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Pedestal Progress - Steering and Transmission

posted Jun 1, 2011, 11:21 AM by Christopher Hubbell
With appropriate contortion and pain I was able to properly route, tension, and affix the steering cables very early this morning.  Bending that wire rope around those tight little thimbles is not for the faint of heart.  Neither is trying to get that saddle bolt in place.  I'm happy to report that the cables are definitely better tensioned than they were originally, and being shiny and new they are much safer than the old broken ones.

At some point I'll need to cut off the excess cable with some kind of tough cutter, and then solder the end to protect from fraying.  I'm not going to stop now to make that happen, but I definitely need to remember to take care of it.

Don't pay any attention to the embarassing fiberglass job in the quadrant box.  The installer ought to have their epoxy license revoked for that one.  I actually faired the globs and put a sheet of 10oz cloth over the top of it.  I'm going to circle back and throw a coat of paint on it because it drives me nuts.  Still need to make a new cover for that box too.

The only detail I'm not pleased with is the wheel being slightly off center.  Because of the tight quarters between the eye-bolt and the quadrant's end, there is no way (that I've found) to tension the quadrant cables using the eye bolt.  I tensioned it by pulling hard on the cables and tightening the bolts with my other hand (thus the pain!).  The downside here is that it's not very scientific, and I ended up having the rudder a little bit to port when the wheel's "center spoke" is dead upright.  I think I can improve on this situation if not fix it completely, but I'm really not looking forward to it one bit.  This job looks trivial, but it was really almost as bad as sanding the bottom on my list.

I was also able to get the transmission cable installed and working nicely.  I'm glad I went with the throttle controls I did, as it is indeed what Edson considers a hard shift.  The new lever works very nicely, but doesn't exceed the wheel's radius.  Next, I moved on to the throttle cable, but ran out of time before I could complete it.  This one has a very tight route to follow with very little margin for error, so should make for some degree of frustration next time I get out there.

I'm very excited to wrap up these engine controls, as their conclusion allows me to mount the binnacle compass, which is a very nice visual touch on the boat.  It also makes for one less box juggling around inside the boat for me to trip on, which is always worthy of celebration.