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 Post subject: A little help please.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:42 pm 
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I have the steering handle on my PA 12 mounted on the left side of my boat. Seems to be a lot of slop when trying to steer to the right. My question ( dumb or not) is which line needs tightened. the one on the left or the one on the right. I haven't had a lot of time to check things out and freely admit to leaning on you guys for a quick fix. Thanks for your help in advance.
P.S. I'm assuming the rudder needs to be in the deployed position before making any adjustments. :?:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:47 pm 
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Okay, remove the cover behind the seat to expose the steering drum. Loosen both set screws (one on each side of the middle pin). Now return to the cockpit and try to ascertain the halfway point for the tiller. You can measure, or just guess. But try to get it as close as you can.

Now return to the steering drum and pull the steering lines as tight as you can. Be careful - as you can pull the tiller over to one side when doing the first one. It may help to have someone hold it centered as you tighten first one, and then the other steering line.

Replace the cover. Enjoy.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Thanks Tom, I've read many of your posts and have found all of them to be interesting and informative. I appreciate you taking time to help out a newcomer. Will see what I can get done. New to this whole thing and a little tentative about jumping into things. Thanks again.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:28 pm 
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No problem. Do remember that steering a boat is not unlike steering a car - you cannot simply let go of the tiller and expect the boat to keep heading in the desired direction. Wind, waves, your weight, movements, etc., all mean you will need to make constant course corrections as you head towards your destination. This doesn't indicate any problem with the boat, it's just the normal way of the water.

But having those steering lines taut should gain you quicker response. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Pretty much got the whole "steers like a car" thing figured out in my first few trips. There is just too much movement of the handle to the right before the boat responds. I'm sure I'll figure it out. Do you think I would be better off to leave the rudder in the raised position to eliminate some of the movement as I tighten the lines? Thanks again.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Hmmm...My suggestion would be to drop the rudder first, align it with the centerline of the keel, then check the position of the steering handle on both left and right sides. The steering lever (both sides) should have a certain amount of travel, and if the steering lines are rigged correctly, the lever should be positioned in the half way point (middle) of travel when the rudder is centered with the keel on each side(left AND right). If not...Adjust each side (one line at a time) until the lever positions are the same on either side while the rudder is lined up with the keel. This should correct any problems with having to oversteer on either side...And NO...I WOULDN'T RECOMMEND leaving the rudder in the "Stowed" position while making the rigging adjustments... :|

BTW...The goal of loading & rigging the PA correctly, or any watercraft... is to distribute/balance the weight as evenly as possible, to achieve the best stability, and facilitate the least amount of course corrections as possible..But you SHOULDN'T have to make constant course corrections TO HOLD A STRAIGHT TRACK toward your destination...Tom is correct in that the PA does not steer like a car...But I have noticed that, AS WITH A CAR...The better BALANCE, ALIGNMENT and RIGGING of equipment, the LESS COURSE CORRECTIONS have to be made...And thats the objective...Correct?? My PA is rigged and balanced well enough so that I don't have to KEEP my hand on the steering lever, constantly making corrections to keep a straight track, even in less than perfect weather conditions...

I hope I've helped answer some of your questions 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:22 am 
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Problem solved guys. Thanks for all the advice. Lines are nice and tight and rudder is centered with keel with steering handle pointing straight forward. Pretty straight forward system, just needed to get in to it a little. Appreciate all the help. Adios for now. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:53 am 
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YakFish wrote:
BTW...The goal of loading & rigging the PA correctly, or any watercraft... is to distribute/balance the weight as evenly as possible, to achieve the best stability, and facilitate the least amount of course corrections as possible..But you SHOULDN'T have to make constant course corrections TO HOLD A STRAIGHT TRACK toward your destination


Sorry to hijack this thread, but I have a question: I balance my load and still have to over correct to maintain a straight line while peddleing. Does that mean I am not sitting in the center of the yak? Everthing else is centered on and in the yak. I wonder if I am leaning to the steering side of the yak? I thought all the PA were loose and must maintain steering while peddleing. But you said you could peddle with no hands and maintain a straight line? Now you have me wondering if I would be able to do this too.

Any insite to my question? Thanks for a reply.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Alot depends on the surrounding conditions as to whether or not you'll have to keep your hand on the steering lever. Leaning while pedaling can be an issue, having something dragging in the water beside you (anchor not pulled in all the way, bait bucket, etc.)...OR... It could be something as simple as having the more sensitive steering hub installed, causing you to over steer. That was my PA's problem :x ...You might want to check with your dealer to see which hub is installed on your PA?

