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Old 11-01-2010, 10:56 AM   #61
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RE: Boating Straight

I know people with single engine CHBs and none of them have ever said anything about wandering being a characteristic. Not that I've asked them specifically, but we've had conversations about their boat's handling and I would have thought they'd have mentioned it if it was a problem.

I don't believe prop walk is a factor--- or very much of a factor--- when a boat is moving forward at cruise speed. We chartered a single-engine GB before buying our own and it had a rudder indicator and when the boat was tracking dead straight (with no wander other than what the waves or current swirls did) the indicator was right on "0."

It sounds to me that, for one reason or another, your steering system is not up to par, either because of play in the system, air in the hydraulic lines or actuator, or the modified rudder.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:10 AM   #62
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RE: Boating Straight

You really should stop comparing my little Senator 35 to Grand Banks, Eagle, or other "nice" brands of trawlers. While I am not an expert, I have seen these boats out of the water and compared the size of their gear to the size of mine (yes, we are still talking about the rudder... yes... on my boat... yes!... the fiberglass thing in the water ) and for a similar size boat, there is a big difference. I am not discounting any of the factors you suggest, I am just saying there is a big difference in running gear.

So you are saying prop walk doesn't affect steering at cruising speed? That goes against every fiber of my being to think that.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:14 AM   #63
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RE: Boating Straight

Gonzo - with a hydraulic system you want to be certain that you do not have an internal leak through one of the valves. We have a Wagner system on Penta and she would not steer straight or hold a course for any length of time. I finally realized that when trying to steer a straight course that the wheel would gradually creep around and not stay centered. If I were to put the helm hard over and hold it there the wheel would slowly creep around and not come up hard as it should. When I pulled her for the re-fit I carefully checked the system and found that when the upper helm was disconnected and the lines plugged the steering was tight and would not "bleed" off when held hard over for a fairly lengthy period. Further inspection found that there was a fair bit of pitting in several of the valve chambers in this pump so I sent it off to a shop for overhaul. On re-installation the helm now will come up hard (almost feels as though it is a mechanical stop) and stay that way until you get tired of holding it there.
There are several "bypass" leak possibilities in a Wagner system that if any one should start to fail you can end up with a wandering helm.
Just a thought but one that is real easy to test and show up a fault that you may have not recognized.

Good luck

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Old 11-01-2010, 11:58 AM   #64
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RE: Boating Straight

I'll start the search when we are on the hard in two weeks. I'm sure the manual has the bleeding procedure in it. At least I hope so.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:07 PM   #65
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Boating Straight

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:

You really should stop comparing my little Senator 35 to Grand Banks, Eagle, or other "nice" brands of trawlers.

So you are saying prop walk doesn't affect steering at cruising speed? That goes against every fiber of my being to think that.
I believe CHB is considered to be a "nice" brand of trawler.* You said that single engine CHBs are supposed to have "wandering" steering.* I haven't heard that they do.

Just because a boat isn't a "name brand" doesn't mean it can't steer properly.* Over the years I've known people with all sorts of single-engine boats, from inexpensive Bayliners to Tollycrafts to Grand Banks to lobsterboats.* No one that I've met has complained about poor steering being inherent to their brand.* There is a fellow on our dock with a 36 or so foot single engine trawler made in Taiwan.* The brand is one of those double Chinese names--- Lin Hwa or something like that--- problably the name of the yard that made it.* It's a run-of-the-mill "Taiwan Trawler," and he had a tracking problem that turned out to be a faulty rudder actuator.* He replaced that and his boat tracks right on the money now.

I don't know anything about Senator boats.* But I would be very surprised if they were built or designed so poorly with such cheap componentst that the steering system was incapable of keeping the boat on track.* If the boat truly is that bad, I would assume that this same lack of quality or good design would show up everywhere else thoughout the boat.* Does it?

Propwalk is a force that is generated by the act of rotating the prop blades through* water.* It is strongest when the boat is stationary because there is no other force opposing it other than the resistance of the hull to move sideways.* When the boat is moving at cruise speed, there will still be a degree of this force generated but it will be nothing in comparison to the thrust coming off the prop and the resistance of the hull, rudder, and keel (if your boat has one) to the yawing force of propwalk.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 1st of November 2010 12:12:19 PM
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:28 PM   #66
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Boating Straight

So if you just held the helm/rudder a little to one side, would that keep the boat tracking straight?* If so just reset the rudder indicator so the rudder counters the prop.* Both of my OB engines have a zinc skak which is slightly off center to counter the prop.

