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Old 29-01-2015, 09:56   #46
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

zboss - thank you for the photos. how many layers of fiberglass cloth do you have there? (bonding the base together, and bonding the base to the hull?)
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Old 29-01-2015, 10:48   #47
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Here's my installation
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first pass (cardboard templates, platform, rudder feedback mount)

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beefed up

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with the aluminum base on top to better distribute the load (note the drainage holes in the base - otherwise the vertical parts of the foundation would block water from natural flow, should there be any)



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Old 29-01-2015, 10:52   #48
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

the wood in the base is 3/4" marine grade plywood (sourced locally), the aluminum is a 1/2" 90deg angle from mcmaster-carr; the epoxy is WEST, and the cloth is some kind of triaxial heavy cloth i bought from the boatyard next door (good stuff) - the main portion of the base has about 2 layers on the underside and probably about 6 layers on the top, extending significantly onto the hull.
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Old 29-01-2015, 11:30   #49
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Hi, here you can see the drive mounted to the base and then a picture of the tiller arm with attachment.

Its a very compact arrangement. We originally looked into fitting a hydraulic ram but the length of the ram (even the octopus) would have impacted our available space in the locker, so it was a no go.

BTW - this is the first base we built... we have since updated it with some additional strength but it looks pretty much the same and is in the same orientation.
Please take this as a polite suggestion.
The workmanship looks fine,but the top of your rudderstock is not supported by a bearing/bushing,nor does there appear to be any just under the quadrant.
My experience has been that,when adding powered steering(A/P,etc),an unsupported rudderstock can flex enough to cause stuffing box to leak continuously,or even break it.The flex will start at your top gudgeon,so can be quite substantial,by the time it passes thru stuffing box.
Not a panic thing,but,if your s-box leaks..... / Len
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Old 29-01-2015, 12:27   #50
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I don't know how much rotation you are expecting to have, but you may want to use a rose joint for the connection point. This will allow some rotation without actually rotating the rod.

Mark

Never heard of a "rose joint". Had to look it up.
rose joint = heim joint
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Old 29-01-2015, 13:06   #51
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post
Please take this as a polite suggestion.
The workmanship looks fine,but the top of your rudderstock is not supported by a bearing/bushing,nor does there appear to be any just under the quadrant.
My experience has been that,when adding powered steering(A/P,etc),an unsupported rudderstock can flex enough to cause stuffing box to leak continuously,or even break it.The flex will start at your top gudgeon,so can be quite substantial,by the time it passes thru stuffing box.
Not a panic thing,but,if your s-box leaks..... / Len
I have the same boat as Zboss. The stuffing box in the picture *is* a bearing / bushing. See Buck Algonquin Rudder Port It's ID is the same as the OD of the rudder stock and is about 5" long. I agree that an upper bearing or pillow block would add support. That would require a new rudder with a longer post. This is a full keel boat with the rudder hung from the keel at both the bottom shoe and at the top (via the rudder port bearing). There are no gudgeons. Z has the AP drive tiller just above the rudder port bearing, so there is not much of a moment arm to flex it.
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Old 29-01-2015, 14:47   #52
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
Never heard of a "rose joint". Had to look it up.
rose joint = heim joint
Sorry - yes. It seems to differ what side of the Atlantic you are on? Every time I use the term "heim joint", everyone says they never heard of it, so I started using "rose joint" instead.

Think I will move on to "heim/rose joint" now!

Mark
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Old 29-01-2015, 15:16   #53
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
I have the same boat as Zboss. The stuffing box in the picture *is* a bearing / bushing. See Buck Algonquin Rudder Port It's ID is the same as the OD of the rudder stock and is about 5" long. I agree that an upper bearing or pillow block would add support. That would require a new rudder with a longer post. This is a full keel boat with the rudder hung from the keel at both the bottom shoe and at the top (via the rudder port bearing). There are no gudgeons. Z has the AP drive tiller just above the rudder port bearing, so there is not much of a moment arm to flex it.
Thanks.The day was not wasted.I learned something.
Apparently,not all rudder ports/stuffing boxes are created equal.
As long as the "snout" is tight in the hole thru the bottom,it should be OK.
Cheers/ Len
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Old 29-01-2015, 17:11   #54
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

