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Old 23-09-2015, 14:52   #1
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Chain and wire Steerage

G'day Folks,
Whilst sailing from Adelaide to Sydney, we lost our steering! Storm, middle of the night - early morning 1am! emergency tiller for next 500 nm.
So Ive ripped out the old one being careful to first tape some string cord to each wire's end. The broken wire proved a problem, but I think I got there in the end.
So the yacht is a Duncanson 40'er, and it has chain and wire steering.
In order to get the correct rudder position to match the helm or wheel position the wire cables needed to be crossed as the quadrant faces aft.
I crossed them inside the pedestal as there are 2 separate holes for the wires to feed done so one come out to a seat and the other to a sprocket which takes the second chain, the first is above on the helm sprocket.
Now, going aft there is a small "floating death", just before the wire run up towards larger seathes and the quadrant. It could be possible to cross the wires here except that good tension would need to be maintained and the wires would possibly rub against each other as the Floating seath is only 50 mm in diameter.
Now I might be wrong and may need to re do the whole thing again but it seems to work fine and whenever I look at this small seath and think "Is this where the wires should cross?", I"m just not sure.
Any advice from someone that knows the yachtes, would be appreciated.
Duncanson Yachtes are buit in Australia, Adelaide, South Australia.
Cheers
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Old 23-09-2015, 15:13   #2
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

Not sure I understand, you crossed the wires twice once in the pedestal and once under? If that is correct and it works I would uncross both locations. But maybe I am just not understanding what you did. This may help as well. It is important to go thru the whole system to makes sure everything is working ok or you could just end up breaking the new cable.
https://youtu.be/rRsd6uhFWJM
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Old 23-09-2015, 15:53   #3
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

I just replaced mine. Smaller boat, but I'll bet it's pretty similar.

Crossed once in the pedestal, not at all underneath. The pulleys under the pedestal keep the cross from rubbing on each other. It was obvious from the pulleys that this was they way the boat was built.

Center the wheel by adjusting where the cables attach to the quadrant/radial drive wheel.

On mine the chain broke, and we pulled the pedestal to rebuild it so I needed to fish everything through. An electricians fish tape saved hours of frustration.

Unlike yours, ours broke about 400 meters from the shore. I may have wished for a bit more sea room to get the emerg. tiller on. Never thought I could move that fast

Confession time: Unfortunately, the first try I did not have the cross correct. Pulled out of the slip and of course the boat turned the wrong way. Figured it out. Was a good show at the time, had a good sized audience. It only added to the great show docking with the emergency tiller was the week before.
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Old 23-09-2015, 22:53   #4
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

This diagram illustrates what I'm dealing with. So do the wires cross in the pedestal or aft on the floating sheath? As far as I can see if I cross the wire at the floating sheath they don't touch, and where the wire exit the pedestal they don't touch, all though it's difficult to see but the holes that lead down below are off set at the base of the pedestal. See diagram.
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Old 23-09-2015, 23:24   #5
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

here is a diagram of what the lay out is.
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Old 23-09-2015, 23:29   #6
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

At present the wires are crossed at the bottom of the pedestal where the 2 holes are offset, but now I'm confused because before signing off on the job I did one last check and swapped the wires at the floating sheath and found that they don't touch. So it seems that perhaps i could let them cross in either location. Any advice?
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Old 23-09-2015, 23:34   #7
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

a picture tells a 1000 wordsClick image for larger version

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Old 23-09-2015, 23:44   #8
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

Based on your sketch, the autopilot direction would be reversed if you crossed them at the 'wrong' point. Do you know where they were crossed originally?

Looking at the pics, I think the cross would be in the pedestal. But you could just left/right the autopilot and figure it from there.

Of course I'm no expert.. I've done a grand total of one steering rebuild.
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Old 23-09-2015, 23:54   #9
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

No idea where they originally crossed. One of the wire cables brooke leaving the whole set up below in a mess.
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Old 23-09-2015, 23:56   #10
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

there are really only two places to cross them, like you say before the autopilot, i.e. in the pedestal or after the autopilot, just after that little floating sheath, just before they run up to the quadrant.
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Old 24-09-2015, 09:25   #11
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

FWIW, my 1973 Edson chain and cable system crosses only in front of the quadrant that is fixed to the rudder post.

With an Edson system like Skylark has, it is important to grease the roller bearings on the steering wheel axle. The stainless needle bearings turning in the aluminum pedestal housing love to clog up with aluminum oxide.
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Old 24-09-2015, 23:10   #12
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Re: Chain and wire Steerage

My point was you can fire up the autopilot, tell it to turn port 30 degrees, and look what motion the autopilot would have on the cable. That will tell you where the cross originally was. If not for the autopilot it wouldn't matter one bit, as long as the boat goes the right way when you turn the wheel.

But with the autopilot there, it does matter. So turn on the pilot, press -10 a few times, and find out which way it'd pull the cable.
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