Originally Posted by kb79
We're in New Zealand now and are planning a second season in the western South Pacific. I don't have a reason to haul out otherwise... think it merits a haul out for this problem alone? Any suggestions on what I can do with the boat in the water to asses the magnitude of the problem?
I'm not sure you've got a problem. On a rack-and-pinion system, 1/8" of play could be worrisome. On cable systems, 1/8" of play might seem entirely tight.
Worry less about how it feels when you're diving
on the rudder, and more about how it feels when you're at the helm with the rail down. If you don't feel the play at that point, I doubt it should concern you other than to track it as the system ages.
Regardless, check all points of the linkage, especially the quadrant. If the play comes from loose bolts, tighten them up. If the quadrant moves when the shaft doesn't you've got problems.