Author Topic: Lack of control in light winds  (Read 515 times)

Offline alsantini

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 352
  • Karma: 8
  • Sail On
Lack of control in light winds
« on: September 22, 2016, 08:46:44 PM »
This year I noticed a bit of an issue when tacking especially in light winds.  Off the Wind would tack nicely and just keep on going.  Felt like I was tacking a snake.  On close inspection I found that the rudder was not all the say down.  When the tab on the stainless pull rod (or whatever they call that thingy...) was under the pad, I thought the rudder was all the way down.  I realized that I could move the rod down an additional 2.5 inches.  I eliminated all of the wander by pushing the rudder rod down until the rudder was at the stop point.  A couple of E mails with Vector revealed that this rod needs to be virtually straight and mine had a bow in two places.  Byron even supplied a pic (I love pics....) of his new rod alongside his old one.  His old one and mine were virtually the same.  Today I worked the rod on a picnic table until it was straight.  After putting it back on the rudder and checking it over (looking good...), it was then that I realized one additional comment that Vector had made.  The little square nub in the middle of the rod needs to be inside the rudder cheek plates.  Previously to today I was out by 3 inches at least.  Now, with the rudder down the square is smack dab in the rudder cheek plates.  Off the Wind now tracks great.  Good deal and thanks to Vector....

Offline Vectordirector

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 270
  • Karma: 3
Re: Lack of control in light winds
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2016, 12:17:44 PM »
Al,

Glad to help.  Glad you got it "straightened out".  I still find it amazing that such a substantial piece of steel can bend like that.  More amazing that you could bend it back. 

To be honest I didn't try very hard with mine and gave up on it after futzing with it on the boat for about 2 minutes.
   
Fair winds,

Bryan
2005 Eclipse #23
2004 World Cat 250DC

Offline alsantini

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 352
  • Karma: 8
  • Sail On
Re: Lack of control in light winds
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2016, 04:04:32 PM »
Bryan:  I cannot imagine trying to straighten it out on the boat!  Wow!  I used mechanical advantage the rod against the picnic table until I came to the end that attaches to the rudder.  I walked around the marina and finally found the end of the dock to walkway was a 2 inch square tube.  Stuck the end in and slowly bent it.  Took 3 tries to get it perfect but it is now good to go.  Thanks again.

Al

PS.  See you soon - heading down Nov 1st or so....

Offline Bob23

  • I'm a mean and selfish curmudgeon! - Bob23
  • Fleet Admiral
  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 6070
  • Karma: 113
  • All men die; few men really live.
Re: Lack of control in light winds
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2016, 07:22:19 PM »
Gents:
   The hold down rod on my 23 bent in exactly the same way.  Sure, I can straighten it out but what's to prevent it from bending again? I plan to have my local stainless steel welding guy come up with some kind of reinforcement so this doesn't happen again.
   
Bob23...for the cause

Offline Vectordirector

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 270
  • Karma: 3
Re: Lack of control in light winds
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2016, 10:20:34 PM »
I am on my third one and I think it is a design that can be improved on.  If anyone has any ideas I'm all ears.  They have been making this design for a long time so I think the factory feels good about it.  I believe Matt told me that it had been changed a bit lately and I think he told me the new control rods are different.  The two I received from the factory(long story, let's just say I damaged the new one in a poor docking attempt about 3 weeks after I got it, so I got another one) appeared to be a bit straighter than my old one although I never saw that one new. The replacements work great.  Never kicks up unless I want it too.   

One other thing I think may be happening is a bit of "user error" or perhaps lack of proper training by the dealers in these rudder systems.  Not blaming anyone but I feel like I really didn't understand how this thing worked until I saw a video of someone working it.  I believe the prior owner of my boat didn't get the rudder down correctly with the lower tab between the cheeks and had it off to one side when he locked it in up top, thus bending the rod.  I can't guarantee I paid much attention to that lower tab when I put the rudder down and may have done it wrong myself.  If that lower tab isn't in correctly it is very easy to bend the rod when putting the rudder all the way down as it will easily bend to the side.  Once the rod is bent to the side it throws the whole geometry of the system off and then the rod has to be bent back to lock in, creating the s curve.  Once I learned how to get the bottom tab lined up I haven't bent the new one as it is almost impossible to bend when locked in at the bottom tab.