Do you constantly have to turn the helm to make the boat steer straight?* Is so it sound like a leaky valve.
*
To me a boat is made up of a number of different system of which the helm and rudder is just one of them, so brand name of the boat does not mean that much.**

If the helm/hydraulic has 3 lines*its simple as I menstioned before.* Just turn back and forth to the stops and hold, while filling the top*helm pump.

To me it looked like a big tire iron and did not have a clue what it was for!* I thought it might be to turn over the DD 671.* Did not dawn on me that it might be a till on a power boat?**

I had the helm rebuilt also, the one way little valve cost a couple of buck the labor was a couple hundred.* ****************
*
*


-- Edited by Phil Fill on Monday 1st of November 2010 03:33:00 PM

-- Edited by Phil Fill on Monday 1st of November 2010 03:37:05 PM
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:37 PM   #67
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Boating Straight

Quote:
Phil Fill wrote:
Both of my OB engines have a zinc skak which is slightly off center to counter the prop.

From what our Yamaha dealer tells us, the reason you have to skew the zinc trim tab is to counter the torque of the vertical engine which wants to rotate the whole motor to one side (opposite the direction of crank rotation) and thus steer the boat that way.* Angling the zinc anode trim tab the other way counters this force.* I don't believe it has anything to do with prop walk, which with a prop the size of the ones on most outboards is going to be negligable.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 1st of November 2010 03:39:59 PM
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:43 PM   #68
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RE: Boating Straight

Hiya,
** OK, this "Boating straight" thing has been going on for 66 posts now.* I'd just like to add as an alternative VOTE YES ON PROP 19 tomorrow!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:51 PM   #69
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RE: Boating Straight

It could be the engine, I was told the prop, but either case its use to count what ever the force.* **
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:58 PM   #70
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RE: Boating Straight

So if you just held the helm/rudder a little to one side, would that keep the boat tracking straight? --- Yes it will, but if it drifts from some external force or just because things on trawlers happen so slowly, it takes a lot of corrections and over corrections to get it back. But it does NOT take constant pressure on the helm to keep the rudder pointing the direction I set it. (Unless it's moving and I don't know it)

Do you constantly have to turn the helm to make the boat steer straight? --- Generally speaking, yes.
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Old 11-01-2010, 04:14 PM   #71
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Boating Straight

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:

Do you constantly have to turn the helm to make the boat steer straight? --- Generally speaking, yes.
That sure sounds like slop in the steering system.* Air in the hydraulic system, a worn out rudder actuator, mounts for the rudder actuator that are letting it physically move when the rudder or sterring system put pressure on it, etc.

The only other thing that comes to mind we've disussed already, and that is the modifications to the rudder have made it too sensitive, over-balanced, whatever you want to call it.

But... a question for those of you with hydraulic steering.* Can you backdrive it?* In other words can you apply a turning force to the rudder (by hand if out of the water, by the waterflow past it in the water) and have the steering system move and turn the wheel at the helm?* Beacause if you can't, then even if Gonzo's modified rudder was out of balance, it would not move on its own because you can't backdrive a hydraulic steering system.

Which if this is the case leaves slop of some sort in the steering system as his problem.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 1st of November 2010 04:14:59 PM
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:31 PM   #72
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RE: Boating Straight

Gonzo,
i just read over all 8 pages of posts to be sure that this wasn't mentioned- but I remember having to oversteer our Capilano system after we got our boat- very annoying. Turned out that the small knob beneath the steer wheel shaft (more turns /less turns) needed to be screwed in to give a quicker response to an adjustment. Worked great afterwards.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:28 PM   #73
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RE: Boating Straight

Penta,

I have had a similar problem with my Wagner 700 for the 12 years we have had the boat. Everyone including Wagner reps say bleed the system. I have done it and had it done with no real improvement.

Was the pitting easy to see once you had the helm apart? Where did you send it and how much was the service.

Thanks,

Rob
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:23 PM   #74
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Boating Straight

Quote:
Forkliftt wrote:

Gonzo,
i just read over all 8 pages of posts to be sure that this wasn't mentioned- but I remember having to oversteer our Capilano system after we got our boat- very annoying. Turned out that the small knob beneath the steer wheel shaft (more turns /less turns) needed to be screwed in to give a quicker response to an adjustment. Worked great afterwards.
Interesting. When I go down this weekend, I'll look in the book and see if there's one of those.

