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Old 11-13-2017, 03:01 AM   #1
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Rudder indicator

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Fewer the systems, fewer the problems.
Suddenly my rudder indicator went berserk. It fluctuates between 30 degrees starboard to port while the rudder is midship. Another instance of more systems, the more problems.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:29 AM   #2
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Could not imagine running our boat without one.
Absolutely essential for close work.

But, if you can do without, now is your opportunity.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:00 AM   #3
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Mine's fairly simple. I use the rudder post extension for my emergency tiller. I usually have a drink holder fitted in it, or a small table rather than the tiller . Its quite a useful mounting bracket.

I just have to look behind me to see how the rudder is positioned. But its not that complicated with 3 turns lock to lock.

Here it is showing dead straight ahead.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:14 AM   #4
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Probably the sending unit on the rudder. Depending on age, many use a rheostat with a center neutral. A few bucks at a electronic store, but $100 or more from the oem.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:44 AM   #5
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Check the linkage, sometimes they fall off depending on design.

Raymarine autopilot arms were pretty snarky many years ago and gave similar symptoms.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:28 AM   #6
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Disconnect one end and "exercise" it back and forth by hand. It will either get better or worse. A replacement is in the near future. Relatively easy to replace if like kind.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:07 PM   #7
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For what it's worth, I removed my old rudder indicator sending unit when I installed my autopilot. The old one worked when I took it out. Been meaning to put it on eBay some day, but if you're interested, let me know.

Since the AP is NMEA 2K, the rudder position is available to display on the chartplotter. My old gauges were pretty crappy looking, so I did away with that whole system. It did take me a while to get used to looking at the chartplotter (or AP control head) for rudder position.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:19 PM   #8
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:41 PM   #9
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Yep it definitely sounds like the wipers are dirty in the potentiometer. As Hi Wire said, working it back and forth might get it going again. At least temporarily.
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AusCan View Post
Mine's fairly simple. I use the rudder post extension for my emergency tiller. I usually have a drink holder fitted in it, or a small table rather than the tiller . Its quite a useful mounting bracket.



I just have to look behind me to see how the rudder is positioned. But its not that complicated with 3 turns lock to lock.



Here it is showing dead straight ahead.


Brilliant ! I love this. Unless I was sitting in the back trying to have a drink. Oh wait! I could probably steer the boat from that seat!
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:12 AM   #11
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"Oh wait! I could probably steer the boat from that seat!"

If you can steer the boat with the emergency tiller a simple ram autopilot as used in sail boats might cost 1/10 of the hyd pump setup and be far easier to maintain.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:32 AM   #12
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I don’t have a RI.

Frequently I’ll put the rudder hard over and turn back 1 1/2 turns as it’s three turn overall. Gets me to dead ahead fairly quickly.

AusCan’s system is great. From my helm I couldn’t see AusCan’s indicator. However I could make a rod that fit on the top of the rudder post that I could see though. Would store it like a boat hook and mount it when we put out the fenders. AusCan is a clever fellow indeed. If he wasn’t so far away I’d be requesting a tour and a trip to a coffee shop to chat about all that I would see. But thankfully we have posts and pics.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:36 AM   #13
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When I first got my boat I thought I needed a rudder position indicator. After going without if for a few years, I realize I don't. As others have figured out, count the number of turns from lock to lock. Half that is straight ahead.

The only time I need to know that is when leaving a slip.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:30 AM   #14
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The only time I pay attention to mine is when leaving the dock or returning at very low speeds. But I do like having it during those times.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:12 PM   #15
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First I have two independent rudder indicators. Both are on the rudder stock.
I also have 2 independent depth sounders. One through hull and the second is a glue on. I have 2 GPS antenna in case one fails, the other is supposed to pick up the load automatically. Plus like everyone else I have GPS on my handheld VHF.
Gimme some reasonable charts, depth sounder and rudder indicator and an accurate compass, I should be able to get back to civilization.
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aboatman View Post
When I first got my boat I thought I needed a rudder position indicator. After going without if for a few years, I realize I don't. As others have figured out, count the number of turns from lock to lock. Half that is straight ahead.

The only time I need to know that is when leaving a slip.
I’m in the same boat, so to speak. My habit is to turn the wheel lock to lock, then centre the rudder before leaving the dock...comes in handy when there was a leak in the hydraulic line which you discover while still tied up instead of being out of control in the fairway.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:01 PM   #17
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Didnít work in my last boat. It had an unbalanced steering cylinder.
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Old 12-30-2017, 11:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Didnít work in my last boat. It had an unbalanced steering cylinder.


Never run across that in a boat. Lots in my work but not for steering.

Yes, that would complicate centreing.
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Old 12-30-2017, 11:52 AM   #19
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C lectric,
Turning it left or right and then adding 1/4 turn (or whatever) would become automatic very soon.
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Old 12-30-2017, 11:52 AM   #20
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Never run across that in a boat. Lots in my work but not for steering.

Yes, that would complicate centreing.
Mid '70's Hynautic system, twin inboard. On the bright side, all the cylinder O rings were had at the local HW store.
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