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Old 10-16-2012
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sailing with the incredible hulk

So I'm out with my oldest son on Sunday, pleasant afternoon sail and in my foolishness I suggest he give a try to docking the boat. We always back in due to it makes leaving in the tight slip spaces much easier. So my son, unlike me, is a workout fanatic - very tall, 225 lbs and immensely strong. As he's trying to line up it's clear to me he's not going to make it. Being a dumb dad I decide to not intervene and see how he handles the need to reverse out and try again. Ingenious lad that he is, he promptly yanks really hard on the already pegged out wheel. There's a loud pop and then the wheel just spins free. Saved by slow speed and proximity to some preset lines we are able to tie up in the slip.

Now I guess I get to learn how to change out the steering chain and cable. Ode to Joy! Any wise suggestions on where to start? Take compass off pedestal first? Or open up from below in aft cabin?
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: sailing with the incredible hulk

Ouch!.... is he grounded??')

Check the quadrant first to see if the cable broke there.. if the wheel's been spun you've likely run the chain off the sprocket so you'll definitely need access to the top of the pedestal (btw I've yet to figure out how the remove my compass.....)

Anyhow I expect you'll need access top and bottom by the time you're done.
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: sailing with the incredible hulk

Send the Hulk below with instructions to not appear on deck until it is fixed.
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sailing with the incredible hulk

Good idea, but Lol - he's much bigger than me
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Old 10-17-2012
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sailing with the incredible hulk

I did the whole works on a Catalina 30 mk2 this summer. It was a tortuous job. Try and get as many diagrams as possible and when putting in the new cable and chain make sure the cables are crossed properly.
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Old 10-17-2012
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Re: sailing with the incredible hulk

I was reversing under duress a few weeks ago in full throttle with the rudder hard over. I was fighting a current and wind and things were generally not going well. I found myself pulling hard on the wheel and wondering if the force I was encountering what the wheel/rudder stop or if it was just the force of several knots pinning my barn door hard over. It was an important question to answer because if it was being pinned, all I needed was more force, but it I was at the stop, more force could break something.

A rudder position indicator would really have helped me with this problem. I once saw a guy make one out of a standard shift cable attached at one end to the rudder stock and attached at the other end to a wooden arrow. Genius and cheap.

The other idea that I've been wanting to implement for some time, is to make a parallel steering system, so that if the first were to fail the second one would be there. Basically I would use spectra and pulleys and have them running to the edison gear the same way the cables do. That way if a cable slipped off the guide, or if the chain broke, there would be a second system of lines and pulleys already there with only an inch slack, ready to implement.

Did that make any sense? I know a picture would help, but I haven't drawn it up yet...

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Old 10-17-2012
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Re: sailing with the incredible hulk

Once you open it up you will see that it is really quite simple. There are several parts anyone of which could have broken. Cable is the most likely, maybe idler wheels, chain, quadrant.
Once you see it I suspect it will be pretty obvious.
Taking the compass off is easy if the screws have not seized which they probably have.
If they have they will twist off then the compass removes easily. Getting it back on requires getting the steel ends of the screw out of the aluminum casting. Last time I tried I got 3 of 4 and called it good enough.
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Re: sailing with the incredible hulk

Like David said it's not rocket science. I would bet that you poped a connection (swage sp?) between the chain and cable. On my setup that appears to be the weakest link. If he broke the quadrant I'll have to ask if your son is green like the Incredible Hulk because, on my boat at least, that's a fairly heavy casting..... While you're at it check your control cables. Since you're going into the pedestal if they look worn you might as well do that at the same time. Take lots of pics as you go into the pedestal and you should be fine.

Since you have a hunter I'm guessing you have the Merriman pedestal. Be aware that the first part of the pedestal under the compass is actually made of plastic. I have a copy of the install directions for the pedestal. I can send them to you if you like. On my boat Hunter apparently 'modified' the system (moved the throttle cable) to allow for the power cables. PM me with an email address & I'll send you what I have.

MedSailor - Isn't that what an emergency tiller is for?

Last edited by saillife; 10-17-2012 at 09:48 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 10-17-2012
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Re: sailing with the incredible hulk

Stuff happens, things break.

Look at it as an opportunity for some father/son time as you fix it.
It's also a wonderful opportunity to learn the steering system and other innards of your boat as you pry it apart into an unrecognizable pile of loose bits - so take pictures as you go. Extra pieces when done are not allowed.
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Re: sailing with the incredible hulk

1 . He did you a favor as if it broke that easy it would have failed at a much worse time resulting in your-T boning a SWAN





It tends to involve standing on your head in a place that is way to small and generally involves bleeding a bit
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