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HyperJoe 07-31-2006 10:45 PM

Cat 30 Edson question.
I just got a 1979 30 cat with wheel. How do I use the tension knob? Is it for heavy weather helm?

thanks ;-)

duffer1960 08-01-2006 08:30 AM

It's just to hold your wheel temporarily so you can grab a brew or use your binoculars to check out the crew on the next boat. Kinda like a poor mans auto-pilot; a VERY poor man.

SailinJay 08-01-2006 09:32 AM

I have a 350 and all I use the knob for is to lock the rudder when I am in my slip.

HyperJoe 08-01-2006 06:51 PM

THanks. So I should not tighten it to reduce sway on a close haul? Is it just for locking or was the design for reducing play in the wheel depending on weather?

SailinJay 08-01-2006 07:30 PM

I don't think it's a good idea to use this to lock the wheel while sailing. Even an autopilot allows for a bit of swing in the rudder. I'll leave it to the technical experts to articulate a more detailed response, but I don't think you want to eliminate play in either the wheel or the rudder, especially in heavier air. You need to be in control of the boat, be ready to adjust to the extant conditions, and be prepared to quickly fall off or head up.

gpd955 08-01-2006 11:31 PM

I agree
with Sailinjay. In addition to control of the boat, it is much easier to feel the boat when underway. I, too, have a '79 Catalina 30 and basically use mine when in my slip and if I have to go onto the cabin and raise/lower the mainsail when singlehanding and I am either too lazy to set the auto pilot or I forgot to turn it on!!

Jack Manning
S/V Victim of Fate
Atlantic City, NJ

HyperJoe 08-03-2006 07:49 AM

Thanks to all. ;-)

duffer1960 08-03-2006 11:18 AM

It is definitely NOT for reducing play. All it does is tighten a clamp around the shaft the wheel is attached to to stop rotation/lock the wheel.

HyperJoe 08-06-2006 12:23 AM

It appears that I was correct. This IS a way to reduce play in the wheel. I knew the design did not make sense as others have refuted. IF they wanted it to simply lock, they would have made a clamp not a scew. Go to Brake Installation & Maintenance (#689)

duffer1960 08-07-2006 09:30 AM

The diagram actually shows how this DOES NOT reduce play in the wheel, but is just a brake. If the steering chain/cable assembly is loose causing play in the steering, once this brake is tightened, there will still be play in the system. As you can see, the brake clamps around the shaft of the steering wheel just making it harder to turn. If you tighten it enough, the wheel will be locked.
Think of it this way: You have an old car that has lots of play in the steering; you cant hold a straight line and it likes to follow any cracks in the road and wander from side to side. Now, somehow, you are able to solidly lock the steering wheel in a position straight ahead. But, the car still wanders along the road from side to side and won't go in a straight line because of the play in the steering system.
This is the same as applying the steering brake on the Edson wheel. Even though the wheel is locked, the system play is still there.

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