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 Post subject: Steering
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:38 am 
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Hello to all. I am a new tandem owner and forum member. I recently sold my Windrider Rave to purchase a TI. I really like the boat and have had it out every weekend since we got it. My wife was joking when she said that we alReady used it more than the years we had the Rave. That is not quite true yet but it won't take long.

I have been reading the forum for weeks now learning the ins and outs of ownership of the TI. I noticed that one of the most common problems that happens to the Hobie is the misalignment, binding, stretching, and breaking of the steering lines. On our TI the steering line handles are very hard to turn. You really have to put some effort into it. I have checked the lines inside the hull and they seem to be properly installed and follow the correct path. When the Handels are turned you can hear the spring binding inside. When they are turned hard left or right they sort of pop past a point and stick hard. One side of the line does seem just s bit loose but it seems that would make it easier to turn the handles, not harder. Does anyone have any thoughts on this.

Also, has anyone considered useing a solid cable instead of line? I think that would eleminated the need for the complicated pull/pull line system. It should make the steering more sensitive and positive. It would never develope slack or wear through. Thoughts?

I look forward to sailing the boat and hearing from other TI owners.
.


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:46 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 9328
Location: Oceanside, California
Quote:
The spectra line is extremely strong. The breaking strength is in the 100s-1,000s of pounds. It also is very wear resistant. It may fray a bit, but doesn't fail easily. It is light weight, smooth running and has near-zero stretch. No reason I could imagine to replace with stainless cable.


If the handles are stiff... hard to turn. Remove them from the hull and lubricate the shaft. We have seen some instances of the stainless binding in the brass sleeves.

Once steering handles move freely, lines are adjusted... not too tight, but with zero slack. If the rudder steers smoothly on land, but becomes stiff in the water under way, you may not be locking the rudder down correctly. Pull the down line and with tension on the line, cleat it. The rudder should not move back / up under water flow. If it does, the rudder becomes unbalanced and hard to steer.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1612
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
I believe I am the only person reported here who has actually broken a steering line, and it was within about 6 outings from new, so we suspect that the line must have been assembled incorrectly and was perhaps rubbing on a scupper tube or similar. As Matt says, the stock steering line is very strong (220 pounds breaking strain I believe), but I also note you are actually talking about a solid cable for a pull/pull system.

You need to remember that a TI can expand or contract up to more than an inch in length with changing tempertures, so any solid rudder linkage will not work without problems, even if you could ensure it did not bend in compresion.

Also, don't forget to really lock the rudder blade down as hard as possible, as the more the blade can swing back (even fractionally), the greater the increase in load to the tillers.

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:45 am 
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So we took the boat back to the water today. Before we went out I took the screws out of the handles and used WD40 on the shafts and on the inside of the handles as well. I loosened the screws on the rudder and reset the tension on the lines. I made sure the rudder was straight and the handles were aligned with the boat. The rudder is still hard to turn. It's a bit harder to turn from the back handle. We made sure the rudder was fully down. The steering still binds.

My idea is to install a single teleflex style cable useing trunnions on the handle arms inside the hull. It would extend back to a heim joint that would attach to an arm off the rudder cassette. An alternate idea would be to use a solid push rod instead of a cable. The handles don't have the knobs on them so I could even install a push rod / cable on the outside of the boat. Anyone tried any of this? It sounds like almost everyone likes the steering system as it comes from the factory. I know that spectra is very strong and wear resistant. I had another boat that I changed from cable to spectra with great results. It was a pull / pull system that had foot steering. The cable would bind and break at the rudder. The spectra worked much better. The difference was in the internal complexity. The TI system seems unnecessarily complex to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:57 pm
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Also thanks to the forum moderators for approving my thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:20 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 9328
Location: Oceanside, California
You made sure that both handle rotate freely on their own? It may take more than WD40 if there is a binding issue.

It is also possible that a line is off a sheave (turning block) inside the hull?

To keep the lines off the deck... to offer dual steering capability... The internal system is actually about as simple as it can be. It is a continuous loop.

Of course... all of this should be handled by your dealer under our warranty coverage if desired.

Steering Diagram:

Image

Up/Down:

Image

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:33 pm 
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I had both handles off. The back seems one harder to operate than the front one. The line is on the pully at the front. I found a teleflex type cable at a local shop. At ten feet it was about 4 to 6 inches too short but the throw was just about right for the complete turn of the rudder. I realized it would be easy to instal a push rod between the handles. Then a much shorter cable could be used from the rear handle to the rudder. I operated the cable and found it to be extreamly smooth. I think this would also make the turning easy enough so the boat would round up into the wind if the pilot falls out of the boat. As it is now the boat would just sail off at least for some distance leaving the sailor in the water.


