how much play in cables. for stearing - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 12-11-2002
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how much play in cables. for stearing

I have a 33 foot Islander, and it has about 1 inch of play in the steering at the wheal. When I inspect the cables they are just a little loose. Should there be any play at all.
On another note she has a hard time being steered via an auto pilot. It wants to snake back and for the and all the gain or lack of it only makes it snake faster or slower. Could this be a result of my ruder having some play.
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how much play in cables. for stearing

1" of play is too much and yes it will degrade your autopilot performance. Tighten the cable until the play disappears but do not over tighten as to overstress the rudder bearings. A loose cable can also jump off the wheels leaving you with no steering at the wheel. This may not be the only source of your autopilot problems though.
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how much play in cables. for stearing

Your cable needs to be snug but not play music on. Your autopilot it trying to compensate for the backlash in the cable. Also check your rudder. Make sure it turns without restriction and without backlash in the pivot arm. Check the cable sheeves, make sure they turn smoothly. Also if the cable is too tight it''ll cause undue wear on the sheeves and other bearings..........Del
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how much play in cables. for stearing

You should also check the keys in the wheel, sprocket and steer quadrent for slop or wear.. My 35 year old boat has NO play in the steering. If I overtighten the cables there is a noticable increase in steering resistance.
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