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Old 04-14-2018, 06:10 PM   #1
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Better steering thru smaller steering wheels???

I have a new to me 1982 Marine trader 34 DC. I am an old sailor and used to big steering wheels and more precise steering. Plus my boat has a very large flying bridge enclosure that has lots of windage. It has very recent new hydraulic helms and rudder quadrant cylinder of the sea star make. The upper wheel is a ss over teak about 24"dia. The lower wheel is the original teak spoked teak about 20" dia. I have not used this yet but it seems it would be awkward to turn this fast. Both wheels take 6 turns lock to lock! I was wondering if changing wheels to 13-15" dia maybe even with a 'suicide knob' would give me better steering? I know it would take more force proportionally to turn the wheel but the force is not that large now. I'm also intrigued about adding some wedges to the aft edge of the rudder at haul out to make the rudder more effective?? Thanks
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:32 PM   #2
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My Marine trader has the large ss on the FB lower helm I almost never use. I like the large wheel on my FB but mine is 3.25 lock to lock and my wheel is vertical with no angle so the suicide knob would not work. but on our center console I would not be without the suicide knob
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:37 PM   #3
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Get closer to 3 turns L to L.

Consider a modification that would increase rudder swing. I use 45 degrees to each side very successfully. That much rudder swing is only usable at very low speeds. Full displacement or probably slightly above. One’s rudder needs to be strong enough to handle the additional loads.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:49 PM   #4
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The smaller the wheel, the more effective the knob. They're not that expensive. Buy one (or jerry rig one) and try it. Maybe it'll help.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:16 PM   #5
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Do you have an autopilot? Many autopilots allow you to press either the port or starboard arrow to move the rudder. The autopilot needs to be powered up, but not engaged to make this work. My helm is 6 turns lock to lock. My pilot can swing the rudder 2 to 3 times as fast as I can crank the wheel. I use the buttons almost exclusively for large rudder angle changes.

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Old 04-14-2018, 08:18 PM   #6
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Why do you need a knob?
We simply put a finger against the spokes and spin the wheel.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Do you have an autopilot? Many autopilots allow you to press either the port or starboard arrow to move the rudder. The autopilot needs to be powered up, but not engaged to make this work. My helm is 6 turns lock to lock. My pilot can swing the rudder 2 to 3 times as fast as I can crank the wheel. I use the buttons almost exclusively for large rudder angle changes.

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You wouldn't want to do that with my antique "wheel pilot". But then again, I didn't solo the Loop!

Your vessel is definitely the right tool for the job!

http://ww2.simrad-yachting.com/Root/...ser-Manual.pdf
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
Get closer to 3 turns L to L.

Consider a modification that would increase rudder swing. I use 45 degrees to each side very successfully. That much rudder swing is only usable at very low speeds. Full displacement or probably slightly above. Oneís rudder needs to be strong enough to handle the additional loads.
I have heard that sailboats should not have more than 33 degrees or rudder stalls and acts as a brake
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Why do you need a knob?
We simply put a finger against the spokes and spin the wheel.
yep, if hydraulic and the larger wheels....cant imagine why you couldnt unless awkward or weird helm setup.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:12 AM   #10
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"I have heard that sailboats should not have more than 33 degrees or rudder stalls and acts as a brake"

A boat is a boat , too much rudder slows them all.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:20 AM   #11
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difference with a sailboat rudder stalling is a bit due to no prop wash I would think.

with prop wash, more extreme rudder angles at slow speed should be very effective.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoleo View Post
I have heard that sailboats should not have more than 33 degrees or rudder stalls and acts as a brake
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
A boat is a boat , too much rudder slows them all.
Most power boat rudders are different than sailboat rudders. Sailboats generally have larger and often foil rudders. The larger foil rudder acts as a wing to pull the stern to one side or the other with the limited water flow going by the rudder. Power boats generally have smaller flat rudders. The rudder sits in the propeller wash. This wash pushes against the rudder to move the stern over. Power boat rudders generally loose more turning ability at slow speeds due to diminished prop wash.

Power boat rudders that can be turned to 40 degrees offer significantly better slow speed performance for situations like docking and "Back and Fill" technique when backing the boat into a slip. The difference between 30 and 40 degrees in these kind of situations is exponential in effect


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Old 04-15-2018, 08:43 AM   #13
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difference with a sailboat rudder stalling is a bit due to no prop wash I would think.

with prop wash, more extreme rudder angles at slow speed should be very effective.
Or W/O propwash. My Willard steers effectively at very low speeds. Has big rudder though.

As to one finger steering my setup is not ideal. My very large steering pump and slave cylinder adds friction through the large shafts and seals. I should have installed what was recommended. I was looking for steering security in places like Dixon Entrance.
Very light steering could be mine though w six turns L to L but I have 3 turns and really like it in big following seas. I feel I'd be out of control w six turns.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:05 PM   #14
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my wheel is vertical with no angle so the suicide knob would not work.
Blue Sky has a relatively large vertical wheel with the suicide knob mounted on one of the spokes rather than on the rim, which gives it a smaller radius. Works very well in close spaces, particularly at the dock.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Blue Sky has a relatively large vertical wheel with the suicide knob mounted on one of the spokes rather than on the rim, which gives it a smaller radius. Works very well in close spaces, particularly at the dock.
Ah yes makes sense
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:05 PM   #16
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rim or spoke ...angle or vertical....suicide knob works unless the wheel is so big you would have to stoop to use it.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:27 PM   #17
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My Mainship 390 also needs 6 turns lock to lock. Dissatisfied with the sluggish steering from the original rudder, I installed one that's articulated. The "flap" on the trailing edge, rudder hard over, is at 90deg, when the rudder is at 35. This transformed the boat in close-quarter maneuvering. The boat has a large wheel at the lower helm and a smaller one on the upper, to which I added a "suicide knob". I tired of using the "finger in the spokes" method.....just too much force was needed with such an effective rudder. Considered increasing the ram diameter but any more turns lock to lock would have put the lower helm out of business!
I've never seen a rudder with "wedges" on the trailing edges, but can imagine that they would help. How will you determine how thick to make them? I guess there's a trade-off there between effectiveness and adding permanent drag with the larger cross section.
Good luck, I hope it all works out for you :-)
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