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Old 12-01-2016, 17:03   #1
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Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

My steering jammed near full right travel the other day. Now this got my attention as there was a stiff breeze & asymmetric thrust wouldn't overcome rudder above about 1.5 knots.

Required disconnecting both cable ends to allow either emergency tiller use or the auto pilot.

Attached photo shows pulleys below helm station ( taken with cockpit fridge removed looking forward). Damage to starboard cable is easily visible. Port cable is jammed in its pulley - tried freeing this before disconnecting cable ends from rudder cross bar, but is wasn't possible whilst accessing it from port cabin. Notice that port pulley assembly has dropped down - it freely articulates to port & starboard. Starboard assembly is jammed upright . I believe this was the root cause. I would suggest that these pulley assembly pins be removed periodically & lubricated with Teflon grease. A quick spray from port cabin inspection panels isn't satisfactory, as it is a long reach to starboard pulley.

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So being relatively new to L400 ownership, are there other areas that I need to more closely service/inspect?

Brett

NB I have received plenty of direction on the cosmetic department & for new toilets from the commander!


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Old 10-04-2016, 02:50   #2
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Re: Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

you get my sympathies. I got my cable failed today.

And it happened on mooring !! As normal start both engines, just in case, and normally get out with 1 with single engagement of clutch.

Funny feeling when steering does not work. Rudders stuck to port. I was able to maneuvre just a bit with both engines in forward, but was shocked that reverse did not work at all as rudder nullified effort of propeller.

Managed to eventually find emergency tiller after we got out of mooring field, after several attempts to somehow exit the bay and not hit anyone. No damage to our or other boats.

Went back to mooring and inspection immediately pointed to port cable failure at the second wheel near motor. This is after 17k miles.

Needed 2 hours to replace with 6mm dyneema so sail was still on. Found boat quite practical for repair.

I will now check for root cause. The other cable also looked needs replacement as well so maybe just miles.

Anyone use dyneema as permanent replacement? I have dyneema spare but not keen to carry spare cables.

Regarding L400 issues... nothing really apart from sd 50 cone clutches. I have taken them out, to give mechanic to refresh them and now are 100%. Sub $400 fix. I try to engage as few times as possible to last as long as possible before next refresh.

Boat goes well, manage 6 kn in 10 beam reaching today on open ocean which I am quite happy with. According to lagoon polars should be 4.2 kn.

Have not heard yet anyone to underreport polars

GPS was consistent so wasnt dreaming. I did use new technology for sail setting though - couple of ropes to improve sail shape.
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:35   #3
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Re: Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

thanks feebs for extra info.

Just realised that when steering cable snaps, one can still use autopilot at least unit any sort of jam.

Too tricky to figure this out in heat of the moment

well, having 2 motors saved the day.

I will now inspect complete steering system as problems seem to be quite common on lagoons.

Will post if find anything.
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Old 11-04-2016, 15:41   #4
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Re: Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

Hi Arsenelupiga
Good to hear you did not damage your boat.
I am interested to hear how you get on with your repair on the steering, I think dyneema sounds like a good alternative. We changed a davit cable over to a simular product to dyneema on a work boat about 8 years ago it is still going strong, we did have to modify the sheaves for the diameter of the new cable, so it would not wear the dyneema.
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Old 25-04-2016, 02:41   #5
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Re: Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

I have used 6mm dyneema, same as original wire as wheel is designed for 6mm diameter. Created prototype to see if any chafe anywhere. If no chafe, cant see any issue.

For proper one will do brummel splice on both sides. Attachment on chain directly as no loss of strength, on the other side, see pic.

In this way one can change premade cable in 5 min. I was disappointed with wire as inspected around 1000 miles before. Could not find any root cause although inspected wheels in detail.

Will pre stretch with winches to around 500 kg.
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Old 25-04-2016, 10:23   #6
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Re: Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

While dyneema is a good option I would highly recommend using one of the heat set varieties. They are stronger, have far less stretch, and less creep than standard dyneema does. It's the same stuff used to replace standing rigging and much more sutable as a steering cable replacement.
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Old 25-04-2016, 19:35   #7
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Re: Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
I was disappointed with wire as inspected around 1000 miles before. Could not find any root cause although inspected wheels in detail.
Oh oh. I inspected cables and greased steering pulleys and brackets as per Feebs' advice. No signs of wear either, but after reading of your experience, I'm not 100% confident.

A dyneema steering cable system would be easier to replace and should show signs of deterioration before failing. I have used a similar product to the one pictured on trailer boat retrieval winches and found that it quickly went " hairy", a sign of chafe. We replaced this dyneema with a similar strength dyneema with a polyester braided cover and found it much more wear resistant. The covered dyneema may be a better choice for this application, although it is much more difficult to splice.

Thoughts?
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Old 26-04-2016, 03:04   #8
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Re: Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
Oh oh. I inspected cables and greased steering pulleys and brackets as per Feebs' advice. No signs of wear either, but after reading of your experience, I'm not 100% confident.

A dyneema steering cable system would be easier to replace and should show signs of deterioration before failing. I have used a similar product to the one pictured on trailer boat retrieval winches and found that it quickly went " hairy", a sign of chafe. We replaced this dyneema with a similar strength dyneema with a polyester braided cover and found it much more wear resistant. The covered dyneema may be a better choice for this application, although it is much more difficult to splice.

Thoughts?
Wheels look pretty smooth where wire travels, however I am observing now my dyneema prototype chafe regularly and will report back after a while.

Note that my wire failed at mooring - strange.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:01   #9
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Re: Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

Took out my starboard steering cable that had around 3 single wires looking out when in position and looked while on wheel. And created this movie of wire sitting on last wheel where I believe corrosion/salt cause special effects. Found out after decided to part that around 30% of wire was still ok.

I changed immediately with dyneema. This time did brummer splice and used winch to give it good stretch.

ENJOY !
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:54   #10
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Re: Lagoon 400 Steering Cable Failure

bit more of my research before i forget:

groove for dyneema should be 10-15% greater than diameter rope as per manufacturer paper. I believe size is ready for 6mm so i think here is tick. double braid may get too big, not sure. No big deal i guess.

Groove material itself can play important role - wait and see.

groove should be free of rust - it is except I have not cleaned groove after removing wire so rope pick up some brown colour. No chafe evident around wheels after first 100nm.

chafe is the main issue to resolve. when rope loose, say when pressing steering wheel hard on one side, other rope may touch sharp edge under wheel. I noticed small evidence of chafe and put some plastic anti chafe tape on the edge.

wheel now feels lighter although i think i have not taken out all stretch. Did not know exact lengths.

good enough for me, will do better next time. I hand steer very rarely.
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