Oh... And thanks for reading all 8 pages


-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Monday 1st of November 2010 08:23:30 PM
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:28 PM   #75
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Boating Straight

A good start would be to get the steering cylinder rebuilt. They are usually quite simple affairs. If the seal on the piston is leaking from one side to the other it will allow the boat to drift as the rudder can move without any input from you. The oil can leak from one side to the other. There may not be any outward sign such as a leak - it is entirely internal. If it's like my cylinder it is simply an o ring to replace.
Bleeding will not help this.

You might test for this by, at the dock and tied, crank the wheel over hard one way and then the other way.
Hold those positions with pressure. The wheel should stop or creep very,very little. Otherwise there could be leakage at the piston. Yes there are other sources but this is usually easy to check and repair.



-- Edited by C lectric on Monday 1st of November 2010 08:29:24 PM
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:34 PM   #76
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Boating Straight

Quote:
Marin wrote:

*
GonzoF1 wrote:

Do you constantly have to turn the helm to make the boat steer straight? --- Generally speaking, yes.
That sure sounds like slop in the steering system.* Air in the hydraulic system, a worn out rudder actuator, mounts for the rudder actuator that are letting it physically move when the rudder or sterring system put pressure on it, etc.

Sure. I haven't discounted that as a problem. But it CAN be set to go straight for a little while if I can find that infinitely small sweet spot. Maybe for a minute or two if I am lucky on a calm day. Then, even just a little adjustment to port will cause it to start a pretty big, allbeit slow, turn (bigger than I like anyway) and it takes easily a half or full turn to starboard to stop it... and back to port to catch it. Then the back and forth gets going again and I eventually have to work it back to the sweet spot. But it takes a few minutes each time. It's frustrating. Sometimes I feel like I have to keep my eyes and hands completely focused on driving (even on a 5-mile wide river) to the point I can't enjoy the world going by... Even at just seven knots! That is why I bought a trawler in the first place.


-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Monday 1st of November 2010 08:35:19 PM
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:35 PM   #77
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RE: Boating Straight

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:"Then, even just a little adjustment to port will cause it to start a pretty big, allbeit slow, turn (bigger than I like anyway) and it takes easily a half or full turn to starboard to stop it... and back to port to catch it. "
Sounds like a classic case of "air". The system should be "thoroughly bled" by
someone who is expert at bleeding. I know too many guys who attempt it but really
don't know what they're doing.

*
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:59 PM   #78
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RE: Boating Straight

Gonzo - I still think that there is a very good chance that you have an internal leak in the hydraulic system - helm pumps, check valves or just maybe - is there a bypass valve at the steering ram to allow the system to be bypassed and use a steering lever/tiller for emergencies - great place to have a bypass leak! Larger rudder may be putting a bit more pressure on the system causing more of a leak.
First thing that I would do is turn the helm hard over and hold it there watching for the helm to slowly turn instead of staying hard like it was on a mechanical stop.

Datenight
The repairs to a hydraulic steering system are not involved especially the likes of Wagner or Capilano. Any good hydraulic shop that repairs farm or construction hydraulics should be able to do a first class job. In my case when I tore the helm pump down and pulled the pistons it was easy to see the corrosion scoring on the walls. The shop honed them out and made new pistons and the system has been fine for over 10 years now. Cost, if I remember right was about $200.00 and only took two days to have it back.

Hose v/s copper tube steering lines - either will work fine PROVIDED the hose is rated for hydraulic fluid and will stand the pressure in the system. With copper there is no worry that the lines are going to bulge with pressure and if installed properly will give many years of service. The ones in Penta are now coming up to 50 years old and after a good inspection I am not going to replace them - there is no reason.

Adding fluid - be very careful that the hydraulic fluid you add is compatible with what is in the system now - draw a small amount out of the system and add some of the new into it and see if it mixes or if it turns to "gummy snot" which some will do. That sure makes for poor steering

Hope this helps
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:18 PM   #79
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RE: Boating Straight

Thanks Penta,

We have several good shops around here. I'll pull the helms and give it a try. Nothing to loose!

Rob
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:16 PM   #80
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RE: Boating Straight

My 34 Ft Marine Trader also wanders a bit from side to side. I removed the dead AP when I got the boat so at this time I have to hand steer. Not a real problem but you do have to stay on your game for the most part especially in tight quarters. I don't mean to hijack this thread but my big question for you guys is this. Do all trawlers require many turns from rudder stop to rudder stop? My system is hydraulic and from the rudder at (generally) the center position to hard right or left stop is four full turns each direction. That is eight turns from stop to stop. WOW I'm getting tired of turning the wheel just thinking about it and writing this post!!! Is that number of turns about standard? Is there any way to change the system to steer more positively with fewer turns of the wheel?
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