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Old 24-09-2013, 06:24   #2461
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Mark,

I noticed the cables on your rudder. Is that your steering?

Your boat looks nice.

John B.
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Old 24-09-2013, 12:45   #2462
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by blewett_john View Post
Mark,

I noticed the cables on your rudder. Is that your steering?

Your boat looks nice.

John B.


Thanks John!

No... we have standard Searunner steering, with an internal quadrant. The tiller arm hole is sealed with a Volvo Tractor Trailer gear shift boot, which has worked GREAT!

The cables at the top are the rudder stops. On each end of each cable, I have Wichard skackles. These have pins that are half the size of the holes that they go through, which allows me to make little bushings for each pin, out of a slice 3/8" long, cut from surgical tubing, (on 5 year replacement cycles). There are little faucet washers above and below this little bushings, so that the shackle is now attached to its hardware with a rattle free, rubber cushioned, jam fit.

The rubber bushings & SS cable combination, give the ruder an "exact" limit in its range of motion, (so the quadrant doesn't blow out the transom, or pop the steering cable end), but it gives just a bit of cushion (1/8"), to the otherwise abrupt stop.

If you ever drag anchor, (and who hasn't), the wheel can & will spin violently to its stops as the boat goes backwards, (even with the wheel locked)! This rudder stop arrangement has prevented damage quite well.

Nylon rope would work too, but stretches TOO much for an installation like mine... Interior rudder stops would work as well, but I prefer to not load up the tiller arm with these shock loads. It's the last thing I want to screw up.

ALSO, with lines run from the rudder's aft edge pad eyes, through ama corner snatch blocks, and then up to winches or tackles in the cockpit, I have an emergency steering setup, should something in the steering system crap out on me.


Btw...
If you ever notice that your rudder rattles a bit when motoring, it may be because your gudgeons & pintles have a 1/2" bolt going into a 1/2" hole, like I did origionally.

I later found that a 1/2" SS bolt, was actually just under 1/2"! I wanted a more snug fit because rattles bother me, so I made a set of pins out of unthreaded SS rod, which IS 1/2" dia. The gudgeons have homemade teflon washers in the bearing surfaces of the cheeks, and the pins have a washer on the outside at the pin's ends.
Each of these large washers are held on in turn, with a huge cotter pin. The axle pin is now SO snug, that it's bottom bitter end was tapered first, for 3/4" down, (only on the part that hangs out). To install them, I have to grease the pins & washers with Tefgel, and drive them in with a small hammer. IT'S TIGHT!

With practice... The entire rudder install now takes me about an hour, with another hour to hook up the quadrant and steering. Steering is soo light, that when blocked up in the yard, (if the wheel is not locked), 25 knots of wind on the rudder will turn the wheel from centered to fully hard over. She now drives like a sports car.

I love Searunners!

Mark
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Old 24-09-2013, 22:14   #2463
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Mark,

Tell me more about the internal quadrant. I have teleflex cable type steering now but I want to switch to chain and wire steering. I have been wondering if a quadrant is needed and if it is how to do it.

Thanks
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Old 25-09-2013, 08:53   #2464
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

blewett_john, it looks like Mark made a wooden quadrant structure that is coupled to the tiller arm. I had a Morse steering single cable when I started, but about ten years ago the cable died and I couldn't get a replacement that would integrate with the steering pedestal. I chucked both of them and converted to an Edson chain-to-cable, via LARGE sheaves to the rudder steering arm (tiller) via small turnbuckles for tensioning. The cables are made of Amsteel Blue, a synthetic line that is stronger than stainless steel. I like the idea of the quadrant arm as it ensures a smoother pull on the steering cable.
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Old 25-09-2013, 10:43   #2465
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

John,
I prefer the chain to cable pull/pull cable system over the old Teleflex cable set up HANDS DOWN, and I have cruised with both types. The only advantage of the old way was that it lent itself to the rudder being disconnected from the wheel, with a quick disconnect that they called a "Wiggler". This was so that when using the SR windvane with its trim tab, it didn't have to turn the wheel too.

