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Old 08-02-2017, 07:08   #16
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Re: Too many turns on my steering wheel with hydraulic system

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
As a kid I used to drive fork lifts, we always had a knob on the steering wheel so that you could rapidly spin it. I assume this is what Jim is calling a "neckers knob"
They really worked well, you could spin a steering wheel much faster with that knob.
I'd at least give it a try, but if what you have works fine for you, who cares about what others think?

Here is one made for boats, out of 316 SS, for $12.
https://www.amazon.com/Amarine-made-.../dp/B00ESTTZUK
It's called a suicide knob, from when they had them on cars and it led to all sorts of mayhem.

There are lots of nice ones available for boat, but most of them are intended for the smaller destroyer wheels on power boats, and go on the outside rim. I put one on my Parker CC years ago and loved it. On a larger wheel you'd want to put it on one of the spokes, probably half the radius or whatever is easily "spinnable" given the size and location of the wheel.

My boat is 3 turns lock to lock, which is great for sailing, giving a nice feel. It's a little bit of a pain when docking but manageable.

In general, the larger the wheel the less turns you want/need lock to lock. I've been on race boats with @ five foot wheels that are less than one turn lock to lock.

I think it really comes down to "how it feels to you" vs. someone coming on your boat and saying "it's too many turns". If you find yourself frantically spinning the wheel during certain maneuvers, wishing the it would get over already, then it's probably time to change it.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:12   #17
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Too many turns on my steering wheel with hydraulic system

Well just to add perspective:
When I first took on a 60' project yacht it had s 4' wheel with 12 turns HO-HO !! That was a pain cos I never knew where centre was.

I changed the sprocket ration and got it down to 8 or so but physical limitations prevented less.

Changed to hydraulic with a substantial ram and helm pump so is 4.7 turns. Seems good.

I don't think 6:1 would worry me.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:20   #18
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Re: Too many turns on my steering wheel with hydraulic system

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Your boat is not a sailboat.
After careful thought, I have to agree. It is not.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:39   #19
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Re: Too many turns on my steering wheel with hydraulic system

Thanks to everyone for your input and thoughts, I appreciate it. So this is what I have learnt.

My 1.7cu Seastar helm pump turns the wheel 6.5 times. If I upgrade to the 2.0 and keep the ram, I will get 5.1 turns and if I upgrade to the 2.4cu, I will get 4.25 turns. (At a cost of around $600).
A big consideration as to whether it is worth the expense is the fact that it makes no difference to the autopilot. The helm pumps have one-way valves so the autopilot does not pump fluid through the helm.

Being a catamaran, I have a relatively small wheel so turning the wheel is not really a problem, I just put my finger in the spoke and spin it. Also, such excessive maneuvering is only conducted in tighter spaces.

So in conclusion, as long as the autopilot is happy, I can live with having to spin the wheel. If a used 2.4cu comes my way then great but it's no longer anywhere near the top of the 'must have' list. Thanks again.
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