Author Topic: Steering has become stiff.  (Read 350 times)

Chris J R

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Steering has become stiff.
« on: August 02 2020, 15:54 »
This is probably a silly question but my (New to me) Bavaria 32 was launched for the first time yesterday and we did an engine sea trial of around 25nm.


The steering became stiff (Autopilot lever was disengaged) and due to the stiffness not used - just hand steering for this trip.

Before we set off again, any help advice regarding this would be much appreciated.

The boat has been standing awaiting sale for over five years so I am a littlke wary.   I would look at the rudder bearings but before I do, I hope someone can reply to this query.

Thanking you all in advance.


Markus

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Re: Steering has become stiff.
« Reply #1 on: August 02 2020, 16:46 »
I would first eliminate the possibility of a problem with linkage & autopilot by disengaging everything from the rudderstock and seeing if it's still stiff to move. If yes, there's not much more left than the bearings. In such a case, perhaps some lubrication might help in short term before replacement can be made.

SorinCT

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Re: Steering has become stiff.
« Reply #2 on: August 02 2020, 17:47 »
Double check that autopilot cam and belt are not engaged even if lever is in correct position. Next check for steering clutch (if fitted) is free to tighted and loosen back up by the adjusting knob. Check routing of all wire cables, sheaves and lubrication is sufficient. Other than that, bearings or underwater inspection.

Chris J R

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Re: Steering has become stiff.
« Reply #3 on: August 02 2020, 21:58 »
Thanks both of you.

Moodymike

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Re: Steering has become stiff.
« Reply #4 on: August 02 2020, 23:03 »
Possible top bearing on rudder accessible under spin off cover, untighten  a couple of turns. Had the same problem including the split spacer, caused I think by nut being to tight,

Salty

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Re: Steering has become stiff.
« Reply #5 on: August 05 2020, 10:51 »
Have you checked that the spindle brake, the round spinner thingy in the middle of the steering wheel has been slackened off, it can make a big difference to the use of the autopilot. Dont ask how I know this !!🥴

Mirror45184

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Re: Steering has become stiff.
« Reply #6 on: August 08 2020, 22:50 »
Possibly could be the lower rudder bearing. If copper antifoul has been painted to the bearing the aluminium housing will corrode and bubble. This distorts the bearing and causes the stiffness. To diagnose the rudder has to be pulled out and the bearing removed from its housing.
Cheers
Mark Hutton
SV SYnergy
B40 Cruiser 2009

TRUNDLETRUC

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Re: Steering has become stiff.
« Reply #7 on: August 12 2020, 11:13 »
This is a common problem with the bearings on 2002ish rudder bearings. It happened with ours when we first bought it so we had the bearings replaced as part of the deal. However, they started to go tight again so in frustration lubricated the lower bearing with olive oil and hey presto the rudder loosened up!
Before you contemplate changing the bearings go into the back of the boat, release the top of the rubber tube (which should not be tight on the shaft) and trickle some olive oil down the shaft. It may leak out of the bottom a bit.
After a couple of oilings at the start of the season it has been okay for 10years. Try it.