Steering System Update?

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Lanealoha
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Joined: 2/13/20
Posts: 38
Steering System Update?

Hello.  I've been doing a bunch of updating/ modernizing, or at least in the preperation stages of accumulating the stuff to do so.  It's appearing to slowly be transforming into some sort of re-fit I guess it may be called.  Anyways, I'm curious if it would be prudent to update the steering system and possibly the rudder and its components etc....?

We are in the middle of prepping our boat for a year off or so to travel south to Mexico and hopefully to Panama, you know, if all goes well and we can.....

Thank you.

Dave

David Lane
S/V Grace
88' Catalina 36'
Oxnard, Ca
 

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KevinLenard
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Joined: 1/28/15
Posts: 182

New rudder?!?  Unless your rudder is showing serious cracking and rust leaks down its sides, it should last the lifetime of the boat.  Ours was weakened inside due to the longitudinal strut being made of cheap stainless and it had rusted and expanded, so when we grounded a few years ago it readily snapped.  Short of hitting something with the rudder (protected by the keel) it is unlikely to cause any issues.  In fact, a water filled rudder isn't a real issue as it is below the waterline and many people simply drill a hole in the bottom to allow the water to drain out when hauled out to avoid freezing/swelling and never plug it up as the water comes in via the latitudinal SS post.

Having seen the issues we had with the port and starboard 'stop pads' for the steering quadrant post, having a new set of replacement steering cables and chain, plus an instpection of the same and the brass cogged gear inside of the pedestal would be wise before any prolonged trip or ocean-going.  Easy to do by removing the compass and the cover under the pedestal.

Kevin Lenard
"Firefly"
'91 C-36 Mk. "1.5" Tall Rig, Fin Keel, Hull #1120, Universal M-35 original (not "A" or "B")
CBYC, Scarborough, Lake Ontario, Canada

dpower
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Joined: 6/20/08
Posts: 193

There are certain parts of your steering system you should check if you haven't done so previously, particularly in light of the age of your boat.  Go online at edson.com and review the excellent material that describes your system, what you should check, and options available to you.  They also have excellent service technicians to talk to and answer questions.  A few times I called, I talked with the owner.  They will tell you that you should do a service of your steering every ten years, especially if the boat is in salt water, and more so if you go offshore.

So, I ended up replacing the steering cables and chain.  It is easy process that you can do by yourself,  I did not have any corrosion in my system, but decided to replace it all.  I also put in a new wheel brake.  This does require you to remove the compass and the weather plate underneath it, which can be a challenge.  Also, since it was all open, and because our transmission was very stiff and hard to shift, I decided to replace the control cables on the transmission and throttle.  Again, not complicated, and the improvement was unbelievable.

David S. Power
Two If By Sea #1687
Burnt Store Marina
Punta Gorda, FL

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pkeyser
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Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 486

For the age of your boat, I too would also suggest a steering cable replacement, especially if venturing out on a long run. Cables rarely break on nice calm days. We lost steerage on our '86 C30.  The10-12" emergency tiller was all but impossible to use.

If you have a quadrant mounted autopilot, that would help as a backup.
 

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

Lanealoha
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Joined: 2/13/20
Posts: 38

Ok.  Great.  Thanks for the advice.  I guess I didn't mean so much the rudder as much as the components, rudder tube, cross wire idler, radial drive wheel, rudder post stuffing box etc....  Are there things in these items i should be concerned with or are some of these items changed out at this age...?  

David Lane
S/V Grace
88' Catalina 36'
Oxnard, Ca
 

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