When I purchased my PA new, I hadn't test drove one before and the first time out, I was very upset because the PA refused to keep a straight track. I had to constantly make course corrections, which was very distracting. I couldn't enjoy the ride because I was always focused on trying to keep a straight track. Anyway...When I got home I called my Hobie dealer and explained my gripe. He told me that Hobie was aware of the problem. I was told that because the PA's steering was so sensitive, with each correction that I made, I was over correcting causing it to wag like the tail of a dog :?...Then I was told that I would get use to it and the problem would go away...NOT!!!...The problem didn't go away. I was ready to return my PA, when my dealer then told me that Hobie had designed a different steering hub that should solve my problem, and Hobie would give it to me free of charge...I chose that option because I loved everything else about the PA and didn't really want to return it...

Well...After getting the new hub installed, I rigged the steering line to be as tight as possible to allow NO slack in the rudder, and also adjusted the tensioner so the rudder wouldn't be moved out of position if hit by a strong current or wave going under the PA. Then with the rudder down and centered with the keel, I made an alignment mark on my steering lever assembly so I'd know the exact position of the rudder that should make a straight track. Now when the alignment mark is lined up, the PA tracks great. Theres no guess work in trying to figure out exactly where the center line rudder position is supposed to be for the PA to track straight. I can take my hand off the steering lever, and not worry about making those constant, annoying corrections...Its not perfect though...If you go through water where there is alot of turbulence and/ or chop, such as strong surface currents going in all directions (caused by wind, power boat wake, waves, etc.) you'll still have to make some corrections...And it seems that the slower you are going, the more you are affected by those same forces. When I installed my trolling motor the steering improved even more, without using the motor to steer.

Please forgive my writing a book here :lol: ...I don't know what exactly I did that has enabled my PA to steer a straight course. I believe it was more a combination of things and not just one thing, if that makes any sense :wink:...I hope I've helped answer your questions, and not just made you more confused :oops:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:56 pm 
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quote


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:57 pm 
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"...Its not perfect though...If you go through water where there is alot of turbulence and/ or chop, such as strong surface currents going in all directions (caused by wind, power boat wake, waves, etc.) you'll still have to make some corrections...And it seems that the slower you are going, the more you are affected by those same forces. When I installed my trolling motor the steering improved even more, without using the motor to steer."




This is the whole crux of the matter - we're talking about a boat on the water, not a train on rails. Without the current, wind, body movements, etc., all boats would track dead on straight. But since the real world includes these dynamic elements, no boat tracks straight. It can't.

Adding a trolling motor puts an effective keel in the water. This is why the boat will run a bit straighter - same as having a keel or daggerboard on a sailboat, it helps prevent sideslip to some degree.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Thanks for the help.. I think I might be over correcting and need to tighten the lines a bit.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Tom...We're not talking perfect conditions here...And theres a big difference between touching the steering lever now and then to keep a straight track and having to keep your hand on the steering handle, having to make constant corrections. Before adding my trolling motor, I was still able to keep a straight track while using the mirage drive, making course corrections now and then...Not constantly...And my steering lever is positioned along side my seat so I don't have to lean over or reach over to steer...

So don't misunderstand me Tom or twist my words please...I never said that I NEVER had to make course corrections...I said that I could take my hand off the steering lever and didn't have to make CONSTANT corrections...You said that no boat tracks straight. That may be true in real life conditions...BUT...Some boats track better than others :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:00 pm 
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I didn't mean to imply that you were implying that you never had to make corrections. I was simply pointing out that course corrections will always be necessary on a boat due to the dynamic elements we're dealing with.

How often a person has to make a steering correction depends entirely upon the conditions. The more wind, or waves, or current, the more often the operator will have to make corrections.

These things are also subjective - what you or I might call the occasional correction someone else might consider a constant correction. I had one buddy that bought a PA who thought he could point his boat at an object a half mile away and just remove his hand from the tiller and pedal away, maintaining perfect course until he wound up dead on top of the object. In his mind, a correction every half minute was simply too much and there must be something wrong with his boat. He said he was making "constant" corrections. I wouldn't call a slight correction every half minute constant, but again, that's a subjective term.

And you might just be a good skipper. You could possibly get in any PA and steer it very well - perhaps better than the current skipper. Others tend to overcorrect on each adjustment, which isn't hard to do with the rudder so far up under the boat.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Holy crap, didn't mean to poke a hornets nest, was just looking for a little friendly advice. Can't we all just get along LOL! Seriously, thanks to everyone for all the advice. This is a great forum with great folks and is especially helpful to a newbie like myself. 8)

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