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Old 19-09-2012, 16:56   #1
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Rudders - Steering

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Old 25-09-2012, 13:34   #2
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Images of the rudder travel limit stops.
Autopilot actuator connection shown on stbd. side.
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Old 21-06-2013, 01:53   #3
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Hi everybody.

I am Eric, new owner of a Helia 44, hull n°16, in Brittany, France.

I have noticed a huge amount of backlash or lost motion on my helm.
About 1/4 turn (90°) before seeing the rudders began to move from a way to another !

I used to run the autopilot most of time and it works pretty well. And when I need to take the wheel, it's generaly to be more accurate, precise or faster than it.
But it's not really the case for now...

Am I the only one to have this problem ? (In this case it's maybe a correctible one's)
Or does every Helia has the same ?

Thanks and sorry for my English.

Eric
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Old 22-06-2013, 05:07   #4
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Eric,
Has your boat had the bigger steering gear installed? The original Teleflex units on early hull numbers weren't designed for the push pull of autopilots. FP has an upgraded unit. Also check for slack at the connection point of the tiller arms and the tie bar. Also check for slack or movement were the cable attaches to the arm and the plastic ball that holds the cable. This can be tightened up by putting some rubber around the ball. It's not sexy but it takes some slack out.
Jay
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Old 23-06-2013, 01:36   #5
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Hi, Jay.

I don't understand the question about the "bigger steering gear".
My Teleflex system seems to be a OEM system with the Xtrem push pull cable, and without - of course - the No Feed Back (NFB) capability.

I have measured the lost motion on the tiller at the end of the cable. It's about 7mm. That's supposed to be the sum of every backlash in ; the wheel, the gear, the cable itself and the ball to fix the end of the cable. And I can't see any abnormal movement with the others parts.

But if these 7mm seem to be in order with the technical documentation, that correspond to a 45° (50°max) turn, not 90°...

I can't explain the difference, and i need to know if this 90° are common on the HELIA or if it's just mine.

Eric.
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Old 23-06-2013, 17:08   #6
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Re: Rudders - Steering

It does sound like you have the better steering system. I changed the one on Hull 2 as it did not have the push pull feature. From what you are describing though it is possible that the gear in the steering is failing. I can't imagine a quarter turn unless the cable is slipping on the gear or something is loose.
Jay
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Old 28-10-2014, 10:01   #7
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Re: Rudders - Steering

FP is now using a hydraulic steering system on all new Helias, starting with, I believe, hull #73. This is a change from the linear drive previously used.
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Old 04-11-2014, 16:18   #8
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Hello Helia Owners....

In all of my Yachts in forty years, I have been able to feel the following seas start to wash my stern off course, like with stern quartering waves, and that feeling has been a big aid in steering against it.. I can feel it and steer against it and hold a closer course.. Feedback, back pressure, is an advantage

On my Helia, with the Teleflex, I can feel the wave pressure as say two meter wind waves push back washing me around a little downwind with a stern quartering sea for example. That feeling makes it so as I feel the wave hitting my rudders, I can reflexively counter steer as I feel the pressure, and hold a course better.

My question is can you feel that with the hydraulic system as well?? I would like the hydraulic system, as I too have a little play in the wheel, but fear I would lose that feel, back pressure on the rudders, to counter steer against.. True? or not>?

Kind regards, Helia in Australia
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Old 05-11-2014, 23:46   #9
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Helia 44,

I think the new hydraulic steering systems are tuneable to some extent to get back some sensitivity, but I have no experience on how well they deliver on that front. We had a Hydrive on a cat 20 years ago, and we couldn't feel anything.

I hope others will contribute to this as I am interested in this question as well. What is THE best steering system for a performance cruiser, and why?
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Old 06-11-2014, 16:05   #10
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Re: Rudders - Steering

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Originally Posted by BigBeakie View Post
Helia 44,
I think the new hydraulic steering systems are tuneable to some extent to get back some sensitivity, but I have no experience on how well they deliver on that front. We had a Hydrive on a cat 20 years ago, and we couldn't feel anything.

I hope others will contribute to this as I am interested in this question as well. What is THE best steering system for a performance cruiser, and why?
Hi Ya Big Beakie!!! Helia here... Look, there is a little problem with a question like this, as anyone that gives you a BEST, only has a limited viewpoint and experience.. This is what my 12th major Yacht? From a BOC Round the World (now call the Whitbread) Challenger "Nightwind" Lloyds of London 51' Racing Yawl, to C&C 41, Down East 45, Mason 48, they all have different steering systems and rudders.. In other words, one with a keel hung rudder, one with a free standing spade rudder, one with a spade rudder hung behind a skeg, they all are different. Some with proper Old School Quadrant on the rudder post, some chain a cable, some hydraulic, some Telleflex push me pull you style extending cable... There is no general best...

