Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?


Chris Doucette
 


To tie off helm or not - Is it easier on the rack / gears / cables to tie the helm off?  A the boat swings and bobs and the helm / rudder moves quite a bit-  Tying  off seems to make the helm move a far less  1-2 inches back and forth (hard on just a few rack teeth?).   What is worse?   Is there a correct answer here?  

Chris
SM 385 Amarok


Bill Kinney
 

I would absolutely recommend you tie it off.  Flopping back and forth at anchor adds a huge amount of equivalent miles of wear on many parts from the cables to the autopilot drives that serves no purpose.

With a little cleverness and two lines you can tie off the wheel so it doesn’t move at all.  I wish there was a more convenient way to lock down the steering system by this is what we have…

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada


James Alton
 

Bill,

  I concur with your answer.  I have however noticed that simply tying off the wheel still allows some movement to occur since there is always some play in the cables and parts.   I also got to thinking that almost all of the sailing  miles happen with the helm nearly centered so the wear to the rack and pinion on my boat occurs on the parts that are doing the work when the wheel is centered.  So I did some experimenting and found that if I turn the helm to one side or the other and apply a bit of tension using a single line that with the rudder against the stop most of the slack in the system is removed.   This technique seems to pretty much eliminate any remaining movement and hopefully further reduces the wear.  But I think it also might be helpful in that securing the wheel to one side or the other moves the wear points to parts of the system that are seldom used which seems like it might be a good idea to me.  Your comments  (and those of others)  on whether you think this is a good idea are as always appreciated.   

Best,
James Alton
SV Sueno
Maramu #220
Turkey


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Jul 2, 2022 11:06 pm
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?

I would absolutely recommend you tie it off.  Flopping back and forth at anchor adds a huge amount of equivalent miles of wear on many parts from the cables to the autopilot drives that serves no purpose.

With a little cleverness and two lines you can tie off the wheel so it doesn’t move at all.  I wish there was a more convenient way to lock down the steering system by this is what we have…

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada


Chris Doucette
 

Thank you for your feedback!  I think I will do a tie-off method and adjust the helm from time to time to new positions as not to stress the center teeth on the rack.  Perhaps that is the best we can do.


Chris


Bill Kinney
 

James,

I have a couple of thoughts.

In most cases, there is certainly no harm in tying the rudder off to one side or the other.  In a crowded anchorage with a strong current it might have you sitting akimbo relative to other boats.

If there is any play in the rudder when the wheel is tied off tight, the cables need adjusting.  There shouldn't be any "slop."   No movement, no wear.  Or at least very little.

If there is more play with the helm centered, than when it is off to one side, then it is possible that the teeth in the racks are already worn and serious consideration should be given to replacing them at the first opportunity.  Amel sells these as (expensive) custom parts, and a good machine shop should able be able to make them.  

The reason I emphasize changing the rack at the first sign of a problem is a severely worn rack, or especially one with broken teeth, will cause accelerated wear to the cables. I believe the cables are out of production, and replacement in kind might be very problematic.  If anybody has current information about the availability of these cables, I'd be very interested in hearing it!

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.


Bill Kinney
 

I am going to add a couple extra thoughts about the steering system that will hopefully help somebody...

The entire system from the cables, and gearing at the wheel is designed to PULL the rudder in response to the turning of the wheel.  If the cables are kept in good adjustment, this is the way it will work.  The pinion gear on the wheel shaft will always engage its load with the same side of the rack teeth and a little wear doesn't really matter that much, it is taken up by the cables.

If the cables are loose, and the rudder is free to "flop" this cause a couple issues. Obviously, extra play makes hand steering a bit mushy and imprecise, but there are a bunch of mechanical issues too. The racks now bang back and forth against the pinion teeth, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth. Sometime the cables have to "push" the rudder into position, and this causes extra wear on the cables.

When sailing under autopilot, if you are using the linear drive connected to the quadrant, the load on the cables and gear is lower, they aren't working the rudder, just the wheel.  But still, if the cables are loose, the wheel spins a bit back and forth and the gearing and cables have to absorb the inertia of the spinning wheel. If you are using the chain drive, it is using the gearing and cables to turn the rudder.  If there is extra play, not only do you have all the wear issues mentioned already, but your autopilot will have to use a lot more power, and it will have much poorer control over the boat's direction because it will be unable to hold the rudder at one exact angle.

