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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-08-2008
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Rockter will become famous soon enough
Union 36 worm gear

Well, yesterday we went into the steering compartment to dismantle the worm gear steering.... there was circumferential play in the steering head.

To our surprise, the steering head came off the top of the rudder post with not too much trouble. There was some enlargement of both the shaft keyway and of the bronze steering head keyway. It was not going to fail....

Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket

Looks like we can recover some of the play it by cutting a new keyway in the steering head, and we will do our best to make the new key fit the shaft keyway a little better. If we can recover most of the play, then we will be good for another while yet, 31 years on.

A less welcome surprise is that you cannot get the steering worm gear shaft out of there without smashing the teak front off the helmsman's steering seat.... teak planks and all. Even if you strip the mechanism right down to just the shaft and the followers, it still won't come out.

There is some play in the forward worm gear follower, but not much on the aft.

Here is a worm gear with one (aft) follower...

Wormgearsteeringtyp.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

...we have two followers, fore and aft, but it gives an idea of it.

This winter, we will have to rebuild the seat and we will make the front of it removable so that we can get the entire worm gear steering mechanism out of there.

Another marvellous bit of planning from the Tiawanese yard. Beautiful lines to the ship, and good in a big sea, but, yet again, more stupid, utterly-avoidable nonesense.

Crowbar, somebody.

What, on teak, Rockter?

Yes, crowbar, %$*"£*$* crowbar!


Rockter.

Last edited by Rockter; 06-08-2008 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 06-08-2008
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Know were you are coming from Rockter. The new Womboat fell short in the survey dept when we discovered the old iron tanks are gone for all money. Why they don't yet leak is a mystery to all concerned but you can excavate handfuls of rust from under the tanks. Also the holding tank is rotten.

When we started the investigation on how to replace the tanks it appeared as if we would have to dismantle (cough !) the entire aft cabin to access the things. Nightmare of epic proportions and thankfully not my problem. Not your concern of course but we have since discovered that with a little bit of fine detail work involving a couple of angle grinders (repeat cough as required) we will be able to get the bits out through the side of the cockpit locker. Oh , yes, in case you are wondering we will then replace the two big tanks with three or four small. Big phew there and we end up with brand new polyehtylene tanks, one for use as a day tank, all with sensors and you beaut filters at previous (well current actually, but you get my drift) owners expense.

Sady the same thing applies to the holding tank so that may have to be cut out and the new one installed somewhere else. Such is life.

It does make you wonder though. In so many ways these people built fabulous little ships, badly let down by lack of thinking.

Oh yes, did I mention the teak deck ? Another day perhaps.

Good luck with the steering, sorry to hear about the teak seat.

ps - the first photo link doesn't work.
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Last edited by tdw; 06-08-2008 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 06-08-2008
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td..

Thanks.

I will manage to improve the play, but not eliminate it. Even when new, there would have been a little play in there, probably hard to see, but there would have been some.

Tanks make me nervous. Some 10 years ago, the plate steel diesel tank began leaking. I sealed it inside with two part polysulphide adhesive. It will probably breach again one day, then I can look to your idea of multiple-tank replacements. It only holds about 35 imperial gal, so I reckon it could be done.

A giant diesel bladder is another idea. I am sure I could angle-grind the old tank out of there, piece by piece, and could probably construct a non-chafe wooden bed for a big diesel bladder, so that will be the next trick....

Whitworths Marine: Turtle-Pac Flexible Diesel Tank 200L

I could maybe just grind the baffle out of the tank, and line it with neoprene, then fit the flexible tank, perhaps even to a custom tank dimension? There are possibilities there.

I will be in serious diesel swamp if it ruptures though. I am reminded that they are reliable, given reasonable care. The current tank can only be filled to about 160 litres before it risks a wee weep. It was rumoured to hold about 300 litre when it was new, but that may just be a rumour. Either way, a custom bladder is likely to better the 160 litre capacity at present, and (say) 200 litre will give the ship a range of about 350 miles, and that's not too bad. I have some space for another flexible tank under the quarter berth, if needed.

So at least I have some moves left if the current tank lets go. Rigid tank repair is unbelievable time-intensive. I have been there twice.

Rockter.

Last edited by Rockter; 06-08-2008 at 07:21 PM.
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I have a couple of problems with flexible tanks.

1. Chafe. It just seems to me that they would have to move about somewhat and if that meant they were rubbing against something it could get ugly. Maybe that's just me but it does give me cause for concern. Although as long as you make sure the old tank is prefectly smooth inside...

2. Odour. While I've never knowingly been in a boat with flexible diesel tanks every time I have been on board something with a flexible holding tank they smell. Now maybe that is just poor installation, maybe it's incorrect pipes but smell they do and while I'm a tad deaf my sense of smell is quite acute.


In regard to your tank, where is it located ? On the new Womboat they are under the cockpit and to access the inspection ports one has to remove the drawers in the bureau. Pain in the bum quite frankly. That was why the surveyer was seriously worried as he couldn't see any way of getting them out except through the aft cabin. However, when we were clearing out the cockpit lockers to trace some plumbing and wiring I just happened to notice a couple of latches on some joinery in the locker. At first I thought that maybe it was some kind of emergency rudder but it didn't look anywhere near strong enough. Anyway, I just pulled it all apart for the heck of it while the surveyer was doing something else up forward and lo and behold , underneath ... tanks.

Well pleased with myself I can tell you.

I reckon whoever came up with the idea for the Tardis was a sailor.


If your tank is under the cockpit then it may pay dividends to spend a few hours emptying out the lockers and having a poke around.

Cheers.
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Last edited by tdw; 06-08-2008 at 09:05 PM.
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TD...

It is under the steps as you walk down into the cabin. It's big, and ugly, and wide.

I cut the top off it once before, to solve the last leak... or near solve it. It leaks if you fill it too full.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockter View Post
TD...

It is under the steps as you walk down into the cabin. It's big, and ugly, and wide.

I cut the top off it once before, to solve the last leak... or near solve it. It leaks if you fill it too full.

Did you forget to put the top back on ?

(sorry, that was uncalled for.)


Obvious redeeming feature of our setup, they broke the thing into two tanks. If it had gone in as one , no way was it ever coming out. I'm beginning to think your bladder idea may well be the way to go. If you left the old tanke in (without a top) and lined it with something maybe that would be a good fix. Polyurethane would probably break down too quickly but something along those lines.
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Last edited by tdw; 06-09-2008 at 07:58 PM.
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