SELF STEERING:
I much prefer an auto pilot to a windvane! The old standard Searunner type windvane that we had on La Una 37 years ago, (the first SR 37 ever built), was entirely too finicky. It needed a lot of wind and a lot of attention. Some folks LOVED theirs, but most did not.
IF I was going for a windvane, I wold get a more modern type.

Our Autohelm/Ratheon ST 3000+ autopilot, on the other hand, has steered us for tens of thousands of trouble free miles, in any wind and sea conditions. (Almost!) With our big centerboard & skeg and because we sail upright with the friction in the system so incredibly low, the autopilot hardly works at all, just sipping those solar powered amps.
A 34' monohull might use 500% more power!

SO... The old high friction Teleflex cable is in my view, obsolete.

My rudder's tiller arm and quadrant are all of SS, except that the quarter circle inside the quadrant's SS cheeks, is as Roy pointed out, heavily glassed & epoxied plywood... (Exactly as per the plans).

I forget the cost, but... Getting all of these SS parts fabricated professionally, is WAY cheaper than you would think, IF you do the rounding of corners, easing of edges, and final polishing at home. This saves the high dollar guys most of their labor.

My pedestal was homemade of glassed & epoxied wood, and has advantages over the fancy/EXPENSIVE Edison version. The Edson pedestal must attach to the deck/sole, and this blocks the top of the CB trunk. It also has to be mounted further aft, OR it eats up some of the sub floor's precious storage area.
The homemade box version like mine, mounts to a VERTICAL bulkhead IN the sun floor, in exactly the right place (about 1.5 to 2" left of center), and it is quickly removable as well.

Some right handers might want to notch out the port cockpit seat about 6", so that the wheel can be 5" more to port. This would give a more unobstructed view forward, and make it WAY easier to go from cabin to cabin on the starboard side. It would also make it impossible to get by on the PORT side, and make having guest onboard to go out for a sail, more problematic. We like to sit a SportaSeat next to the wheel on the port side, and this makes steering with our right hand from there while slightly reclining, ergonomically perfect! For us, 1.5 to 2" to port of C was just right, but the pedestal can go where ever you prefer, (especially the homemade version). Btw... We get around the cockpit being crowded by the wheel issue, when at the dock or a VERY protected anchorage, by REMOVING THE WHEEL. We use a huge knurled axle nut on the steering wheel, for hand removal in a few seconds. IT WORKS GREAT!

The steering gear guts of the pedestal are in fact a standard Edson part. It is a console bulkhead mounted powerboat steering gear, that comes with the ESSENTIAL brake and all. Once installed, just hook up the cables. Our Edson unit is 1.5 turns from hard lock to hard lock, and just right. This thing is expensive, but NOTHING like buying it as part of the entire Edson pedestal.

All 6 of our 6" steering sheaves are for 3/16 flexible wire, or (Amsteel, as Roy has). The Edson version of these 6" sheaves are REALLY expensive, so I made my own. The sheaves mounting cheeks I made of 1/4" thick 1.5" angle aluminum, (6061-T6). The sheaves themselves are aircraft surplus phenoloc, and really low friction. They are SO cheep, that we bought 6 extras. The only sheaves I ever needed to change, in 18 years, were the two horizontal ones in the salty subfloor. It seems that the bearings can rust up in there, as can the SS cable.
Just for kicks... After that swap out, I took a sledge hammer and punch to the bearing races and sleeves on the old sheaves as a destruction test. After 30 minutes of pounding I gave up, but the aircraft sheave did not, rusty bearings and all!

Now that I know better, I start each season with a spritz of CRC on the salty part of the cable (first 6'), and these sheaves' bearings. That has permanently taken care of the problem.

John,
If you really want to convert your steering, I suggest you call John Marples for the design sheet on steering. (The cost for this is VERY low). If the steering sheet on the 37 is still drawn for Teleflex only, get the sheet for the 34, which is pull/pull only. The concept is the same, whether it's on a 37 or 34. Btw, John M was building airplanes at the time, and he turned me on to A CHEAP source for those 6", surplus aircraft sheaves. Otherwise I would never have known. (Pre-Internet days)...

