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Old 17-04-2021, 10:13   #1
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Steering cable quadrant

I recently replaced the steering cables on my 2001 PDQ catamaran. It is a pull/pull manual cable system. In the course of this I noticed some hairline fissures/cracks in the aluminum steering quadrant, specifically on the retainer that tensioning bolts are on. Since I am not currently at my home port, I all have done is fill the cracks with JB Weld and hope that will hold until I can get back home. I contacted Edson about a replacement quadrant but they are 6-8 weeks out before they reopen their machine shop due to COVID. Any suggestions on how I can jury rig/repair are appreciated.
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Old 17-04-2021, 12:46   #2
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Re: Steering cable quadrant

Images would help.
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Old 17-04-2021, 13:11   #3
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Re: Steering cable quadrant

Are you sure they are cracks and not just lines in the casting? If cracks not sure I would buy the same brand. Never heard of it before.

Without pics hard to say, but I suppose you could bolt a doubler over some parts for more strength.
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Old 17-04-2021, 14:26   #4
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Re: Steering cable quadrant

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If cracks not sure I would buy the same brand. Never heard of it before.
Never heard of Edson??? Cheech, Edson is possibly the largest supplier of steering gear in the USA... maybe the whole world.

For the OP: can you lock the rudder and apply force to the wheel whilst watching the cracked area, looking for movement? That might giver you an idea about how compromised the quadrant might be. Can you get it off and take it to a welder? Such damage can be welded and perhaps reinforced so you can sail confidently until a replacement is available.

Good luck!

Jim
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Old 17-04-2021, 16:31   #5
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Re: Steering cable quadrant

I have big cracks in my Edson aluminium steering semicircle. The other half is still in one piece. (I don’t have a 90 degree quadrant, but two halves forming a full circle around the rudder post). I’m pretty sure the casting cracked when I was in reverse, the wheel jumped out of my hands when the rudder slammed over and hit the stops.
The full circle and outer wheel keeps everything together after a fashion. I will dismantle the steering assembly and take the cracked casting in to be welded. Once I have it out, I’ll also look to see how might I reinforce the casting (and its still uncracked twin).
Cast Aluminium probably wasn’t the best choice of material for this application, but any other metal would make the assembly way too heavy. Edson has some difficult design compromises here.
I am also going to look and see how I might soften the contact with the stops, to absorb some energy when my barndoor rudder reacts unpleasantly to going in reverse.
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Old 17-04-2021, 17:00   #6
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Re: Steering cable quadrant

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Never heard of Edson??? Cheech, Edson is possibly the largest supplier of steering gear in the USA... maybe the whole world.

For the OP: can you lock the rudder and apply force to the wheel whilst watching the cracked area, looking for movement? That might giver you an idea about how compromised the quadrant might be. Can you get it off and take it to a welder? Such damage can be welded and perhaps reinforced so you can sail confidently until a replacement is available.

Good luck!

Jim
UH, .....never heard of cracking quadrants! But it appears there are some!
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Old 17-04-2021, 17:55   #7
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Re: Steering cable quadrant

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
UH, .....never heard of cracking quadrants! But it appears there are some!

My quadrant is steel (off a work-boat surely?) with 10mm cables. Just in case something breaks I've made up an emergency tiller of 40mm galvanized tube which fits over a square on the rudder post.

I did a subject "Boat Handling" once as part of the "Yachtmaster Certificate" and one of the skills required was steering the 28ft work boat using a steel bucket on the end of a rope. It worked fine on the open ocean but I wonder how well it would go steering a catamaran?
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Old 17-04-2021, 18:17   #8
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Re: Steering cable quadrant

I recall we had another discussion here several months ago about an Edson turning block mount assembly at the base of the pedestal. Some boat had a leaky cockpit floor, and the turning block mount plates had rusted away. Edson apparently made the mounting assembly out of mild steel.
After I read the thread, I climbed into my engine compartment, and sure enough, the bronze turning pulleys were mounted to a steel assembly. Thankfully, my steel was essentially in perfect shape.
Stuff happens on boats.
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