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Author Topic: Rudder stops and broken steering cables  (Read 2029 times)

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Bob K

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Rudder stops and broken steering cables
« on: July 09, 2009, 08:29:12 PM »

There was a post last year where the need for rudder stops was questioned.  Well, here is plenty of reason to have them……..

Our steering cable broke during a tack in a narrow channel the other day.  (For you Chesapeake sailors, it was the entrance to the Magothy River).  The ultimate cause of the break was a misalignment between the molded fiberglass  rudder stop, and the rudder stop post located on the steering quadrant.  The misalignment allowed the cable end to ride up on the steering gear located at the top of the pedestal..   The cable broke at the thimble where it attaches to the chain .  The broken cable was frayed, and the thimble was mangled.  It appeared that the fraying had occurred over a long period of time as the thimble rode up onto the gear each time the rudder was turned hard to starboard.

Wear marks on the rudder stop show it worked at one point, but the worn rubber bushing on the rudder stop post eventually allowed  the post to pass right by the stop.  The attached photo shows the wear marks on the molded fiberglass stop.  The rubber bushing shown in the photo is an oversize replacement which temporarily fixes the problem. 

The second photo shows the top of the rudder post.  See the offset to starboard?  If the post was centered properly during manufacture, there would have never been a rudder stop alignment problem.  This problem took 17 years to show up!

You might want to check to see that your rudder stops are present, aligned, and working properly.   Easy enough to do, and will prevent a repeat of our experience.  I might add that this bit of bad luck ended nicely, as we got to our destination using the emergency tiller, rafted up with a friend as scheduled. and he got us access to a car.  We were able to get to WM and make up a new cable.   Had it all repaired the next morning.   Made a spare cable while I was at it. 

I  am surprised the rudder post was offset so much.  Seems it should be easy to keep it in line during
manufacture.  Has anyone seen this before?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 08:32:10 PM by Bob K »
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Bob K
Prosit
1992 #1186
Northern Chesapeake Bay

waterdog

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Re: Rudder stops and broken steering cables
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009, 09:03:28 PM »

Bob.   Something is not right in your alignment.   The rubber should not prevent the stop pin from passing the block.   It should be there as small sound deadener / shock absorber / fiberglass protector.   If you pull the rubber off, you should still get a solid whack where pin meets block.   The top of mine was worn.   I turned it over and made a note in the maintenance log to replace it in another ten years - it wasn't a critical piece of gear. 

I was not impressed with Catalina's work on the original rudder.   It was like Jimmy-Bob just drills rudder and quadrant however he likes.  No evidence of alignment jigs or manufacturing process.    I had to drill crooked holes in a perfectly good new shaft to reuse my quadrant.   

So.  Do you have a favored tack then? 

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Steve Dolling
Former 1988 #804, BlackDragon - Vancouver BC
Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

Kyle Ewing

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Re: Rudder stops and broken steering cables
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2009, 09:15:59 PM »

Someone on the C36 board had a similar problem, see http://www.c36ia.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316.  Do you see any wobble when the rudder turns indicating a bend?


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Kyle Ewing
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Belmont Harbor, Chicago
http://www.saildonnybrook.com/

Bill Asbury

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Re: Rudder stops and broken steering cables
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2009, 04:55:47 PM »

Discovered last year that one of my rudder stops was missing, so asked for a quote to glass in a new one, but the price quoted was way more than I wanted to spend, so I didn't have the stop replaced.  Haven't found the remains of the missing stop in the boat, so I figure it was gone before I bought the boat four years ago.  Haven't had a problem so far, but would like to replace the missing stop w/o having to spend beaucoup boat units.  Anyone out there replaced a rudder stop without doing figerglass work, perhaps with a block of wood?
Thanks,
Bill
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Bill & Penne
Sanderling 2005 C34MKII 1686
Chesapeake Bay

Bob K

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Re: Rudder stops and broken steering cables
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2009, 05:26:54 PM »

Steve, I'm not sure I have a favored tack, but I have new sails this season, and I may be able to see a difference with more time on them.  If I had to choose now,  I'd say port tack is favored.  If the rudder was canted on the bottom to port, would this favor a port tack due to additional lift? I'm not sure.   I think I would have noticed a canted or bent rudder post when on the hard, so I am more inclined to think the entire rudder top to bottom was installed plumb, but off center.   That might be harder to spot unless specifically looking for it.

Bill, Unless your stops are different than mine, I'm not sure how one could be missing.  Mine are integtral to the underside of the cockpit floor.  I will be beefing up the misaligned one this winter - probably will just screw/glue a block of wood into the glass. I think my temporary fix (larger rubber piece on post) is adequate, but the wood block will be extra insurance.
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Bob K
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1992 #1186
Northern Chesapeake Bay

Ron Hill

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Re: Rudder stops and broken steering cables
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2009, 06:12:15 PM »

Bob : I don't understand your 1st photo of the quadrant. 
I believe it would be in your best interests to call  and talk to Will Kean at Edson.  A thought
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Ron, Apache #788
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