One never knows what a prior owner did with the boat. Once the lower tab is in correctly the rudder will lock down with the arm straight and it won't bend.   Once it is bent it won't work right unless bent back or replaced. 

Fair winds,

Vectordirector
 





 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 10:23:48 PM by Vectordirector »
2005 Eclipse #23
2004 World Cat 250DC

Offline alsantini

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 352
  • Karma: 8
  • Sail On
Re: Lack of control in light winds
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2016, 09:03:28 AM »
It is an interesting concept....  If I understand it correctly the only way the rudder will kick up is by bending the rod?  Is that correct?  Seems kinda crude.  My Precision 21 had 2 lines, one to pull it down and one to pull it up.  The line that held it down was on a jam cleat that would open up under pressure and allow the rudder to pop up.  Might be an interesting mod, although I researched this topic in the archives and did not find much.  Is it possible that it is only a problem on the Eclipse line or maybe it is just a Bryan/Al problem. LOL

Offline Vectordirector

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 270
  • Karma: 3
Re: Lack of control in light winds
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2016, 10:54:55 AM »
Al,

Not sure and to be honest I don't mess with mine much any more since it is on the lift with it down all the time.  I exercise it once in a while just so it doesn't get bound up with corrosion.  Seems to work fine.  I just take it slow and make sure the bottom tab is back in when I lock it down.  I have no idea what it would do if I hit the bottom or an object in the water.     

Vec
2005 Eclipse #23
2004 World Cat 250DC

Offline alsantini

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 352
  • Karma: 8
  • Sail On
Re: Lack of control in light winds
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2016, 09:06:11 AM »
Was out sailing yesterday for 4 hours and figured that the rod has been slowly bending and the rudder coming up.  The slow progression (3 years of lots of sailing) went unnoticed by me BUT the rudder now being at the correct depth made all the difference.  When I first bought Off the Wind, I was impressed with the handling and helm of the boat - that feel is back!  Even the friend that I had along who sailed with me 3 weeks ago, mentioned that the tiller felt like it had power assist.  While he was at the helm (winds were over 15 with one reef in), I watched the rudder and the rod.  I could see the rod flexing slightly under pressure.  I think over time this starts the bending.  I will now keep an eye on the little square nub on the rod, and once it is no longer between the rudder cheek plates, I will know that it is beginning to bend again.  This has been a good lesson for me and I would suggest that all of us Eclipse owners need to keep an eye on the rod.  It will be much easier to shape the rod a little as it just starts to bend rather than waiting like I did until the rod looks like a pretzel.  LOL
Last sail of the Northern Season.  I am planning pulling the boat on Sunday or Monday.  Have to get the girl ready for the trek to Florida late October or so.  Sail On everyone.   Al

Offline alsantini

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 352
  • Karma: 8
  • Sail On
Re: Lack of control in light winds
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2016, 04:54:47 PM »
Finally re-sized the pic from Bryan.  Mine was as bad, maybe worse.  Anyone know what models C/P use these rods?

Offline Eagleye

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 350
  • Karma: 10
Re: Lack of control in light winds
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2016, 06:29:32 PM »
Al,
Take a look at this older post with pics of my setup.   The control rod on my Eclipse was bent out of shape also but I came up with a configuration that worked well.  It is my belief that the control rod is designed to bend in the event of the rudder striking an object.  Better that than damage to the rudder, castings or hull.  Stainless steel is very workable and can be reshaped from mild bending. 
Happy Sailing....
-Allen

http://cpyoa.geekworkshosting.com/forum/index.php?topic=6539.msg46970#msg46970
 
"Madame Z"   2006 Eclipse    #42