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.