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Old 06-09-2016, 05:16   #1
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Steering cables crossed

We just took delivery of our new yacht today from the factory. When the rudder was put in place to get her from the harbour to the commissioning yard, the handlers discovered that the steering cables had been crossed during production making the yacht steer to port when turning starboard and vide versa. The yacht apparently went through quality control during production and in my opinion, something like this should not have happened. My broker has brushed it off as something that happens regularly with all makes of yachts and is nothing to be concerned about and is an easy fix. Perhaps it is but I don't see how something as fundamentally important as this gets installed incorrectly, so any feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:22   #2
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Re: Steering cables crossed

That error is so easy to make that part of the preflight check on every airplane is making sure that the control surfaces turn the right way. That still leaves the question of the manufacturer not including that on the final check list. Makes you wonder what else is backwards!
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:28   #3
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Re: Steering cables crossed

First, it is pretty common for new boats to have plenty of things to fix. I have read about a number of situations where brand new boats from well know manufacturers came with many and serious problems.

Whether or not backwards steering is a symptom of overall poor quality control would to some degree depend.

What kind of steering; wire, push/pull cable, hydraulic? Generally I think it would be really hard to get wire steering reversed but not difficult at all to cross a couple of hydraulic hoses.

At the end of the day, just remember that most workers in a boat building factory are not rocket scientists, are probably working for minimum wage and in many cases may be unskilled workers, possibly recent immigrants that don't even speak the language of the country they're working in.

All this is why all new boats require commissioning and a sea trial. Hopefully you plan a period of testing and evaluation before taking off on a cruise.

By the way, if you care to disclose, it would be interesting to know what brand of boat.
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:41   #4
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Re: Steering cables crossed

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Joe.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:02   #5
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Re: Steering cables crossed

The yacht is a Hanse 575. Now, please don't get me wrong, she is gorgeous and she'll be our permanent home.
Overall from what I can see, she is finished beautifully with a couple minor bits and pieces that need attention.
I don't know what type of steering she has (cable or hydraulic) but will find out tomorrow when I go back to the yard.
We will be doing sea trials, engine trials etc before official handover.
I'm just curious if anyone else has had this issue as I have been led to believe that this is a common problem with new yachts.
She's our first new yacht (and only!) and am trying to keep up to speed with what is normal or abnormal with initial delivery.
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Old 06-09-2016, 07:08   #6
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Re: Steering cables crossed

We had a boat delivered where the engine's throttle & forward/reverse cables were crossed up upon delivery. So that the boat would only develop about 1/2 power. And it took a little while of us crawling around in the lazarette to figure out what the problem was. Back in the pre-internet days, when it took a while to dig up the parts numbers & a schematic for the system.

Not that this makes what happened wth your boat right. But it does happen. And yes, it's a mistake that does leave you wondering what they were thinking. As even the newest guy on the crew would notice something like that, assuming that he'd been on a couple of your boat's sisterships.

You can perhaps use it as cause to have an in depth survey, or surveys done at the manufacturer's expense. To include a standard survey, a mechanical & engine survey, plus a rigging one. Possibly also the sails. In addition to leaving the door open wider should you discover things of significance about her in the next few months.
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Old 06-09-2016, 07:34   #7
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Re: Steering cables crossed

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
...

You can perhaps use it as cause to have an in depth survey, or surveys done at the manufacturer's expense. To include a standard survey, a mechanical & engine survey, plus a rigging one. Possibly also the sails. In addition to leaving the door open wider should you discover things of significance about her in the next few months.
I second the motion. We have had several friends that found issues with new, very costly, boats, often with poorly done rigging--unfair leads, undersized toggle pins, turnbuckles all but completely taken up yet too slack wiring. If I were to buy a new yacht today, I would most assuredly want a post commissioning survey by a 3rd party surveyor and a week or so of sea trials before delivering final payment (and not then until the bugs discovered during the sea trials were corrected).

FWIW...
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:26   #8
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Re: Steering cables crossed

I think defending this is hysterical. The boat would have gone through some sea trials a the factory, no? Not even a basic check that everything works? Pitiful, just pitiful.

