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Old 11-23-2009
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Build Your Own Steering System

Has anybody built their own steering system not using commercial (and very expensive) store bought parts?
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Old 11-23-2009
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I assume you are talking about a wheel steering system? I have several friends who have done this and I have worked on a lot of these systems. Also, what size boat are you looking at?

If you look at some of the more traditional boats, they have very simple and easy to build steering systems. For example, the pinky schooners used a great big tiller with a line going to a block on either side. The line then lead to a drum which had several turns of the line on it and is directly attached to the wheel. If you have the space for this setup and can do some basic woodworking, it is probably the easiest route to go.

Another relatively easy to put together system that does require purchasing some parts is a worm gear setup. Places like the lunenberg foundry still make these. You order them by the rudder post diameter(they are made for wooden rudder posts).

If you want to go the quadrant route, you could easily machine your own parts. If you have access to a mill and a lathe you could make everything minus the pedestal for less than $100 and a few hours of time. If you wanted the pedestal to look good, that would take some real work although it might not be too bad if you built it of wood.

I have also seen some homemade jobs out there that are less than ideal. Many of these actually have the control lines leading from the transom to the aft edge of the rudder so they pull it from there.
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Own Steering System

Thanks for the advice. I have a 40ft all wood boat and could build a pedestal myself. It's mainly the internal works I'm concerned about.
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Old 11-24-2009
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I was going to post a drawing of a steering oar on a 600 year old Egyptian river boat but thought it might be rude.
If you're in a sailing centre there should be a marine consignment store somewhere nearby. Where I live in Victoria the Sailors Exchange has enough gear to equip an entire boat - everything except the hull. That would be my first choice. Why build it when you can buy it cheaply? A picture would be good but you need 10 posts first. Go to the song thread http://www.sailnet.com/forums/off-to...ong-chain.html
and build up your posts to 10 and post a pic or two. It would help.
Brian
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Old 11-24-2009
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Klem, a few years ago when in Maine I went for a day sail on a traditionally built pinky. Stayed on the boat into the evening had so much fun! The wheel steering was amazing with the system you just described! Manila rope and all! next to no "play" in in wheel to rudder, and I could "feel" the ship Through the wheel too!

type2 I'd love to see pics of your boat!
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Old 11-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Klem, a few years ago when in Maine I went for a day sail on a traditionally built pinky. Stayed on the boat into the evening had so much fun! The wheel steering was amazing with the system you just described! Manila rope and all! next to no "play" in in wheel to rudder, and I could "feel" the ship Through the wheel too!
What was the name of the boat? Was it the Summertime or the Maine?

I happen to be a big fan of those systems on traditional boats because they are simple, give good feel, you can see the rudder position easily, and you can always steer with the tiller if something goes wrong. There just isn't much to break anyways.
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Old 11-24-2009
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Oh I don't remember the name, but she was only about 10 yrs old then, even though she looked to have come right out of a history book. the captain lived aboard I beleive.
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Old 11-24-2009
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It was probably the Summertime then. The captain(and one of the builders) is Bill Brown and he is a wonderful guy. It is really funny to see a small pinky schooner sailing around with a 6'6" bearded guy at the helm. Bill is quite the sport, I remember going to a Gloucester race and leaving 3 days after him and catching him after a day and he hadn't stopped yet. Those boats are really neat and great pieces of history but they certainly are not fast.
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Old 12-02-2009
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Researching the same topic myself, Type2. I'm converting tiller steering via a rudderpost, to helm steering, and looking at bevelheads (No, not a bloke who keeps his best thongs for going to the pub!) A right angle drive, geared down to give about 4 turns of the helm for about 70 degrees of turn. Connect to top of rudderpost, with a universal joint running a ss rod to the wheel on a pedestal. I've looked at agricultural drives, but they are not geared. Lewmar makes one, but they're a bit pricey. I'll keep in touch as I find out more
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Old 10-06-2011
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more info please :)

hey klem, any chance you can describe the steering (line attached to the tiller and led to a drum attached to the wheel) you are talking about. or maybe you can tell me where to find a picture. i understand the idea, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

thanks...

kevin
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