterday I turn the know counter-clockwise, which just means that the metal knob unscrews from a plastic piece pressed on the shaft, took a pair of pliers and turned the shaft. And it turned and the wheel now spins pretty easy.

So how could I have sailed all year with the lock dragging? Well last year when I went to move my boat for the first time I noted the wheel was kind of hard to turn. Turned out the previous owner was at the dock to get his new boat, so I asked him if this was normal. he tried it and said "that's normal it always like that". So I didn't think about it other than not liking it!

So the question is since he said it was normal, has the boat been sailed 11 years with the lock on?

Wonder if this is going to solve my issue with the autopilot beeping noise now that the lock is off?
The Hunter I sailed Friday had a similar thing going on. The autopilot would make kind of a grinding noise at times, I determined it was slipping. A couple of times I also got auto alarm and at least one run away (360 turn to port) Turns out the clutch wasn't setting properly and I was only "half" engaging it. Learned to get the black handle all the way left for off and all the way right (over center) for on. No more slipping and completely quiet and smooth.

The folding wheel also had the lock knob on the aft side. With auto off and clutch disengaged the wheel turned with a pinky, and in fact the when docked the swells coming from the stern actually turned the wheel. Seemed right to me. Yours should also be really free.
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Old 17-04-2012, 04:23   #3
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Re: sailing with the wheel lock on

The surveyor for my boat noted the wheel and rudder was very hard to turn, it took two hands and a strong back, in the survey. I loosened the lock knob, after he left.
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Old 17-04-2012, 05:00   #4
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Re: sailing with the wheel lock on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me-and-Boo View Post
The surveyor for my boat noted the wheel and rudder was very hard to turn, it took two hands and a strong back, in the survey. I loosened the lock knob, after he left.


Ohhhh that happened to me the first time I was at the helm of a wheel boat!

We were in a crowd of boats and the owner gave me the wheel. Complicating factor -- my head was still in "tiller" mode and I kept turning the wheel in the wrong direction. I finally told the guy that the combination of "tiller brain" and how hard the wheel turned made me very nervous being around the other boats, and he took it back -- and realized he'd locked the wheel. Oy!

When I bought a wheel boat I adjusted pretty quickly but I'll never forget that first, very scary time.
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Old 17-04-2012, 05:16   #5
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Re: sailing with the wheel lock on

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Originally Posted by Me-and-Boo View Post
The surveyor for my boat noted the wheel and rudder was very hard to turn, it took two hands and a strong back, in the survey. I loosened the lock knob, after he left.
---after I paid him $--- (fill in the blanks)
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Old 17-04-2012, 05:30   #6
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Re: sailing with the wheel lock on

What’s even better than that is when you’re at anchor (Catalina 380) and take your wheel off to make it easier to walk through the cockpit to the back of the boat. Usually bungee the wheel to the rail for the time we are anchored in the harbor.
Oh, its time to leave.
Get the engine started
Raise the Anchor
Go to steer out of the harbor.

WHAT, WHERE IS THE STEERING WHEEL

Only happened once, but we both looked at each other and said @#${%^$&$
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Old 17-04-2012, 06:42   #7
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Re: sailing with the wheel lock on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
What’s even better than that is when you’re at anchor (Catalina 380) and take your wheel off to make it easier to walk through the cockpit to the back of the boat. Usually bungee the wheel to the rail for the time we are anchored in the harbor.
Oh, its time to leave.
Get the engine started
Raise the Anchor
Go to steer out of the harbor.

WHAT, WHERE IS THE STEERING WHEEL

Only happened once, but we both looked at each other and said @#${%^$&$
At least you didn't leave the wheel at the dock.
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Old 17-04-2012, 08:52   #8
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Re: sailing with the wheel lock on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
What’s even better than that is when you’re at anchor (Catalina 380) and take your wheel off to make it easier to walk through the cockpit to the back of the boat. Usually bungee the wheel to the rail for the time we are anchored in the harbor.
Oh, its time to leave.
Get the engine started
Raise the Anchor
Go to steer out of the harbor.

WHAT, WHERE IS THE STEERING WHEEL

Only happened once, but we both looked at each other and said @#${%^$&$
That's when you realize that all those BoatBucks you spent for the autopilot were worth it!
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:03   #9
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Re: sailing with the wheel lock on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
What’s even better than that is when you’re at anchor (Catalina 380) and take your wheel off to make it easier to walk through the cockpit to the back of the boat. Usually bungee the wheel to the rail for the time we are anchored in the harbor.
Oh, its time to leave.
Get the engine started
Raise the Anchor
Go to steer out of the harbor.

WHAT, WHERE IS THE STEERING WHEEL

Only happened once, but we both looked at each other and said @#${%^$&$
Years back, we were on the beach doing an oyster BBQ when someone called out that a boat was dragging. We all had our dinks up on the sand, and I helped a buddy push his into the water and then jumped aboard. We sped out to the dragging boat and I hopped up into the cockpit only to discover the wheel to be missing. As was the ignition key.

My rule, ever since then, is that we only remove the wheel for "Party Mode" at the dock, never on the hook. (And we always leave the key in the ignition for the same reason. If someone needs to rescue our boat while we're on the beach, we want to make it as easy for them as possible.)
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