14 May 2014
Got a stiffy?
I was out having a nice little sail the other day with my co skipper Hazel when the steering went alarmingly stiff.
I had ignored the warning signs for the past two years by pretending it was in fact me, that was getting weaker, and not the reality of the boat getting stiffer.
So after a quick lap of the Isle of Wight, a fight with a wheel and the executive decision that it was impossible to complete the extra few miles required for the purpose of the trip in the first place (qualification, read on for explanation) I realised it was time to head back to the marina and consult my naval about what to do next.
I had hoped it would be a quick and easy to fix universal joint, or something that wouldn't require the boat to come out of the water.
All hopes faded as the steering was disconnected from the rudder and and the wheel spun freely.
So we went to the pub to ruminate. I had scampi.
A call to the local provider of lifting-outery and I was quoted 250 for a lift and hold for one hour and an extra 200 for each hour extra.
I then called the emergency dad-line. You know the one that begins with the number Daaaaaaad, in a slightly raising tone asking a pertinent question resulting in a potentially time consuming and expensive trip south from Derbyshire.
Time is of the essence you see. Both Hazel and I need to qualify for this thing called the Yachting Monthly Triangle Race and we are running out of weekends in which to complete our 125 mile passage.
So, my genius dad came up with a plan and a tool to skim out the bottom rudder bearing which had expanded gradually since it was fitted a while ago, see my previous blog entry about that…
I will add a diagram of the tool set up shortly.
but first, here is the boat out of the water, ready for rudder bearing fettling.
The long and the short is, the tool worked like a dream and the steering is now back to finger tip control and no longer a white knuckle bear wrestle.
The auto pilot is sighing with relief.