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Thread: Cat 30 Edson question. Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-07-2006 12:03 PM
sailingfool The tension knob is called a wheel brake, and its primary purpose is to lock the wheel when it is not in use, although you can also cheat and use it to hold the helm say if you are beating and need run below to get a beer...

As to play in the wheel, there should be NO play in the steering system at all. If there is, then something needs adjustment or replacement and you should attend ot it. Too much play and a cable is going to jump off the radial drive, always at the worst moment...

Crawl underneath and see how the system can be adjusted, also check for any wear.

Good luck.
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.
08-06-2006 12:23 AM
HyperJoe 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)
08-03-2006 11:18 AM
duffer1960 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.
08-03-2006 07:49 AM
HyperJoe Thanks to all. ;-)
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
08-01-2006 07:30 PM
SailinJay 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.
08-01-2006 06:51 PM
HyperJoe 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?
08-01-2006 09:32 AM
SailinJay I have a 350 and all I use the knob for is to lock the rudder when I am in my slip.
08-01-2006 08:30 AM
duffer1960 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.
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