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Originally Posted by deblen View Post
Thanks.The day was not wasted.I learned something.
Apparently,not all rudder ports/stuffing boxes are created equal.
As long as the "snout" is tight in the hole thru the bottom,it should be OK.
Cheers/ Len
Thanks Len. It's good to have a second (professional) opinion validate my thinking. On my own boat, since I have to have a new rudder made anyway, I plan to have a longer rudder post. Then I'm going to glass in a bulkhead with shelf that will tie the hull, deck and cockpit well together. The shelf will mount a pillow block for the top of the rudder post. I'll also mount the hydraulic ram to this bulkhead. My thinking is that this bulkhead is the strongest way distribute the force of the ram to the hull.
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Old 31-01-2015, 16:59   #55
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

While on the subject of steering I'll mention the importance of having rudder stops.

Many boats don't and this can cause all sorts of damage to the rudder and/or the steering system itself. Imagine the load on a rudder that gets forced round to 90 degrees when the boat is pushed backwards down a wave when you are hove to. Even when reversing under motor quite significant loads can be imposed if the rudder goes too far over. Especially spade rudders.

Rudder travel should be limited to about 35 degrees each side of the centreline and should be prevented from going any further by some positive arrangement: not the steering system itself. This should be really strong.

With hydraulic steering it's also good to have a cross relief valve quite close to the actuator (ram) in case of overload and a bypass valve to allow for emergency steering if needed.
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Old 31-01-2015, 19:18   #56
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Yes ADJO
Rudderstops should be part of the design.Don't depend on the travel limit setting of the A/P.Settings can be changed by mistake,etc.



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Solid blocks,or other methods,that will stop the tiller arm/quadrant travel,before the ram reaches either end of it's travel.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:53   #57
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

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Originally Posted by antoha View Post
zboss - thank you for the photos. how many layers of fiberglass cloth do you have there? (bonding the base together, and bonding the base to the hull?)
Hi - never did get back to you on this and probably too late...

I did not do the install myself, I had a professional electronics company do it.

Since those pics were taken we have removed the autopilot, added some additional cross bracing and covered it in 5 or 6 layers of fiberglass cloth. Its now much sturdier. We have had it through heavier weather and so far so good. I would have prefered to mount the unit upside down on the bottom of the cockpit sing a piece of metal stock bolted through the deck (and we may still do that in the future) but it seems to be fine.

Regardless, we are getting a backup CPT wheel pilot just in case... too many people in the Bahamas had their autopilot go out and I just do not want to have to deal with not having an autopilot if we can avoid that!

- z
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Old 12-07-2015, 14:16   #58
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Z, thank you. Too late indeed, I'm done with the install 7-9 layers of cloth for me as well, sounds like should be strong enough.

I wanted reliability of an under deck unit - but also wanted to get rid of the wheel pilot eyesore, it was ugly to the eye (at all times) and to the ear (when trying to steer). We are also coastal cruisers (ok, wishful thinking - weekenders at most, really, until the tot is old enough to tolerate longer trips), so I can just carry a spare drive, pre-mounted and taken off, with all the hardware in a ziplock bag. I mounted a 1/2" aluminum 90 degree angle on top of the plywood/fiberglass platform, so I can drill more holes in the aluminum should my next drive have a different mounting pattern.


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Old 12-07-2015, 14:27   #59
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

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This is the end result. I lost a bit of space in the sail locker but built a shelf and cover around the drive, so I don't have to worry about piling up the usual junk in there.


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Old 19-07-2015, 12:15   #60
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

an update: we took the boat out yesterday for the first time after the upgrade. very pleased. the conditions were very mild (sometimes we saw 12 kts apparent, hardly any waves), so the test is not entirely conclusive - but it steered well, and was quiet (hardly noticeable under sail). i didn't take its power consumption measurements (although eventually i'd like to know), but for now i'll consider this project well worth the pain and expense.
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