It has a lot to do with the Engineering of the boat, even in a Cat. Upwind Dagger boards? Mini keels? I mean the only "Best", would be to be able to feel the water as it rushes up behind you so you can counter steer the quartering seas before they push you off course... With that little feel, you can reflexively steer, automatically, as you get pushed around staying on course with anticipated correction by feel.. This is far less tiring that the wrong way, like many people do with reactionary struggle going from correction to correction... That is the only "Best" = "Feed back steering" according to the design of the boat..

Kind regards, Helia 44
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Old 06-11-2014, 17:08   #11
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Hiya LR

I guess, upon thinking about it, what I meant by best should have been specified a bit more clearly. It's true that people will offer opinions on what is best for different reasons and according to their criteria. But that's OK, all opinions welcome. Some have very good reasons for their opinions, others maybe just because it is what they happen to have, but so be it.

But I always assume there is someone on this forum that has really good experience and knowledge, and the critical thinking skills to offer excellent advice to beginners like me. You've had many boats, so been there done that, so us newbies treat you like a gold mine of info What's the alternative? Equipment salesmen?

Re steering on a cat, what matters to me on our new boat will be a combination of the following:
1. Reliability, reliability, reliability.
2. Simplicity & Serviceability - the ability to fix it ourselves (within reason) in far flung regions of the world.
3. Performance - some feel would be good, detecting lee or weather helm to sense boats balance, good response when hand steering in storms etc.

I get the sense that hydraulic is strong and reliable but has poor "feel", while cable is good feel but can fail at worst possible time under loads in rough weather, and must be able to be fixed in a hurry > easier said than done.

Any opinions on using pre-stretched spectra or similar, instead of stainless cable?
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Old 06-11-2014, 17:21   #12
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Re: Rudders - Steering

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Hiya LR
Any opinions on using pre-stretched spectra or similar, instead of stainless cable?
IMO wear too fast..... I mean maybe the synthetic cable replacement woven for Warn Winches on 4x4s.............. I would just carry a small roll of extra stainless 7/19 flexible cable and cable clamps...

Me? If the hydraulic new steering on the Helia at about Hull 77, does not have feed back to have touchy feeling counter steering quartering seas....., I personally like the hydraulic, spares would be some hose and oil.. They would leak for ages before failing IMO... I have the Teleflex push-me pull-you stuff. While I have asked for a price on a retro-fit kit from F.P. ( unlikely ) what I am most likely to do is get a Teleflex spare cable set.

It is light weight alloy bar steering from the SB rudder to the Port rudder. It would be a short cable to drive down to the bar from the SB helm through SB engine compartment.. Like what maybe 3 Meter cables...? Spares would be the go, easy peasy... Helia
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Old 06-11-2014, 17:28   #13
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Thanx
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Old 06-11-2014, 17:53   #14
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Most use the autopilot 99.9 % of the time. With two rudders, you do not get a lot of FEEL when you hand steer.

The only time you will FEEL the wheel pull is when you back up. You have to hold the wheel as the rudder is forward of the prop.
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Old 06-11-2014, 19:09   #15
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Re: Rudders - Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Most use the autopilot 99.9 % of the time. With two rudders, you do not get a lot of FEEL when you hand steer.
The only time you will FEEL the wheel pull is when you back up. You have to hold the wheel as the rudder is forward of the prop.

Sorry Cotemar, not on my Helia... I disagree on both points for sure..

Maybe this is true on your boat, or maybe on flat seas... On my Helia I get enough of feed back from the rudders in a quartering sea, even on a broad reach as wind waves over two meters wash through, to properly counter-steer and stay on course. I mean you get back pressure in the larger seas you need to counter-act, on most points of sail with the cable drive at least...

That is why I ask the question about the hydraulic, as if it did not give you that back pressure feed back, it would be a no go for me... For you Newbies, in haul out if the helm is not locked, you should be able to push on the rudder and the wheel will give and turn... Feed back to the Helmsman..

Further, in two meter wind waves beating to weather, my Garmin Autopilot loses the plot now and then upwind in say 6-7 foot wind waves.. No offence intended, but this statement could put someone off track... Sorry, but I disagree with both accounts... My Autopilot is only the 99% in flat seas... I may be able to adjust some of it out, but I hear of others in the fleet having the same issue..
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