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Old 12-04-2007, 11:04   #1
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Worm-gear steering - any experience with this type of steering?

Tried unsuccessfully to post picture, but the worm-gear steering apparently necessitates an odd wheel arrangement, as in the Allied Princess.

This seems it would take some getting used to.

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Old 12-04-2007, 11:38   #2
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My Mariner Ketch had worm-gear steering in a box just aft of the wheel at the aft end of the cockpit. The axle for the wheel came out of the box facing forward and the wheel was attached to that. I thought it a bit odd too when I first bought the boat but after awhile I found that sitting on the box (with a cushion and backrest), stradling the steering shaft was quite comfortable when motoring or sailing in flat water. When heeled over I would station myself to either port or starboard of the wheel with my legs forward of the wheel. Again, it was comfortable once you got accustomed to it.

I consider worm-gear steering the strongest and most reliable.

Hope you can post a photo. It would help.

Kind Regards,

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Old 12-04-2007, 11:52   #3
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Hydraulic is the strongest and most reliable steering. Worm is OK, but there are many complex moving parts and many possible shear area's. Pins, bolts, shafts, gears and so on. Then there is the ability to steer the boat in an emergency steering situation. A mechanical box mounted to the rudder stock can make that difficult, but this depends on the design of the installation. I ahve seen vehicle steering boxes mounted the the rudder quadrant and the steering arm of the vehicle box push/pulls the quadrant just like a ram would. This is a good solution IMO. The worst install I have seen is on a launch where a right angle drive box was mounted to the top of the rudder stock. If anything in the system broke, access to the rudder stock to steer was impossible.
Plus a worn system can allow a lot of play. Then there is the weight factor. I know of several failures of stearing systems that were worm gear.
However, there are also alot of these systems out there that work just fine as well. A proper marine designed/built system would be far superior in all aspects, but I think the reason why this system is so common, is that many home built boats can build an effetive system cheaply by using vehicle parts to do so.

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