The adjustment procedure was described here:  #30542 I hesitate to disagree with Olivier on even the tiniest detail, but for me hand steering with 5cm of play in the steering wheel would drive me NUTS.  We set ours up to a fraction of that.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.


Kaplan,Andre
 

To All
I have a 1988 Mango. The red light on the top of the main mast is out. I can see the green starboard light and a white light facing the stern. Does anyone know the replacement bulb for the red light. Is there an LED that can be used?
Thanks

Andre Kaplan
Renaissance 2000
AML 71 88
Pilots Point
Westbrook, CT



On Jul 3, 2022, at 8:50 AM, Chris Doucette <amaroksailing@...> wrote:


*** Attention: This is an external email. Use caution responding, opening attachments or clicking on links. ***
Thank you for your feedback!  I think I will do a tie-off method and adjust the helm from time to time to new positions as not to stress the center teeth on the rack.  Perhaps that is the best we can do.


Chris


 

Andre,

The answer is: It depends. I am 99% sure that you do not have the original fixture at the mast top. So the complete answer to your question depends on what tricolor fixture you have.

I believe the original fixture had one bulb for all three colors and probably a second bulb for the all-around anchor light.

The single bulb would have been clear and it would have shone through a red lens to port, a green lens to starboard, and a clear lens, aft (as shown in this drawing).
image.png


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Tue, Jul 5, 2022 at 12:03 PM Kaplan,Andre <kaplan@...> wrote:
To All
I have a 1988 Mango. The red light on the top of the main mast is out. I can see the green starboard light and a white light facing the stern. Does anyone know the replacement bulb for the red light. Is there an LED that can be used?
Thanks

Andre Kaplan
Renaissance 2000
AML 71 88
Pilots Point
Westbrook, CT



On Jul 3, 2022, at 8:50 AM, Chris Doucette <amaroksailing@...> wrote:


*** Attention: This is an external email. Use caution responding, opening attachments or clicking on links. ***
Thank you for your feedback!  I think I will do a tie-off method and adjust the helm from time to time to new positions as not to stress the center teeth on the rack.  Perhaps that is the best we can do.


Chris


James Alton
 

Bill,

  Thanks for the input.  I have adjusted the cables on Sueno per Olivers suggestion which does still leave some play in the system.  The only way that I can think to remove the remaining play without further tightening the cables is to turn the wheel Port or Stb. so that the quadrant is  is resting against one of the stops and apply a little tension to the wheel using a line, holding the quadrant against the stop.  This method does take out all of the remaining slop and one can be sure that the cables are only seeing tension loads so that part feels right to me.  As you correctly point out, having the rudder over hard could be an issue in a tight anchorage with current flowing.  I wonder if this method might make the rudder more vulnerable in some way?  Where we are sailing now, current is not normally a problem but that is something to be aware of.  Your suggestion to tighten the cables further to remove the remaining slop is certainly worthy of consideration.  Would you by chance know what material the cable is riding on inside the sheath and if it will wear more quickly due to the additional tension?  The lack of replacement cables in my case makes me reluctant to apply more tension unless it is unlikely to speed up the wear of those cables.  As to the gearing on our boat being worn at the center point, that does not seem to be the case since the remaining slop seems to be pretty similar at various rudder positions.  Correct me if this information is wrong but I have heard that the "racks" on the SM normally have aluminum teeth whereas our older system is a copper alloy.  I have not yet taken ours apart to clean it but other Maramu owners that did have reported that the teeth were in excellent shape.  Our boat has low hours so I don't expect to see much wear when I do open the system up but will let you know.  I do keep the steering system well greased.  Thanks for taking the time to respond,  especially given the lack of replacement parts I think that this is a pretty important area of discussion.

James Alton
SV Sueno
Maramu #220


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Jul 5, 2022 6:52 pm
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?

I am going to add a couple extra thoughts about the steering system that will hopefully help somebody...

The entire system from the cables, and gearing at the wheel is designed to PULL the rudder in response to the turning of the wheel.  If the cables are kept in good adjustment, this is the way it will work.  The pinion gear on the wheel shaft will always engage its load with the same side of the rack teeth and a little wear doesn't really matter that much, it is taken up by the cables.

If the cables are loose, and the rudder is free to "flop" this cause a couple issues. Obviously, extra play makes hand steering a bit mushy and imprecise, but there are a bunch of mechanical issues too. The racks now bang back and forth against the pinion teeth, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth. Sometime the cables have to "push" the rudder into position, and this causes extra wear on the cables.

