Steering Ajustments

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David Snowman
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26M

Steering Ajustments

Post by David Snowman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:51 am

Hi Folks,
was out on my 2005 26m this weekend in less than 2-3 knot breeze so spent most of the weekend motoring out to the reefs and cays here in north Queensland, had a lovely weekend, the mac has a 2005 50hp etec on the back, however I noticed that i spent an an awful lot of time correcting over steer, every time i corrected the boat would over correct so then I had to correct again and so forth, there is what i think is significant slack between the wheel and the motor, the manual gives no indication of how to adjust the slack out of steering mechanism.
Has anyone experienced this? and can anyone advise how to adjust the steering linkages to remove slack?
appreciate your advice, thanks guys, :)

Nauti Nell
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by Nauti Nell » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:39 am

I had the same issues. The original portion of the steering linkage that exits the hull to the motor is a cluster fornication of parts. I bought the custom steering for the 26M, which improved handling and tracking tremendously. Hardest part of the install was getting to the steering linkage below deck at the foot of the aft berth.

http://shop.bwyachts.com/product-p/5712-1m0.htm

David Snowman
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by David Snowman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:48 am

Thanks Neil,
my boat has this Kit, how do I adjust the linkage to remove the slack that i seem to experience? is that done in the aft berth somewhere or on the linkage in the engine well?

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Jimmyt
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by Jimmyt » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:15 am

There is a vertical carpet panel at the back of the aft berth. Remove that and you will be able to see the linkage. It is never going to feel like your Lamborghini, but checking and tightening the fasteners took a load of slack out of mine. Almost all of the bolts were loose. Try to get someone with you to hand tools and wiggle linkage, etc. Once you get into position back there, it's a PITA to have to get back out for a different tool. I tightened mine by myself and invented several new curse-phrases. :?

Also, there are certain speeds where the M boat steers like a whale on crack. Try changing speed and see if you can get it to feel better. Remember, no rudders or dagger above 6 knots motoring. As you get more wheel time you'll get used to it and it will seem better. Try making smaller corrections, etc. I don't think your going to find that the slack is all of your problem. This is just my opinion.

David Snowman
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by David Snowman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:49 am

Thanks Jimmy, Thanks Neil,
ill give that a shot on the weekend.


I'm having a boom bag and lazy jacks made up for the mainsail , and ill put in a new halyard and blocks back to the helm, my mast has a throat area where the sail slide slugs go in near the boom, but when the sail is lowered the slugs will fall out,
is there a simple way to stop this? id put a photo up of my mast throat but dont seem to be able to post a pic.
any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
David. :)

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March
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Location: Iowa, MacGregor 26X, Evinrude E-TEC 50 HP

Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by March » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:07 am

David Snowman said:
....the sail slide slugs go in near the boom, but when the sail is lowered the slugs will fall out,
is there a simple way to stop this?
A bit of string twirled around the mast and tied skillfully with the proper knot

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Jimmyt
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by Jimmyt » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:22 am

https://www.sailrite.com/Sail-Track-Stop-Round

Maybe I didn't understand, but if I get your question, they make several different gates and stops to prevent hardware from falling out of the slot... this is just a simple no mod required version.

Check your slot dimension - I don't use one, so not sure this is correct for yours. Just pop it in the slot and tighten to lock everything in.

The loop around the mast, suggested above, is cheaper...
Last edited by Jimmyt on Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by Tomfoolery » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:30 am

Jimmyt wrote:https://www.sailrite.com/Sail-Track-Stop-Round

Maybe I didn't understand, but if I get your question, they make several different gates and stops to prevent hardware from falling out of the slot... this is just a simple no mad required version.

Check your slot dimension - I don't use one, so not sure this is correct for yours. Just pop it in the slot and tighten to lock everything in.
I had a couple of them. Lost both. Once when I sat on the boom at a raft-up with a bunch of Canadian Mac sailors. My derriere put enough down force on the flaked sail that it pushed the stop down enough to pop out.

My mast has a hole through the opening, and I normally use a long pin with ringding, but for some reason, I didn't use it that time.

A length of thin nylon braid to tether the stop to the boom hinge would have prevented it from bouncing on the deck and into the drink, of course. Hind sight and all that. :|

David Snowman
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by David Snowman » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:41 am

Great advice and thank you for that, one last question on the Lazy Jacks issue, where do folks run the lazy Jacks lines down from? the spreaders? and if so how wide is usual?

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Jimmyt
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:11 am

Image

When you remove the panel, this is what you'll find on the port side. Starboard is similar but without motor linkage.

David Snowman
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by David Snowman » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:47 am

Thank you Jimmyt
Ill climb in and have a go :)

MikeFloutier
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Re: Steering Ajustments

Post by MikeFloutier » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:10 pm

I have a similar setup and get much the same slack steering response.

Since installing a tiller pilot that drives an extension to my starboard tiller I've noticed that the tiniest movements in the tiller pilot ram result in instant corresponding movements to the rudders - ie no slack.

However, the ram and rudders will move quite a distance before the steering wheel actually moves. The obvious conclusion seems to be that the slack is to be found in the rack and pinion mechanism that converts the circular motion of the wheel into a linear motion used to drive the below deck portion of the steering.

I don't know if it's possible to check and adjust this and, if so, how to do this but hopefully someone has done it. It would be good to be able to check it since the ultimate slackness situation doesn't bear thinking about.

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