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Old 09-14-2021, 09:57 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Gdavid View Post
I would guess that the cable will always struggle with the rudder loading at cruise speed regardless of condition, they just aren't made for that. They are commonly used for inboard outboards and have power steering assist as well for all V6 and V8 engines and even some of the 4 cylinders. Your configuration would work fine with a new cable assuming that you are on autopilot most of the time, which is pretty common for trawlers anyway and when you are docking or maneuvering with the wheel, the cable system would be plenty adequate.

If you go full hydraulic and want a backup, the most straightforward approach is making an emergency tiller to attach to the rudder post when needed, assuming that you can provide access to it from above.
i do have an emergency tiller. i'd hate to have to use it though.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:56 AM   #22
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The Morse rack and pinion steering was preferred on many boats as it provides "no feedback" to the helm, that is you can take your hands off the wheel and the helm stays on course and doesn't veer from torque. For larger boats where you may not have hands on the wheel all the time like you would on smaller boats, this was the feature that sold these units...in the previous century.

The length may be heat stamped into the jacket at one or both ends, typically at the tiller end. The rack is part of the cable, and replacement will include the rack and cable. The cable length will be the jacket length + 18" then rounded up to the next full ft.

Rather than have a diver take a look, try disconnecting the tiller arm from the cable end and see how free the rudder is.

Your top choice in hydraulic will be Sea Star formerly Teleflex. Very reliable, my last boat was 20 yrs old when I got it, 30 when I sold it, still had fully functional original Sea Star hydraulic.

If you want the really good stuff Sea Star Capilano is the "commercial" grade steering that includes variable ratio steering

Morse was purchased by Teleflex now Sea Star (Dometic) long ago, you will find the replacement Morse Rack and Cable listed as a Sea Star part, for example:

SeaStar Solutions

i called seastar tech support and they say they don't have any cables that will work with the old morse helms. disappointing as i like the helm as is. it has a cool mechanical rudder position indicator on it that i'd like to keep.
i could put in a gauge from comnav but they want like $325 dollars for it. by the time i do that, and buy a new helm and cable i might as well go hydraulic.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:13 PM   #23
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i'm curious to know, what type of steering is your bluewater equipped with, and how do you like it?
mine has an older morse rack/cable unit and it takes a lot of effort to turn to port at speeds above 6 knots or so.
it's high on my list of things to upgrade/repair.
Sorry for the late reply.

Sandpiper is equipped with the Capilano hydraulic steering with a variable displacement helm pump.

The single rudder is actuated by two cylinders in a push pull configuration.

Boat was built with those. I think it's overkill. Too many turns, but the helm can be spun.

If you opt for Capilano, get the bigger helm pump to reduce turns lock to lock. Sandpiper came with the smaller pump and with it set to max, it is still 7 1/2 turns lock to lock. The pump exteriors are the same dimensions.

If you decide hydraulic, make sure to install a crossover pipe/valve in your hydraulic tubes. It allows you to use your emergency tiller to steer without having to disconnect the cylinders from the rudder post. Bluewaters were not originally equipped with a crossover.

I installed an Accu-Steer (Bellingham, WA) variable displacement pump when I upgraded the auto pilot 21 years ago. I had to replace the copper steering tubes with larger diameter copper tubing in order to gain the benefits of the larger pump.

I have not had an issue with steering.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:31 PM   #24
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If you decide to stick with mechanical steering, Morse make non-feedback mechanical helms in addition to their standard helms that transmit feedback from the rudder, which is what you may be experiencing. I think they make the cables in various qualities. The better ones are very smooth. My experience with cable steering is with outboards and vessels under 30' so I'm not sure what is out there.

The Davis steering cable luber makes lubing the cable easy.

I believe that steer by wire is available if running hydraulic lines is something you don't want to do. I saw one demonstrated at the Pacific Marine Expo a few years back.
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:08 AM   #25
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i decided to replace the cable and see how it does. i can't do a no feedback helm cause of the autopilot hydraulics need to be able to turn the wheel. the type of octopus pump already fitted doesn't really play well with a hydraulic helm pump, and that guided my decision too. the upside is, i will still have two complete steering systems in place. i will probably also install one of the remotes from comnav that has a tiller function if the new cable works out. that would essentially be steer by wire.
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Old 09-23-2021, 03:35 PM   #26
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You may have a different Octopus pump then we have but, ours has worked well for at least 16 tears with our Hynautic helm pump.

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Old 09-23-2021, 04:05 PM   #27
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You may have a different Octopus pump then we have but, ours has worked well for at least 16 tears with our Hynautic helm pump.

Tator
the octopus pump i have is the one with the little reservoir on it. there may be a way to valve it so it can work with a hydraulic helm pump but i'm not sure. i inquired with the manufacturer but didn't get any response from them.
replacing the existing cable was a fairly inexpensive thing to try so i thought i'd give it a whirl. if it doesn't perform i'm only out a couple hundred bucks and some time.
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Old 09-23-2021, 05:54 PM   #28
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Yeah, that's different than mine. I 've tried to call Octopus several times over the years and have never heard back from them.

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