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Patrick:
Any idea how Amsteel would hold up with chaff if it rubs on the centerboard trunk and guide block in the centerboard trunk? If it wares well it might be a good substitute. They didn't have these fibers when our boats were made.
If everything is lined up properly chafe is not an issue. Chafing would be an even bigger issue with the steel wire. It would literally slice right through your centreboard trunk. They actually make saw blades that are a simple strand of wire. They even use them to cut up ships but those are diamond impregnated..

You might have to change any sheaves as the profile for steel wire is very different from that used by cordage.

Chafing is an evil problem. Even in a Laser, a little sand at the bottom of the step will cut right through the glass. They actually make a repair kit that involves cutting the deck apart and glassng in a new step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Has anyone verified how the wire is attached to the actual winch? I've been told many manufacturers fed the wire through a hole in the winch drum and then used a press fitting to hold it in place. Did Helms do it this way?

I'd look for myself, but my boat isn't currently elevated high to drop the board down far enough so I can check. Hopefully I'll get it hoisted in a couple of weeks.
 

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Kevin:

I'm going by memory from the fall, but I think mine does a surpentine (an S) on the winch drum and is clamped to the drum by a screw and a piece of metal formed the shape of the cable. I know David's winch is different than mine in that it has a different ratio. I take 30 turns to fully extend and he takes about half that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I finally made it back out to the marina and worked on the boat today. My centerboard wire appears to be 3/16" and is attached to the winch spool by passing through a hole in the spool and then using a press fitting on the other side to hold it in place.

For some reason I'm nervous about attempting this repair on my own. I have a feeling it will be more difficult than it sounds. Can someone confirm that the little metal plate on the side of where the cable passes through the hull is the inspection plate for the sheave? I'm assuming that's what it's for, but I haven't taken it off yet because it's sealed with what looks like 3M 5200.

Here's how I'm planning to tackle the repair:
1) Have marina lift the boat just high enough to allow the pennant attachment on the board to be accessible while still having the board rest on the ground to take the pressue off of the winch.
2) Unhook the pennant from centerboard.
3) Remove winch from step/mounting to give access to backside where the press fitting is for attaching the wire and spool.
4) Cut the wire using bolt cutters.
5) Remove the wires from both the bottom of the boat and from the winch spool.
6) Thread new wire up from bottom of boat over the sheave and up to the winch.
7) Attach new wire to winch spool with press fitting.
8) Remount winch.
9) Attach pennant to centerboard.
10) Raise the board back up into the trunk.
11) Launch the boat!!!

Am I missing any steps?

FYI - Today was very productive. I painted the bottom with anti-fouling paint, waxed the hullsides, deck and cockpit, oiled the exterior teak, and painted the trailer. The last thing to do before splashing her for season number 2 is replacing the centerboard wire!
 

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I finally made it back out to the marina and worked on the boat today. My centerboard wire appears to be 3/16" and is attached to the winch spool by passing through a hole in the spool and then using a press fitting on the other side to hold it in place.

For some reason I'm nervous about attempting this repair on my own. I have a feeling it will be more difficult than it sounds. Can someone confirm that the little metal plate on the side of where the cable passes through the hull is the inspection plate for the sheave? I'm assuming that's what it's for, but I haven't taken it off yet because it's sealed with what looks like 3M 5200.

Here's how I'm planning to tackle the repair:
1) Have marina lift the boat just high enough to allow the pennant attachment on the board to be accessible while still having the board rest on the ground to take the pressue off of the winch.
2) Unhook the pennant from centerboard.
3) Remove winch from step/mounting to give access to backside where the press fitting is for attaching the wire and spool.
4) Cut the wire using bolt cutters.
5) Remove the wires from both the bottom of the boat and from the winch spool.
6) Thread new wire up from bottom of boat over the sheave and up to the winch.
7) Attach new wire to winch spool with press fitting.
8) Remount winch.
9) Attach pennant to centerboard.
10) Raise the board back up into the trunk.
11) Launch the boat!!!

Am I missing any steps?