When sailing under autopilot, if you are using the linear drive connected to the quadrant, the load on the cables and gear is lower, they aren't working the rudder, just the wheel.  But still, if the cables are loose, the wheel spins a bit back and forth and the gearing and cables have to absorb the inertia of the spinning wheel. If you are using the chain drive, it is using the gearing and cables to turn the rudder.  If there is extra play, not only do you have all the wear issues mentioned already, but your autopilot will have to use a lot more power, and it will have much poorer control over the boat's direction because it will be unable to hold the rudder at one exact angle.

The adjustment procedure was described here:  #30542 I hesitate to disagree with Olivier on even the tiniest detail, but for me hand steering with 5cm of play in the steering wheel would drive me NUTS.  We set ours up to a fraction of that.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.


Nick Newington
 

Another quick question regarding steering cable adjustment.
I read Olivier’s write up, and have decided that I could take up a tiny bit of slack.
My question is:
In order to back off the hex nut at the end of the cable and beginning of the aluminium tube one must clamp the tube tight. Otherwise the whole lot turns. There is no flat face on the tube. I am reluctant to grip it with vice grips. The aluminium tube looks quite thin walled….
Kind regards
Nick Newington (back in U.K.)
Amelia (Aml 54-019)
Leros



On 6 Jul 2022, at 05:41, James Alton via groups.io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:


Bill,

  Thanks for the input.  I have adjusted the cables on Sueno per Olivers suggestion which does still leave some play in the system.  The only way that I can think to remove the remaining play without further tightening the cables is to turn the wheel Port or Stb. so that the quadrant is  is resting against one of the stops and apply a little tension to the wheel using a line, holding the quadrant against the stop.  This method does take out all of the remaining slop and one can be sure that the cables are only seeing tension loads so that part feels right to me.  As you correctly point out, having the rudder over hard could be an issue in a tight anchorage with current flowing.  I wonder if this method might make the rudder more vulnerable in some way?  Where we are sailing now, current is not normally a problem but that is something to be aware of.  Your suggestion to tighten the cables further to remove the remaining slop is certainly worthy of consideration.  Would you by chance know what material the cable is riding on inside the sheath and if it will wear more quickly due to the additional tension?  The lack of replacement cables in my case makes me reluctant to apply more tension unless it is unlikely to speed up the wear of those cables.  As to the gearing on our boat being worn at the center point, that does not seem to be the case since the remaining slop seems to be pretty similar at various rudder positions.  Correct me if this information is wrong but I have heard that the "racks" on the SM normally have aluminum teeth whereas our older system is a copper alloy.  I have not yet taken ours apart to clean it but other Maramu owners that did have reported that the teeth were in excellent shape.  Our boat has low hours so I don't expect to see much wear when I do open the system up but will let you know.  I do keep the steering system well greased.  Thanks for taking the time to respond,  especially given the lack of replacement parts I think that this is a pretty important area of discussion.

James Alton
SV Sueno
Maramu #220


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Jul 5, 2022 6:52 pm
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?

I am going to add a couple extra thoughts about the steering system that will hopefully help somebody...

The entire system from the cables, and gearing at the wheel is designed to PULL the rudder in response to the turning of the wheel.  If the cables are kept in good adjustment, this is the way it will work.  The pinion gear on the wheel shaft will always engage its load with the same side of the rack teeth and a little wear doesn't really matter that much, it is taken up by the cables.

If the cables are loose, and the rudder is free to "flop" this cause a couple issues. Obviously, extra play makes hand steering a bit mushy and imprecise, but there are a bunch of mechanical issues too. The racks now bang back and forth against the pinion teeth, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth. Sometime the cables have to "push" the rudder into position, and this causes extra wear on the cables.

When sailing under autopilot, if you are using the linear drive connected to the quadrant, the load on the cables and gear is lower, they aren't working the rudder, just the wheel.  But still, if the cables are loose, the wheel spins a bit back and forth and the gearing and cables have to absorb the inertia of the spinning wheel. If you are using the chain drive, it is using the gearing and cables to turn the rudder.  If there is extra play, not only do you have all the wear issues mentioned already, but your autopilot will have to use a lot more power, and it will have much poorer control over the boat's direction because it will be unable to hold the rudder at one exact angle.

The adjustment procedure was described here:  #30542 I hesitate to disagree with Olivier on even the tiniest detail, but for me hand steering with 5cm of play in the steering wheel would drive me NUTS.  We set ours up to a fraction of that.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.


