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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:55 pm 
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Have searched the forum and not found anything on taking the steering lever off.

Looking inside with a mirror, I see that the angled crosspiece that moves the rudder lines has a spring on the shaft. If I start to release the allen head set screw on the rudder lever itself, is this spring gong to cause the shaft and cross piece to pop out and fall down into the hull? Or is the shaft threaded on the upper end and fitted with a nut that holds it in place even when the rudder lever is taken off? Anyone have any experience loosening that allen head set screw in the rudder lever? Getting a hand inside to hold the assembly together against the tension of the spring on reassembly should it fall into the hull seems like a two person job...

What I would like to do, if I can, is just reduce some of the tension on that spring. My lever is a little too hard to move. Can I do this? It's good that the rudder stays in whatever position you leave it--well it's good in that you can have two hands to do other things. On the other hand, it also means that the boat will not head up into the wind and wait for you if you fall off--which most "well-behaved" small sail craft are designed to do. I want just enough tension to hold the rudder in position, but no so much that my fingers get tired.

I would also really like to reverse the action of this lever so that it behaves like a normal tiller. Especially before I start using an extension for hiking on the tramps. The reason is simply that I don't want to confused my body's "tiller reflexes" when sailing on other boats, especially ones that need quick luffs in big puffs or lifters. But it looks like this reversal operation would involve cutting and then retie-ing the rudder lines through the aft deck plate. Haven't felt brave enough to try that yet.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:02 pm 
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Are you sure it's the spring that's causing the tension and not something else like the rudder lines are a little too tight?

Kayaking Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:30 pm 
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No I'm not sure. Thank you for that good thought. I suppose I can test that simply enough by loosening one of the lines aft on the rudder. I'll do it...


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:42 pm 
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OK, adding 1/2" of slack to one of the rudder lines does reduce the stiffness in moving the lever. It's enough of a reduction to test on the water as to whether it's too much. But it's a balanced rudder, so it should not want to move around much. There is as yet no play in the rudder position relatively to the lines, so maybe the lines could be loosened more. Thanks again, reconion!

I'd still like to know anything anybody has found out about taking off the steering lever--or if anybody has reversed the lines.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:47 pm 
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If you do take off the handle, the parts do drop into the hull.

With two people, it's fairly easy to put back together, with one person pushing from the inside while the other screws on the handle.

If you reversed the two lines inside, as long as nothing was rubbing, would reverse the steering.

Kayaking Bob

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:28 pm 
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Location: Escondido
Mike, if you need to support the rudder mechanism, you can wedge something underneath it or tape it in place with say, duct tape or shipping tape. Here's a pic so you can see what it looks like. Reversing the lines as Reconlon suggests should reverse your control. It looks like with a little line slack you can do it in place. If not, perhaps you can reverse the control arm.
Image

Keep in mind, any slack in your rudder line will reduce your rudder deflection and cause some directional wandering under neutral loads. In any event, I think the rudder control spring is low tension and not contributing much to friction. To gain a smoother helm, you might try shooting some silicon spray in the rudder lines where they enter the tubes and all rudder pivots.

There is another possibility -- modifying your handle. Here are a few mods from forum members to give you some ideas:
Image
Image
Image

8)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:34 am 
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Roadrunner, thank you. Ideas and pix are extremely helpful. :-) I'll meditate on those various extensions for a while....

In your picture of the control arm, it looks as it slacking the lines would permit the little swaged loops at the forward ends of the control lines to be slipped off the rivets and reversed to the opposite sides of the arm that way. I don't remember the rivets on my control arm showing that much slack, but I'll check again.

From what you say, I assume silicone or teflon grease will not harm the rudder lines... Probably the lines are synthetic, so that should be true

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:37 am 
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I use silicone grease for hatch seals, but notice it attracts particulates (mud, sand, etc). I think this crud would build up in the rudder tubes and abrade the Spectra line -- spray is a better option for these areas IMO. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Location: HISC Chichester Harbour UK
I had to unseize the rudder setup on my AI that I have just bought. It had been laid up for sometime and was full of crud.

I use Mclube SailKote. I find it excellent and as the area I sail from is very fine sand that sticks to everything, I need something that dries and doesn't make the sand stick. I use this on all my boats.

Quote

"McLube Sailkote is specially formulated with Dupont Krytox, an easily applied environmentally friendly translucent liquid lubricant specifically designed for marine use.

It dries quickly to a hard, smooth, ultra-slick, hydrophobic dry coating that bonds tenaciously to almost any surface. And because Sailkote is a dry lubricant, it will not attract dirt or contaminants and will not transfer to other surfaces, or you.
Sailkote is typically five times as effective, and lasts much longer than, wax, oil or PTFE based lubricants."

It has freed off my rudder steering and up/down function. I used it on the lines as well as the joints.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:33 pm 
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Hey thanks for this good info!! I'll try to get some of this stuff...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:26 pm 
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I've had this exact problem; I found that the rudder line/tubes were crossed/twisted: and it was causing tension on the lines. I found the twisted lines next to the rear hatch. There is a clamp stemming from one of the rear hatch screws. Prior to that I had removed the handle a few time's like you, thinking it was that. (I think my right arm is bigger than my left, because my right arm was fighting to hold the spring every time the handle came off. :oops: )
To undo the twisted lines (if they are twisted?) you have to untie the rudder lines anyway. It sounds like the exact problem I had. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:26 pm 
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Mike, you will probably want to loosen the tension equally on both R/L rudder lines.

Otherwise you may experience trouble turning in one direction in heavier wind or surf. It's the sort of thing you feel when you forgot to cleat the rudder in position and the boat only wants to turn to port. Running out of rudder really messes with your day.

Rudder adjustment is a good skill to practice - and helps you keep an eye on your line condition. (I did it once in the water recently armed only with a stubby screwdriver).

Also check to see if the rudder up down lines and drum bolt are well adjusted.

And the T&S rudder repair manual suggests the tiller repair is a 2 person job. You can find it here online.

With the internal lines already crossed by design, I wonder if there is clearance and how well the rudder would turn with a direct connection. A new line kit is about $35, if you want to try it, I would buy a spare first.

Let us know!

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