FYI - Today was very productive. I painted the bottom with anti-fouling paint, waxed the hullsides, deck and cockpit, oiled the exterior teak, and painted the trailer. The last thing to do before splashing her for season number 2 is replacing the centerboard wire!
Please don't think that I am trying to discourage you, but I would suggest that if there is someone qualified at the yard where you are hauling, you have them at least take a look and give you their opinion as to how far you need to go.
Your turning sheaves may only need to be lubed.

Most of the time when I'm asked to replace a cable, that's all I do. I attach the new to the old and pull it through. I don't try to thread it in after removing the old one completely unless there is a problem somewhere.
 

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Kevin:

I have 2 - approx 2" x 2" stainless steel plates on the centerboard trunk below the entrance point of the cable. I assumed they are for access to the sheave. When I unscrewed mine, it was sealed with a thick red gasket material. No opening was behind the plate. I could see a faint outline of a 3/8" circle at the edge of the fiberglass. I assumed this was the end of the sheave shaft. I didn't want to disturb it and screwed the stainless steel plates back on. If yours has 5200 or a white caulking, someone might have already accessed the sheave for servicing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Wayne - On closer inspection, I also have two plates which are not necessarily inspection plates but rather provide access to the turning sheave.

I'm planning to do the repair on Friday, so I'll let you all (how many of us are there?) know how it goes.
 

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Knothead - Good advice...thanks!

How do you attach the old cable to the knew? I think that's a good idea and is probably much easier than trying to thread the new cable through on it's own.
Carefully unlay the strands of the ends of both cables. The old and the new. Cut off two or three inches of about 1/2 of the strands of one of the cables and cut the opposite strands of the other cable the same way.

Then lay them up together. If you're careful, there should be no increase in diameter.

Put a thin layer of electrical tape over it and you're set. Just don't pull it real hard. Have someone at the other end if possible to push and rotate in case it try's to hang up somewhere.
If you want to be real safe, soak the connection with superglue before you tape it. You will be able to pull it pretty hard without it coming apart then.

Good luck! :)
 

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Knotty - Good information. What lube do you use on the turning sheave? We only have one. How do you get about 12" up in the trunk to lube it?

Kevin - When you take the vinyl hose off the bronze Tee at the top of the trunk, look if the cable has worn a groove in the Tee. From what I can see through the vinyl on mine, the cable is through the wall of the tee at its tip and just touching the vinyl hose. I was planing on filling the groove with MarineTex and sanding smooth rather than re-glassing in another bronze tee.
BTY, I bought new vinyl hose for mine. Its 3/4" over the tee then the 1/2" slips tightly inside the 3/4" up to the winch hub. Its nice heavy wall vinyl I got at West Marine. A foot of each and I'll cut to fit.
 

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Number of Helms 25 owners

Kevin:

I'm not sure how many Helms 25 owners read this forum. On the old SailNet email board, I think there was a at least 30 Helms owners that contributed. I think this is the only board that has any regular activity. Mainly due to you, me and David. If we keep active, it should grow as new owners Google for information.

Wayne - On closer inspection, I also have two plates which are not necessarily inspection plates but rather provide access to the turning sheave.

I'm planning to do the repair on Friday, so I'll let you all (how many of us are there?) know how it goes.
 

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Knotty - Good information. What lube do you use on the turning sheave? We only have one. How do you get about 12" up in the trunk to lube it?
I think that if it were possible to access the sheave pin, I would use something like NeverSeize. That stuff really stays put. But any good grease should work fine.
If it's not easily accessible, I would probably use a spray Teflon grease. It comes out of the aerosol can as a liquid and quickly set up into a grease.
I really can't tell you for sure without seeing it.

Can you see it pretty well?
If you can see it, maybe you can make longer straw for the spray can. Or maybe the stuff will squirt far enough without a straw.
It seems strange that they would design it in such a way that you can't maintain it.
But I've seen stranger things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I installed the new winch wire this past Friday just before I launched the boat. I basically used the method I outlined in one of my above posts. The procedure was easier than I anticipated and only cost $21. No worries about not being able to raise the board this summer! Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread and helped me think through the process!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Wayne - From what I could see, the sheave appeared ok. However, I did not take off the access plates to get a full view. I simply looked down the copper tube with a flahslight. It seemed to spin just fine with the new wire in place. I did not use any lube.
 
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