James Alton
 

Nick,

  Your steering system must be different from mine since rotation was not a problem for me.   Maybe see if you can find a fabric strap wrench.  It looks a bit like a tool that could be used to remove an oil filter only the strap that wraps around the item to be rotated is made of a wide thick fabric that won't scratch or easily crush delicate items. I think that Ridgid still sells these, handy to have around.

Bestr,

James Alton
SV Sueno,
Maramu #220


-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Newington via groups.io <ngtnewington@...>
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Jul 6, 2022 10:20 am
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?

Another quick question regarding steering cable adjustment.
I read Olivier’s write up, and have decided that I could take up a tiny bit of slack.
My question is:
In order to back off the hex nut at the end of the cable and beginning of the aluminium tube one must clamp the tube tight. Otherwise the whole lot turns. There is no flat face on the tube. I am reluctant to grip it with vice grips. The aluminium tube looks quite thin walled….
Kind regards
Nick Newington (back in U.K.)
Amelia (Aml 54-019)
Leros



On 6 Jul 2022, at 05:41, James Alton via groups.io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:


Bill,

  Thanks for the input.  I have adjusted the cables on Sueno per Olivers suggestion which does still leave some play in the system.  The only way that I can think to remove the remaining play without further tightening the cables is to turn the wheel Port or Stb. so that the quadrant is  is resting against one of the stops and apply a little tension to the wheel using a line, holding the quadrant against the stop.  This method does take out all of the remaining slop and one can be sure that the cables are only seeing tension loads so that part feels right to me.  As you correctly point out, having the rudder over hard could be an issue in a tight anchorage with current flowing.  I wonder if this method might make the rudder more vulnerable in some way?  Where we are sailing now, current is not normally a problem but that is something to be aware of.  Your suggestion to tighten the cables further to remove the remaining slop is certainly worthy of consideration.  Would you by chance know what material the cable is riding on inside the sheath and if it will wear more quickly due to the additional tension?  The lack of replacement cables in my case makes me reluctant to apply more tension unless it is unlikely to speed up the wear of those cables.  As to the gearing on our boat being worn at the center point, that does not seem to be the case since the remaining slop seems to be pretty similar at various rudder positions.  Correct me if this information is wrong but I have heard that the "racks" on the SM normally have aluminum teeth whereas our older system is a copper alloy.  I have not yet taken ours apart to clean it but other Maramu owners that did have reported that the teeth were in excellent shape.  Our boat has low hours so I don't expect to see much wear when I do open the system up but will let you know.  I do keep the steering system well greased.  Thanks for taking the time to respond,  especially given the lack of replacement parts I think that this is a pretty important area of discussion.

James Alton
SV Sueno
Maramu #220


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...>
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Jul 5, 2022 6:52 pm
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?

I am going to add a couple extra thoughts about the steering system that will hopefully help somebody...

The entire system from the cables, and gearing at the wheel is designed to PULL the rudder in response to the turning of the wheel.  If the cables are kept in good adjustment, this is the way it will work.  The pinion gear on the wheel shaft will always engage its load with the same side of the rack teeth and a little wear doesn't really matter that much, it is taken up by the cables.

If the cables are loose, and the rudder is free to "flop" this cause a couple issues. Obviously, extra play makes hand steering a bit mushy and imprecise, but there are a bunch of mechanical issues too. The racks now bang back and forth against the pinion teeth, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth. Sometime the cables have to "push" the rudder into position, and this causes extra wear on the cables.

When sailing under autopilot, if you are using the linear drive connected to the quadrant, the load on the cables and gear is lower, they aren't working the rudder, just the wheel.  But still, if the cables are loose, the wheel spins a bit back and forth and the gearing and cables have to absorb the inertia of the spinning wheel. If you are using the chain drive, it is using the gearing and cables to turn the rudder.  If there is extra play, not only do you have all the wear issues mentioned already, but your autopilot will have to use a lot more power, and it will have much poorer control over the boat's direction because it will be unable to hold the rudder at one exact angle.

The adjustment procedure was described here:  #30542 I hesitate to disagree with Olivier on even the tiniest detail, but for me hand steering with 5cm of play in the steering wheel would drive me NUTS.  We set ours up to a fraction of that.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.


David Vogel
 

Offering another point for the tie-off debate ...

In the first 12 months ownership, I was meticulous to centre the wheel and tie it off firmly whenever in marina, mooring ball, or on anchor. There was an inevitable amount of movement at the rudder stock, but limited, mainly due to the effects of wind and currents.