Hope this helps and good luck,
Mark



P.S. Roy,
IF I ever wear out the current SS wire on my system, I have thought of converting to Amsteel synthetic, but my problem with it is this. The end connections on my quadrant must be the size of 3/16" Nicro Presses or not much larger, to fit in what I've made. I am too lazy to re-build it... How did you get around making end connections that didn't weaken the Amsteel from having too tight a radius?

Also, my 6" sheaves have a fairly tight "U" for the wire to ride in. If I was using this synthetic, it would flatten out more than wire, theoretically incurring more side chafe. Have you looked carefully at yours? Is there chafe there?
Just wondering?

It would sure solve the rust issues.
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Old 25-09-2013, 11:19   #2466
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

HOMEMADE STEERING SHEAVES:
They're not pretty, but ARE dirt cheap, low friction, strong, will last indefinitely, and are certified safe enough to use in airplanes!

M.
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Old 26-09-2013, 08:39   #2467
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Curious how much anchor chain you fellow Searunner owners have on your main anchor.And Roy what failed on your cable did it break or freeze up?
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Old 26-09-2013, 09:45   #2468
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

I have a Rocna 15 with 300 feet of 1/4 inch Hi-Test, with an additional 100 feet of 1/2 inch yellow polypropylene as the tail. Should I have to jettison my chain, this allows me to come back and recover it, following the yellow floating line. The poly also acts as a "nest" to contain the chain and reduce any damage to the hull sides. Most often this chain is mostly loaded in the bilge, forward of the companionway. It then leads to the locker in the forepeak, then up to the windlass. Anchoring in local waters is usually a matter of needing less than 100 feet of chain in the water. Placing the bulk of it aft helps to trim the boat. I wanted all-chain for when I head off south to the coral anchorages of the South Pacific.

I also have two other rodes available. One with 50 feet of chain and 300 feet of 1/2 inch nylon braid, stowed in the deck locker aft, starboard side, and the Danforth 12H, also with the yellow "tell-tale" for recovery.

The third is 100 feet of chain, 300 feet of braided nylon, and a future Rocna anchor, stored in the same anchor locker in the bilge aft of the Mainstrength bulkhead, but on the portside of the regular chain storage. It is for emergency use and would be deployed out the forward hatch when needed.

I can get away with all of this because of the greater payload capacity of the forty, and because I have emotional needs of security for paranoid delusions that nasty things can happen.

Regarding the steering cable failure, it was caused by fracturing of the cable sheath, then fracturing of the spiral wrap at the cable swivel joint. This was because of the design of the Morse cable system at this point, and because it had been heavily used for twenty-some years. I would have loved to replace it with a similar system, which would have saved a considerable sum on having to install a new pedestal and the sheaves. It is what it is. I'm very happy with the new system, though, which, as Mark so well describes, offset to the starboard, just aft of the mid-cockpit bulkhead. My 30 inch wheel has the little cutout in the cockpit locker hatch for the wheel to fit into allowing greater passage for someone to pass the helm. It's a very comfortable steering station for sitting, standing, and laying back using a backrest. My cockpit , in the after half, has four large lockers. The helmsman locker, with the wheel cutout, is for whoever is on watch to store their equipment, snacks, etc. Outboard of this locker, in the starboard cockpit alley, adjacent to the cabinside, was a battery compartment, but is now available for other uses. On the portside, to the left of the helmsman, is the emergency locker for tools, airhorn, foam fire extinguisher, firstaid kit, flashlights and spotlight, knife and hatchet, throwing line, flares, and other stuff that needs to be at hand when something bad happens. Outboard of this locker, in the alleyway, is the engine battery compartment, with two large 6 volt flooded batteries for powering the starter, the windlass, and any other high-draw equipment that is used only when the engine is running. Pretty much everything one needs to run the boat is available within arm's reach of the helmsman.

