Re: Stiff steering
The shaft on the wheel usually rests in a bushing front and back.. we've had that bushing seize up before. Should be a split shell bushing, disassemble, clean up and lube that and it will probably be OK for another few years.
It could also be in the rudder stock area itself, of course.. but you'll need to disconnect the quadrant and see if the stiffness disappears.. that will identify the location of the binding. Rudder stock bushings can get dirty and bind too.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)