A few years ago I replace my engines. It seemed that the new model was pull to shift rather than push. The change is easy to make on the shifter. But I CHECKED before I took the boat out. I ran the engines at the dock for 15 minutes in gear, shifting and throttling way up. Isn't this sort of thing basic craftsmanship?
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:38   #9
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Re: Steering cables crossed

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
I second the motion. We have had several friends that found issues with new, very costly, boats, often with poorly done rigging--unfair leads, undersized toggle pins, turnbuckles all but completely taken up yet too slack wiring. If I were to buy a new yacht today, I would most assuredly want a post commissioning survey by a 3rd party surveyor and a week or so of sea trials before delivering final payment (and not then until the bugs discovered during the sea trials were corrected).

FWIW...
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I think defending this is hysterical. The boat would have gone through some sea trials a the factory, no? Not even a basic check that everything works? Pitiful, just pitiful.

A few years ago I replace my engines. It seemed that the new model was pull to shift rather than push. The change is easy to make on the shifter. But I CHECKED before I took the boat out. I ran the engines at the dock for 15 minutes in gear, shifting and throttling way up. Isn't this sort of thing basic craftsmanship?
BRAVO ! And in case I wasn't clear, I mean that the cost of the survey(s), or most of it/them, now comes ouf of the cost of the builder/seller. Since due to their obvious incompetence/non-caring attitude, they can't be trusted to have done things correctly. Given that one of the most basic aspects of the vessel is incorrect.

And with the tool called the internet at your disposal, you have a bit more in terms of intimidation power over them. Meaning that your telling, & or selling of this tale, could "do wonders" for their business. Or vice versa. With the tale's ending having not yet been written. As how it ends is up to them.
About which, you might be best off to have a Moderator pull the boat's maker's name from anything you've written... for now. So that you have a pocket full of aces later, should you need them.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:40   #10
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Re: Steering cables crossed

Once saw a yard put props on a 42 sportfisherman left/right swapped. Slings lowered on lift, captain pulls levers for astern, and promptly split the stem open.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:43   #11
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Re: Steering cables crossed

Don't worry, they guy that worked on your yacht is a knowledgeable burger flipper... or was last week. He comes to work, a supervisor tells him to "install that rudder and steering system". He sees his supervisor just before he leaves for the day. That's the total extent of expertise and QA on your boat.
People believe what they see advertised or hear second hand. I once inspected a brand new, not even unwrapped, boat from a "quality " builder in so. California with the initials PS. The aft deck had a huge crack in it about a foot long or more. The crack was maybe 1/16"+ wide, not just a hairline crack. The hardener in the glass/gel had obviously been improperly mixed. The boat had been shipped to the dealer that way.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:07   #12
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Re: Steering cables crossed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Once saw a yard put props on a 42 sportfisherman left/right swapped. Slings lowered on lift, captain pulls levers for astern, and promptly split the stem open.
I'm having a hard time visualizing this.
Seems that if the props were installed properly he would have split the stem by putting the trans in forward?
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:03   #13
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Re: Steering cables crossed

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I'm having a hard time visualizing this.
Seems that if the props were installed properly he would have split the stem by putting the trans in forward?
Counter rotating props and engines (or at least the output at the shafts are counter rotating and usually direction is reversed in the transmission).

So one prop left handed the other right handed. Swap the props and forward gear is pushing water in the wrong direction so forward gear you go aft, reverse gear you go forward,
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:31   #14
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Re: Steering cables crossed

Having done this... Twice... It is really, really easy to mess up the stearing cables. On wire stearing you just get them crossed inside the binnacle where you can't see it, and it runs in reverse. It takes about 5 minutes to fix. With a hydrolic system attaching the hoses backwards can do it just as easily.

New boats are not like new cars where everything is expected to be perfect on delivery. They are more like houses, where you know when you build new there will be a punch list, you just aren't sure what's on the list until it's delivered. It's why you go thru sea trials and inspections of new boats, they are just too complicated to get everything right. And parts are made intentionally to be universal, so it can be a little difficult to get everything spot on the first time.

Fuel/water tank selector switches are another notoriously backwards item... Where the 'port' switch really operated the starboard tank.

Mislabeled breakers are really common.

Deck hardware that is reaved incorrectly.

It's just part of the process. Just like when a new house is finished I guarantee somewhere in the house there is a light switch that was installed up side down.
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Old 06-09-2016, 16:19   #15
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Re: Steering cables crossed

Thanks for the replies and advice. I do agree from all the research I have done on new yachts, that they inevitably come with snags. I am sure that by the tie she is commissioned, she'll be awesome. However, I agree that getting a 3rd party survey done everything has been completed at the yard would be invaluable.
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