The pedestal has the ship's compass, and a grab bar protecting it, which also supports the Edson single-lever gearshift/throttle assembly, and a panel with the autopilot control, remote windlass control/chain counter, and the Icom Command mike remote VHF. The CPT backup autopilot also connects to the pedestal, but lives in the starboard outboard locker previously described. All engine instruments and deck/nav lighting switches are in the portside seat face, adjacent to the helm. When the hard dodger gets installed, the second navigational instrument display will live on the starboard side where the helm can hide in nasty conditions and monitor all operations.
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Old 30-09-2013, 04:01   #2469
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Is anyone familiar with this Searunner 34 (Alato)for sale in Labelle, Florida?
1988 Searunner Trimaran Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

If so, what did you think of it? Was it in decent condition? PM me if you prefer...
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Old 30-09-2013, 05:36   #2470
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

I saw that boat out of the water in Labelle going on 4 years ago. It looked very nice and I was told would not be for sale. But things change.

I would be available to survey it for you if you're interested.
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Old 30-09-2013, 09:41   #2471
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Quote:
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Curious how much anchor chain you fellow Searunner owners have on your main anchor.And Roy what failed on your cable did it break or freeze up?
Take Care Jim
Leslie and I did a 4 year cruise on our 37 SR "Tiva"from San Diego to Hawaii, Fanning Is, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. Other than 6 months in the Ali Wai Harbor in Honolulu we were anchored out the whole time. I have only used 40-50' of chain with nylon anchor line usually 150'. I always have at least 4 sets of anchor, chain and line set up. Many times I would have to put out two anchors off the bow to keep me away from bombers (coral heads). The problem with all chain is that it can get wrapped around a coral head shortening the scope to 1-1. At this point one small surge/swell and the breaking point of the chain will be exceeded and pow, no more anchor. I use a vertical drum anchor windlass. One wrap is enough friction to pull chain. I have heard horror stories of boats not being able to jettison the all chain anchor in emergency situations. A few years back a all chain monohull was destroyed at Isla Isabella in Mexico because he couldn't free himself under load. On my way back from Mexico in 06 I was caught in the outside anchorage in Monterey when a freak storm pinned me in. As things got worse instead of better I watched a 40' monohull go up on the beach. My engine had just enough to make headway in the wind. There was no way that we could pull the anchors without going on the beach so we tied a float to them and ran full speed, about one knot to the coast guard dock. The Coast Guard would not come out to help us, that's how bad it was. I currently carry two danforths 40 and 22lbs. Two plows, 40 and 25lbs and a large ss sea plane north hill anchor. I do not have problems and I sleep well at night. Jim, I did sell Tiva to Jo Hudson in Fiji in 1990. He owned her for a few years before selling to a guy who took her to Vanuatu and chartered it for 10 years. We are currently in Bodega Bay, northern California.
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Old 30-09-2013, 12:05   #2472
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Well only a fool would shackle the end of a chain rode directly to an eyebolt or something below decks. You always want at least a short length of nylon at the end so you could pay it all out and then cut the nylon.

And what about using a snubber like everyone else? If you get a wrap on the bottom. there's plenty of give in the snubber till you yet it sorted out. Most Searunners I've been on would pull of most of the bow before the chain broke anyway. In deep anchorages I always used about 20' or more of snubber. Maybe people have a better handle on how to best anchor these days.

On the subject of the OP, it think somewhere around 180' is ideal for most boats, but for a multihull best to compromise somewhere in the 90-120' range.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:52   #2473
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Thanks for the input on the Searunner 34 Boatguy. I may go look at it in November. I haven't decided yet...
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:00   #2474
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

There may be a 34 in San Diego becoming available in coming months.
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Old 01-10-2013, 21:22   #2475
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Doggone great to hear from you.I remember Joe talking about Tiva.Greg have you heard anything from Joe?When are you guys comming back to Mexico?It sure is nice having my shop on land but I do miss full time live aboard.If you have contact info for joe as I lost his number you can email me at seaotterjim@hotmail.com .We are starting our race season down here in La Paz next month we have a nice bunch of multihulls by our dec, jan. race.We have 2 searunner 37 here full time .Here is a photo of Sea Otter doing 10.2 before the start of last nov. race.Viva Veleros de Baja.
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