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Old 10-05-2024, 17:48   #1
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Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

Hi all,

Our KP44 will need new steering cables. The path for the cables will not be per factory original (they used to go down the port side behind the aft head) but instead will be straight down the centre line beside the prop shaft.

No particularly tight bends this way.

The boat weighs around 11 tonnes and has an unbalanced skeg hung rudder.

Has anyone experimented with synthetic steering and if so, thoughts on its suitability in this situation?

Matt
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Old 10-05-2024, 18:13   #2
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

It is eminently suitable, as long as there's no places to chafe or burrs on the quadrant, etc.
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Old 10-05-2024, 18:26   #3
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

yup, good application, if no chafe.

as a note, while Dyneema is fine, this is an application where alternatives (like Vectran and Pbo) could be slightly better because no creep.
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Old 10-05-2024, 19:37   #4
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
It is eminently suitable, as long as there's no places to chafe or burrs on the quadrant, etc.
Gotcha, I’ll inspect each of the old blocks carefully. Someone suggested sanding them with fine sandpaper to be sure.
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Old 10-05-2024, 19:38   #5
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

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Originally Posted by Breaking Waves View Post
yup, good application, if no chafe.

as a note, while Dyneema is fine, this is an application where alternatives (like Vectran and Pbo) could be slightly better because no creep.
Good point, thank you. I think I can source Vectran from my local chandlery.
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Old 10-05-2024, 20:05   #6
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

Gilow I have surveyed a 40 foot Wharram that had synthetic steering cables. Seemed to work alright and the system had been there for years.
Cheers
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Old 10-05-2024, 20:34   #7
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

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Gilow I have surveyed a 40 foot Wharram that had synthetic steering cables. Seemed to work alright and the system had been there for years.
Cheers
Good to hear it has passed the time test, thank you.

Not that it matters, but if I ever cross to the dark side multihull sailing, a Wharram will be the boat that tempts me.
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Old 11-05-2024, 00:48   #8
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

Matt, Gary McAulay (he who built our boat) started out with Dyneema cables for his dual helm steering for his new boat. He later changed to s/s , and I don't remember why... but I can PM you his phone details if you would like to chat with him about it.

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Old 11-05-2024, 01:44   #9
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Hi all,

Our KP44 will need new steering cables. The path for the cables will not be per factory original (they used to go down the port side behind the aft head) but instead will be straight down the centre line beside the prop shaft.

No particularly tight bends this way.

The boat weighs around 11 tonnes and has an unbalanced skeg hung rudder.

Has anyone experimented with synthetic steering and if so, thoughts on its suitability in this situation?

Matt

Our yachts would have similar heavy loads on the steering cables as we both have unbalanced skeg mounted rudders, And our yachts are center cockpit so that means long steering cables and consequential increased stretch. The loads on steering cables on an aft cockpit yacht with a spade rudder are not relevant as you would be aware

I considered Dyneema but eventually settled for 7/19 SS. I took professional advice and he recommended 10mm cable because of the length of the cable and the rudder loads. (From memory the price of each SS terminals for the Dyneema was hideous)

I did a lot of research on Dyneema and I am certain I read this one which I found helpful.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...es-181114.html
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Old 11-05-2024, 02:27   #10
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

The terminal I was looking at was SS and priced around $A450

This one is aluminum and would cost around $A110.
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Old 11-05-2024, 03:52   #11
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

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Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
Our yachts would have similar heavy loads on the steering cables as we both have unbalanced skeg mounted rudders, And our yachts are center cockpit so that means long steering cables and consequential increased stretch. The loads on steering cables on an aft cockpit yacht with a spade rudder are not relevant as you would be aware

I considered Dyneema but eventually settled for 7/19 SS. I took professional advice and he recommended 10mm cable because of the length of the cable and the rudder loads. (From memory the price of each SS terminals for the Dyneema was hideous)

I did a lot of research on Dyneema and I am certain I read this one which I found helpful.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...es-181114.html
Sorry mate, but our boats have absolutely nothing in common at all.
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Old 11-05-2024, 10:14   #12
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

I suppose it could be done but not sure I see the point. What is it that you hope to accomplish with the change?
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Old 11-05-2024, 10:52   #13
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

Probably not applicable to the layout of the OPs steering system.
That said, one of the best arrangements I've seen was where the chain on the sprocket of the wheel shaft dropped down thru the pedestal to another sprocket on a torque tube that led aft to a gear box that was linked to the tiller arm of the rudder shaft.
No cables, no sheeves, no adjustments for tension, no complicated bracketry, no slack, no stretch, no frayed wires, no end fittings.
Simple and positive, all components readily available from any outfit that delt in power transmission products.
Of course, all arrangements have a downside.
In this case it was lack of feedback from the rudder, kind of like many hydraulic systems.
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Old 11-05-2024, 12:34   #14
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

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I suppose it could be done but not sure I see the point. What is it that you hope to accomplish with the change?
A couple of things, but the most important to me is the emerging trend of stainless wire quality issues I am reading about has me wanting to avoid the stuff for now.

Next would be that synthetics are nicer to work with and I’ve got a big work list at the moment.
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Old 11-05-2024, 12:37   #15
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Re: Anyone using synthetic steering cables?

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Originally Posted by Bowdrie View Post
Probably not applicable to the layout of the OPs steering system.
That said, one of the best arrangements I've seen was where the chain on the sprocket of the wheel shaft dropped down thru the pedestal to another sprocket on a torque tube that led aft to a gear box that was linked to the tiller arm of the rudder shaft.
No cables, no sheeves, no adjustments for tension, no complicated bracketry, no slack, no stretch, no frayed wires, no end fittings.
Simple and positive, all components readily available from any outfit that delt in power transmission products.
Of course, all arrangements have a downside.
In this case it was lack of feedback from the rudder, kind of like many hydraulic systems.
I’ve sailed a boat with a similar setup. It was effective but the lack feedback was an absolute deal breaker for me. I’m very much a seat of the pants type of sailor. I’d much rather the boat had a tiller TBH.
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