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Location: Oceanside, California
Kitester wrote:
As it is now the boat would just sail off at least for some distance leaving the sailor in the water.


That is a balance of sail and center of effort (dagger, fins and rudder balance).

Unless there was something forcing the rudder to turn... it will tend to trail the boat.

For example, I had perfectly balanced rudder system on my Hobie 16. I sheeted the jib and then reached for the main. The trapeze harness broke and left me in the water. The main sheeted out and with the jib in... it sailed itself right back to the beach. Problem for me was that the beach was a few miles away!

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:50 pm
Posts: 64
My other pedal yak has direct linkage non spectra steering from handle to rudder. I like your thinking on this. Keep me posted. I have a machine shop and can make the bits involved.
www.peridotcorp.com


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:57 pm
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Miller,

That is scary. I know a balanced boat sails more efficiently. On large boats that is a huge advantage. On small boats it could be a real safety concern. I think that my tandem would sail away on its own because the rudder handle will stick and hold course.

Picker,

I will keep the thread going and post a pic if I make the changes. I hope to use off the shelf components for any conversion. I also want to avoid permanent and irreversible modifications to the boat.


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1612
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Of course, one practical way to avoid this theoretical "sailing off into the sunset" issue is to tie the ends of the furling line and mainsheet together, and feed them through a large size carabiner attached to your lifejacket. This serves two purposes... you can always find the line, and should you happen to go overboard, you have the means to furl the sail if necessary, while remaining safely attached to your boat.

BTW, I am not so sure that anyone has experienced a runaway Island, as it is far more difficult for it to do so with only a single sail. I would be happy to be proven wrong though.

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:02 am
Posts: 325
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Kitester wrote:
When the Handels are turned you can hear the spring binding inside. When they are turned hard left or right they sort of pop past a point and stick hard. One side of the line does seem just s bit loose but it seems that would make it easier to turn the handles, not harder. Does anyone have any thoughts on this.



Kitester,

The binding you hear is likely the spring catching on the underside of the deck. In the first and second photo you can see 2 nylon washers, one of which the center hole has been enlarged. That washer fits between the deck and the spring and eliminates the catching you feel.
Cheers,
j


kayakman7 wrote:
Hi,

I've noticed on several occasions that the tiller arm is too short, that the tiller can turned a full ninety degrees and not fully turn the rudder. A longer tiller arm should allow full use of the rudder but a longer tiller will be needed to compensate for the increased leverage of the longer tiller arm.

Image
the copper tube is filled with epoxy and increases the strength of the joint between the carbon fiber tube and the stainless tiller arm. nylon washers fit between the spring and boat and between the boat and the locking pin.

Image
the zip ties are merely insurance, the loops in the rudder line are too small to be removed

Image
I lengthened the tiller by drilling down the center and inserting a length of carbon fiber rod.

I can turn the rudder lock to lock with ninety degrees of tiller movement instead of 180 degrees. This will allow for some stretching of the rudder line and still maintain control.

cheers,

j


find the original thread here: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=43160

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2011 Golden Papaya TI with a 250 square foot spinnaker!
also a more manageable 100 square foot spinny...
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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:41 am
Posts: 77
Location: Täby, Sweden
He who steers least steers best Lao-Tse (604 BC-531 BC)

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Taby
Sweden
Sail Tandem Island No P1787 in the Stockholm Archipelago (some 40,000 islands and rocks)


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:35 am 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 2761
Location: Kailua 96734
"Word" to your Chinese mother,..

Tester, it's probably the tiller, but the rudder line internals can hang up on each other, on knots, or on other stuff, even the hull itself. You can check with a mirror and lube things all through with lithium, including the rudder/rudder pin connections. Get to know them.

Other than rudder pins and loose gudgeon screws, most of us have no steering problems at all. One issue I was not prepared for was having the knots in the up/down THandles fail. This messes everything up. The lines will disappear into the hull and it's a pain to repair.

Hope your problem resolves easily. Still yet, why not work on some backup steering strategies?


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 Post subject: Re: Steering
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:43 am
Posts: 442
Location: Long Island NY
Quote:
lengthened the tiller by drilling down the center and inserting a length of carbon fiber rod.

I can turn the rudder lock to lock with ninety degrees of tiller movement instead of 180 degrees. This will allow for some stretching of the rudder line and still maintain control.



I am not understanding how lengthening the tiller arm changed the amount of degrees the handle has to sweep from lock to lock - please explain :?:

... I can understand how lengthening it increases the resolution, so to speak, and allows for finer control on a degree basis and think this is a nice advantage to keep the craft from wandering too far off a point of sail

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Alan W.
His/Hers Papaya Hobie Adventure Island's
.. and a Hobie Outback SUV


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