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      Hi, I was just wondering if anyone else has a ‘dead ahead’ steering position that changes.

      To explain, my steering wheel has some neatly whipped string at the top to show you when the rudder is dead fore and aft. The string is now about ten degrees right of top dead centre when going straight ahead, and has already,obviously,been moved in the past as you can see where the ‘leather’ is not faded.

      Any thoughts?





        Is there any noticeable play in the steering? If so, you might fix it by tightening the cables (but not too tight as it makes the steering stiff).

        Secondly, have you checked the clamp from the cable quadrant onto the rudder stock? Clearly this should be as tight as a normal spanner can get it.

        If neither of these reveal anything untoward, when the boat is next out of the water, get someone to hold the rudder firmly while you try to turn the wheel either way. Needless to say, there should be no movement or free play.

        If it was my boat I would want an answer before going too far!

        Good luck



          Hello again Roger 😀

          There is actually no play at all in the steering and everything FEELS fine. What is strange, hence my question, is that the dead ahead position is moving to the right almost as if there is some cable slip. I’ve looked and wiggled but nothing obvious.

          If I haven’t made the concern clear, imagine the wheel being mounted on a spline fitting (it’s not). Now take it off and mount it 5 degrees clockwise. You will understand that everyting will still be tight yet the top of the wheel is now offset.

          Really can’t understand why.

          Regards Steve.


            Yes – I think I understand the problem. I assume the wheel is mounted with a Woodruff key – hence no chance of movement there.

            The only places that I can think of where movement could occur are –

            * cog on the end of the wheel shaft (but it’s usually keyed)
            * chain to cable transition (but this would show up as ‘play’)
            * cables stretching or not clamped on the quadrant (but again this would show up as play)
            * quadrant clamp onto rudder shaft – this needs checking as you wouldn’t necessarily see or feel the movement and it wouldn’t show up as play either
            * play in the rudder itself where it is fixed to the shaft (unlikely and can only be checked when out of the water – unless you have a wet suit!).

            If it’s none of these, I give in!



              Thanks again… I’ll give it one more wiggle then get the yard to look at it. Off to France for upto 6 months this year … really don’t want any probs.


                One final thought – have the cables been adjusted unequally?

                When you adjust the cables (to take out any slack/stretch) both cables should be adjusted equally. If only one is adjusted (or one is adjusted more than the other), then the steering will be offset – which way depends on which cable was tightened the most.

                If you want to return the wheel to the original ‘dead ahead’ position, you could shorten one cable and tighten the other.

                I’ve now run out of iddeas!



                  Come on !! You’re not trying 😀 😀


                    Having just read this post – I have a similar thing, only mine steers straight when the wheel is slightly (5deg) to Port. I’ll check and revert.



                      Cheers Graham

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