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Old 31-10-2016, 11:52   #16
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

So, how much starboard rudder, while sailing, do you have to hold to maintain course?
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Old 31-10-2016, 12:42   #17
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

If the rudder stock is not turning, and the boat's hull is confirmed symmetrical, then the only two things that I can think of that would explain your experience are:

1. The rudder foil is moving when the stock is not, i.e. the foil is loose. You'd not be the first person with this has happened to, but I assume it's an aluminum rudder welded to the stock, so that would be unusual. Maybe it's bent.
2. You have something dragging on the port side.

In other words, if it's not the steering mechanism, and it's not the stock, and the boat is confirmed symmetrical, and it happens under both power and sail, then it has to be the rudder itself or something caught on the hull. The only other thing I can think of is if the boat lists a bit to starboard, those chines are likely going to steer you to port.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting your description of the issue...I have the same questions as others. Can you offset the wheel to starboard to a certain point and have the boat continue in a straight line, or do you have to constantly make steering corrections to maintain a straight course?

Has it always done this, or did it start doing it during your ownership?
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Old 31-10-2016, 12:49   #18
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

Is the bottom clean?
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Old 31-10-2016, 13:01   #19
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

Its the steering ram leaking fluid from one side to the other so constantly needs very small adjustment. Had Wagner steering on this boat and it did the same thing. Normally not to noticeable because at 25 knots in a busy seaway you were always altering course. However, on a long straight cross channel run in calm weather is was noticeable and annoying.

If you have rebuilt the pump and its okay then the fluid is going somwhere and since you are not reporting any losses it is crossing the piston in the ram and coming back to the pump. Have the steering ram rebuilt with new seals and take it from there.

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Old 31-10-2016, 13:31   #20
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

From what you are saying seems like the rudder and the keel are not in line.

Another option is that the rudder foil is warped.

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Old 31-10-2016, 16:11   #21
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

Is the hydraulic system bled properly?
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Old 31-10-2016, 20:05   #22
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
If the rudder stock is not turning, and the boat's hull is confirmed symmetrical, then the only two things that I can think of that would explain your experience are:

1. The rudder foil is moving when the stock is not, i.e. the foil is loose. You'd not be the first person with this has happened to, but I assume it's an aluminum rudder welded to the stock, so that would be unusual. Maybe it's bent.
2. You have something dragging on the port side.

In other words, if it's not the steering mechanism, and it's not the stock, and the boat is confirmed symmetrical, and it happens under both power and sail, then it has to be the rudder itself or something caught on the hull. The only other thing I can think of is if the boat lists a bit to starboard, those chines are likely going to steer you to port.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting your description of the issue...I have the same questions as others. Can you offset the wheel to starboard to a certain point and have the boat continue in a straight line, or do you have to constantly make steering corrections to maintain a straight course?

Has it always done this, or did it start doing it during your ownership?
Thanks for you help, its always done this (since jan this year when I took ownership) and yes constant correction to starboard is needed to keep her on a straight heading. Nothing caught on the hull and she was hauled and the bottom done in August. She is a David Folkes 39 built in 82, so has chines however my test runs have been in a quiet harbour (Eagle) on Puget Sound, with no wake/chop to speak of.
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Old 31-10-2016, 20:10   #23
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

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Is the hydraulic system bled properly?
Good point. I have bled it but I will do it again as I have just installed a WH autopilot that T-sections into the hoses running from the helm pump (that I just re-sealed and had bench-tested by Puget Sound Hydraulics. I'll be happy if it was that!!
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Old 31-10-2016, 20:20   #24
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

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Originally Posted by Friendlyfolkes View Post
Thanks for you help, its always done this (since jan this year when I took ownership) and yes constant correction to starboard is needed to keep her on a straight heading.
If you are constantly turning the wheel to starboard and it doesn't come up against a stop, then Pete7 has the most probable answer - hydraulic fluid leaking from one side to the other.
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Old 31-10-2016, 21:17   #25
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

To test bypass leakage on the piston seal do the following:
Turn the rudder hard over. Remove the hose from the end of the cylinder that just extended. While holding the wheel hard over, check if any oil is coming out of the open port of the cylinder. If it does, reseal the cylinder.
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Old 01-11-2016, 00:57   #26
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

If you need to hold some constant helm correction whilst under power I would expect the prop torque will be the problem, Just as a prop "walks" when going astern, it does the same thing when traveling forward but not as noticeable due to the speed to the hull through the water.
Get up to speed, select neutral, and see whether the effect is lessened.

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Old 01-11-2016, 01:01   #27
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

I'm still not sure what you mean by constant correction.

Is it that you turn the wheel a certain distance, hold that setting and the boat goes straight, or is it that you must continue to turn the wheel more and more and more in order to maintain astraight course?

Please specify, for it makes a big difference in the analysis of your problem.

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Old 01-11-2016, 04:43   #28
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I'm still not sure what you mean by constant correction.

Is it that you turn the wheel a certain distance, hold that setting and the boat goes straight, or is it that you must continue to turn the wheel more and more and more in order to maintain astraight course?

Please specify, for it makes a big difference in the analysis of your problem.

Jim
Neither am all. All of his answers have been ambiguous.

Friendly, please state clearly do you:

a. Have to hold the wheel in a fairly static position but off center.
or
b. Constantly have to keep turning the wheel further and further.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:58   #29
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
-----
Friendly, please state clearly do you:

a. Have to hold the wheel in a fairly static position but off center.
or
b. Constantly have to keep turning the wheel further and further.
And when we've decided that, one more question -
when the boat turns to port under sail, does it do so on either tack? Or only on one tack?
Presumably starboard lol.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:10   #30
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Re: Helm and steerage dilemmas!

Yes, more succinct info needed.
-A boat under power will pull to one side.
-A boat under sail will pull to either side depending on tack.
-A fabricated steel boat could very well be non symmetrical. Not even sure how you would figure this out, or how you would know.
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