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Old 21-04-2021, 09:20   #1
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Heavy steering

One off English boat, heavy cutter. Steering is heavy.

I have pretty much hone through the system; wheel with a quadrant block, chain and wire. Not much obvious room for improvement.

1.8 turns lock to lock.
Quadrant as big as will fit.
Six tooth sprocket, already very, very small.
Wheel is about 31”, almost hits on the seats.

The only think I can think of is to raise the wheel to get a bigger wheel, not a very attractive option for several reasons.

I can’t think of any other options to increase the mechanical advantage.

If there was some little transmission, gear ratio gizmo to mount under the wheel.

Not really interested in hydraulic steering. Which seems the obvious solution.

Just thought I would ask the collective.
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Old 21-04-2021, 09:43   #2
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Re: Heavy steering

Have you disconnected everything and tried to move the rudder to see if the rudder post is binding?
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Old 21-04-2021, 09:51   #3
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Re: Heavy steering

Along those lines, have you dove on your boat to ensure there's no entanglement captured on the drivetrain? Otherwise, is the lubrication of the chain and wire appropriate and there's no corrosion anywhere? Are you the original owner? If not, have you inquired of the previous owner what his experience was?
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Old 21-04-2021, 10:46   #4
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Re: Heavy steering

Rudder is free as a bird.

Steering chain and wire all recently replaced and greased. Works smooth on the hard.

PO long gone.

Clearly from the mechanics, the 6 tooth species sprocket, it is an original issue.
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Old 21-04-2021, 14:08   #5
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Re: Heavy steering

Is the rudder itself buoyant? Many are, and if so, perhaps when it floats to the top of its travel something is binding that does not when the rudder is out in the air.

Is the stiffness apparent when the boat is afloat but not moving through the water?

Does the stiffness change with wind strength/boat speed? Perhaps it is just a lack of balance area in the design.

1.8 turns lock/lock is pretty quick for a big heavy boat, that's for sure, and it sounds like increasing the ratio isn't practical, so it may require changing the shape and balance of the rudder to solve your problem. Bummer...

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Old 21-04-2021, 16:04   #6
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Re: Heavy steering

Jim,

Steel boat, steel rudder, oil filled.

Should be pretty neutral, probably a bit heavier than water.

And yeah, this is a bail mary post/thread.

It is something I can live with, would be nice to not.
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Old 23-04-2021, 03:27   #7
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Re: Heavy steering

It'll bugger up your cockpit geometry, but you could try a rack and pinion setup, or better yet a worm gear. Usually that means mounting a wheel facing the opposite direction than a cable-steering from a binnacle, but they have a lot of power, and can even free up some space. You don't need a big wheel with a worm gear.
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Old 23-04-2021, 04:03   #8
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Re: Heavy steering

Is there any possibility of cutting into the seats to double the wheel size?
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Old 23-04-2021, 04:29   #9
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Re: Heavy steering

Is the rudder easy to turn when the vsl is stationary or is it tight stall points,if it’s only heavy when sailing or motoring it probably rudder shape and or fairing ,not having any pictures or drawings of rudder and instulation ,to many unknowns ⛵️⚓️
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Old 23-04-2021, 04:39   #10
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Re: Heavy steering

still not quite clear on the problem, maybe you could clarify a little more. from what you've said so far i get:
- steering is heavy (is this the case when stationary or only when moving?)
- smooth on the hard (does smooth mean that it moves easily or is it heavy but smooth?)
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Old 23-04-2021, 06:24   #11
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Re: Heavy steering

The steering moves easily and smoothly in the hard. In short it is not binding.

There is no doubt the rudder shape is neanderthal. It is a barn door rudder on a heavy steel cutter. Attached to a full keel.



Re: cutting into seats. The seats are actually the roof of the companionway from the saloon to the aft cabin. Might work on one side which is a small cabin but on the other it would block the companion way. Either way I would continually knock myself out.
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Old 23-04-2021, 06:29   #12
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Re: Heavy steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz View Post
It'll bugger up your cockpit geometry, but you could try a rack and pinion setup, or better yet a worm gear. Usually that means mounting a wheel facing the opposite direction than a cable-steering from a binnacle, but they have a lot of power, and can even free up some space. You don't need a big wheel with a worm gear.
Benz,

Can you point me to a manufacturer please. My gut says this will not work but I would like to take a look.

My other option is hydraulic, which I am not crazy about. Ram placement and geometry is difficult. Probably doable but then bugger all difficult to get to for maintenance.

As I said I can live with what I have but would prefer something better.
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Old 23-04-2021, 15:30   #13
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Re: Heavy steering

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Benz,



Can you point me to a manufacturer please. My gut says this will not work but I would like to take a look.



My other option is hydraulic, which I am not crazy about. Ram placement and geometry is difficult. Probably doable but then bugger all difficult to get to for maintenance.



As I said I can live with what I have but would prefer something better.


Here’s the Edson catalog for worm and rack steering gears


https://edsonmarine.com/content/Edson_T1.pdf
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Old 23-04-2021, 16:32   #14
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Re: Heavy steering

Sailmonkey,

Thank you very much.

It probably should have mentioned we are a center cockpit.

That likely rules out rack and pinion and worm gear.

But I am looking. I also found Jefa.
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Old 23-04-2021, 16:42   #15
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Re: Heavy steering

Can you increase the size of your quadrant? Or lengthen the tiller on the rudder?
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