At about 15 months, I started getting an intermittent failure of the rudder-position sensor. At the center-point - exactly when the ruder was sitting when centred and tie-off. This lead to failure-alarms on the autopilot when in use, and was indicated also by a null-value being returned on the N2K bus looking at the rudder position.

A change-out of the rudder-position sensor resolved the issue. Breakdown of the old part revealed undue wear at the centre spot. I take it that this was the result of my exactitude when tying off the rudder, the inevitable but minute movement of the rudder stock then being concentrating the wear onto a tiny spot on the arc of the rudder position sensor.

I now vary the tie-off position a little each time when tying off the wheel, to spread the wear. Perhaps this applies to the rack-and-pinion teeth too.

David
SM#396, Perigee
NZ



From: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...>
Reply to: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, 6 July 2022 at 1:52 am
To: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?

I am going to add a couple extra thoughts about the steering system that will hopefully help somebody...

The entire system from the cables, and gearing at the wheel is designed to PULL the rudder in response to the turning of the wheel.  If the cables are kept in good adjustment, this is the way it will work.  The pinion gear on the wheel shaft will always engage its load with the same side of the rack teeth and a little wear doesn't really matter that much, it is taken up by the cables.

If the cables are loose, and the rudder is free to "flop" this cause a couple issues. Obviously, extra play makes hand steering a bit mushy and imprecise, but there are a bunch of mechanical issues too. The racks now bang back and forth against the pinion teeth, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth. Sometime the cables have to "push" the rudder into position, and this causes extra wear on the cables.

When sailing under autopilot, if you are using the linear drive connected to the quadrant, the load on the cables and gear is lower, they aren't working the rudder, just the wheel.  But still, if the cables are loose, the wheel spins a bit back and forth and the gearing and cables have to absorb the inertia of the spinning wheel. If you are using the chain drive, it is using the gearing and cables to turn the rudder.  If there is extra play, not only do you have all the wear issues mentioned already, but your autopilot will have to use a lot more power, and it will have much poorer control over the boat's direction because it will be unable to hold the rudder at one exact angle.

The adjustment procedure was described here:  https://amelyachtowners.groups.io/g/main/message/30542I hesitate to disagree with Olivier on even the tiniest detail, but for me hand steering with 5cm of play in the steering wheel would drive me NUTS.  We set ours up to a fraction of that.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.


 

David,

Also, many times the autopilot will steer back and forth near the center...personally, I believe the autopilot is a big contributor to the wear experienced on some racks with SMs older than 25 years.
image.png

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Wed, Jul 6, 2022 at 4:17 AM David Vogel <david.vogel@...> wrote:
Offering another point for the tie-off debate ...

In the first 12 months ownership, I was meticulous to centre the wheel and tie it off firmly whenever in marina, mooring ball, or on anchor.  There was an inevitable amount of movement at the rudder stock, but limited, mainly due to the effects of wind and currents.

At about 15 months, I started getting an intermittent failure of the rudder-position sensor.  At the center-point - exactly when the ruder was sitting when centred and tie-off.  This lead to failure-alarms on the autopilot when in use, and was indicated also by a null-value being returned on the N2K bus looking at the rudder position.

A change-out of the rudder-position sensor resolved the issue.  Breakdown of the old part revealed undue wear at the centre spot.  I take it that this was the result of my exactitude when tying off the rudder, the inevitable but minute movement of the rudder stock then being concentrating the wear onto a tiny spot on the arc of the rudder position sensor.

I now vary the tie-off position a little each time when tying off the wheel, to spread the wear.  Perhaps this applies to the rack-and-pinion teeth too.

David
SM#396, Perigee
NZ



From: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...>
Reply to: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, 6 July 2022 at 1:52 am
To: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?

I am going to add a couple extra thoughts about the steering system that will hopefully help somebody...

The entire system from the cables, and gearing at the wheel is designed to PULL the rudder in response to the turning of the wheel.  If the cables are kept in good adjustment, this is the way it will work.  The pinion gear on the wheel shaft will always engage its load with the same side of the rack teeth and a little wear doesn't really matter that much, it is taken up by the cables.

If the cables are loose, and the rudder is free to "flop" this cause a couple issues. Obviously, extra play makes hand steering a bit mushy and imprecise, but there are a bunch of mechanical issues too. The racks now bang back and forth against the pinion teeth, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth. Sometime the cables have to "push" the rudder into position, and this causes extra wear on the cables.

When sailing under autopilot, if you are using the linear drive connected to the quadrant, the load on the cables and gear is lower, they aren't working the rudder, just the wheel.  But still, if the cables are loose, the wheel spins a bit back and forth and the gearing and cables have to absorb the inertia of the spinning wheel. If you are using the chain drive, it is using the gearing and cables to turn the rudder.  If there is extra play, not only do you have all the wear issues mentioned already, but your autopilot will have to use a lot more power, and it will have much poorer control over the boat's direction because it will be unable to hold the rudder at one exact angle.

The adjustment procedure was described here:  https://amelyachtowners.groups.io/g/main/message/30542I hesitate to disagree with Olivier on even the tiniest detail, but for me hand steering with 5cm of play in the steering wheel would drive me NUTS.  We set ours up to a fraction of that.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.









David Vogel
 

Thanks Bill,

I'd better put an inspection of the rack onto my "ToDo" list upon return to Perigee in the next week (or two) - COVID having delayed our travel plans back to NZ.

Best,

David


From: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Rouse <brouse@...>
Reply to: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, 6 July 2022 at 11:11 pm
To: "main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io Notification" <main@amelyachtowners.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?

David,

Also, many times the autopilot will steer back and forth near the center...personally, I believe the autopilot is a big contributor to the wear experienced on some racks with SMs older than 25 years.




CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School

 tel:+1 832-380-4970 | mailto:brouse@...
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
http://www.AmelOwnersYachtSchool.com 
   



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On Wed, Jul 6, 2022 at 4:17 AM David Vogel <mailto:david.vogel@...> wrote:
Offering another point for the tie-off debate ...

In the first 12 months ownership, I was meticulous to centre the wheel and tie it off firmly whenever in marina, mooring ball, or on anchor.  There was an inevitable amount of movement at the rudder stock, but limited, mainly due to the effects of wind and currents.

At about 15 months, I started getting an intermittent failure of the rudder-position sensor.  At the center-point - exactly when the ruder was sitting when centred and tie-off.  This lead to failure-alarms on the autopilot when in use, and was indicated also by a null-value being returned on the N2K bus looking at the rudder position.

A change-out of the rudder-position sensor resolved the issue.  Breakdown of the old part revealed undue wear at the centre spot.  I take it that this was the result of my exactitude when tying off the rudder, the inevitable but minute movement of the rudder stock then being concentrating the wear onto a tiny spot on the arc of the rudder position sensor.

I now vary the tie-off position a little each time when tying off the wheel, to spread the wear.  Perhaps this applies to the rack-and-pinion teeth too.

David
SM#396, Perigee
NZ



From: <mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Kinney <mailto:cruisingconsulting@...>
Reply to: <mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, 6 July 2022 at 1:52 am
To: <mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Quick question- Tie off helm at anchor / mooring or not?

I am going to add a couple extra thoughts about the steering system that will hopefully help somebody...

The entire system from the cables, and gearing at the wheel is designed to PULL the rudder in response to the turning of the wheel.  If the cables are kept in good adjustment, this is the way it will work.  The pinion gear on the wheel shaft will always engage its load with the same side of the rack teeth and a little wear doesn't really matter that much, it is taken up by the cables.

If the cables are loose, and the rudder is free to "flop" this cause a couple issues. Obviously, extra play makes hand steering a bit mushy and imprecise, but there are a bunch of mechanical issues too. The racks now bang back and forth against the pinion teeth, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth. Sometime the cables have to "push" the rudder into position, and this causes extra wear on the cables.

When sailing under autopilot, if you are using the linear drive connected to the quadrant, the load on the cables and gear is lower, they aren't working the rudder, just the wheel.  But still, if the cables are loose, the wheel spins a bit back and forth and the gearing and cables have to absorb the inertia of the spinning wheel. If you are using the chain drive, it is using the gearing and cables to turn the rudder.  If there is extra play, not only do you have all the wear issues mentioned already, but your autopilot will have to use a lot more power, and it will have much poorer control over the boat's direction because it will be unable to hold the rudder at one exact angle.

The adjustment procedure was described here:  https://amelyachtowners.groups.io/g/main/message/30542I hesitate to disagree with Olivier on even the tiniest detail, but for me hand steering with 5cm of play in the steering wheel would drive me NUTS.  We set ours up to a fraction of that.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada.