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Steering wheel blocking device

Printed From: myHanse.com
Category: Hints and Tips
Forum Name: 320
Forum Description: 320 Hints and Tips
URL: http://www.myhanse.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=6752
Printed Date: 20 September 2018 at 18:17
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.04 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Steering wheel blocking device
Posted By: MisterM
Subject: Steering wheel blocking device
Date Posted: 01 July 2012 at 22:34
The Jefa steering installation on my 320, a Smartline produced end of 2009, has a kind of "blocking device" preventing the wheel from turning too much when steering to starboard. This is a round rubber block, held in place by a bolt, which is secured directly under the steering wheel pedestal. This came loose this Spring on my boat, and I re-installed it, but it kept coming off ever since and now the taps of the hole where the bolt needs to be screwed in (sorry for my language Smile) have been worn-out.
 
This is how the device looks:
 
 
Anyone else had this problem?
Anyone knows what the function of this blocking device is?
Anyone knows what damage could be done to the steering installation or the rudder if the devide is not in place?
Anyone knows how to re-install a more sturdier solution?
 
Thanks in advance.
 
Best regards, MisterM.



Replies:
Posted By: CharlesP
Date Posted: 10 July 2012 at 22:30
How do you get to see these blocking devices? Do you just lift the floor panel which is behind the pedestal?

Charles

-------------
'MERIDIAN LADY'

320 Nr 536 2010

Medway


Posted By: Gordon Harrison
Date Posted: 10 July 2012 at 22:56
Charles unless you are gentle with your steering you will find them in the well under the panel you describe. It's a case of stainless bolt versus aluminium plate, no prizes for guessing what won. Through bolting is required but this is a big job! Some clever ideas required for the solution


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Gordon


Posted By: CharlesP
Date Posted: 10 July 2012 at 23:21
I must be gentle with my steering. Actually, the autopilot does most of it as we seem to be under engine an awful lot this season. I do get some strange knocking noises coming from the steering gear at times ( not on full lock ), so wondered whether some rubber bushings might be missing, or are these noises normal?

Charles

-------------
'MERIDIAN LADY'

320 Nr 536 2010

Medway


Posted By: MisterM
Date Posted: 11 July 2012 at 07:58
Indeed it can be found when opening the floor panel which is behind the pedestal, and then looking under the pedestal, then situated against the aluminium plate somewhere at 1/3 of the depth (measured from the back of the boat) and slightly on starboard side.
As Charles states, you will only see it up there if you're gentle with the steering, which is not easy, as sometimes in a manoeuver you need to get maximum rudder, and the "end position" or full lock when turning to starboard is when the steering lever hits this device. Indeed it apparently gets knocked off quite easily. I found out on my boat at first when manoeuvering, and the device that had come off actually blocked my whole steering, including some disturbing noises, so it is potentially threatening.
As the whole steering installation is from Jefa, this is something they should have experienced more often, I should think. I will check with the factory.
 


Posted By: MisterM
Date Posted: 11 July 2012 at 08:03
On the Jefa-website, a photo of a somewhat similar setup is shown, the pedestal upside-down, and now with two of the rubber stopping blocks, see below:


Posted By: MisterM
Date Posted: 11 July 2012 at 09:41
I received an update from Jefa.
There are two blocking devices, also on the Hanses. The second one is not very good visible, as it is on the other side under the pedestal.
However, they explained that the stop blocks are normally always bolted through, as suggested also by Gordon.
Hanse has changed that design into blocks that are attached through the aluminum using a single bolt and the screw-thread as only attachment point. Jefa confirmed that this is by far not strong enough in a situation where some force will be exercised to the rudder, e.g. when sailing backwards and letting go of the steering wheel.
If the stop block comes loose, the integrity of the steering system is threatened, as any movement beyond the point of the stop block will result in blocking the steering permanently. I cannot dare to think how this would be if it occurred out at sea.
Jefa suggested to apply a more sturdy construction, that not blocks the lever, but the rudder itself. I will instruct an engineer to do this.
Meantime, I think this is a serious issue that Hanse should deal with and, like car manufacturers, recall all boats with this setup and replace with a stronger solution. Anyone from Hanse to comment on this?


Posted By: MisterM
Date Posted: 11 July 2012 at 09:44
Forgot to post two pictures that illustrate the setup on the 320:
(4) in the picture above is the stopplate
 
Below, the stopplate is shown with the two stop blocks:


Posted By: Peter-Blake
Date Posted: 11 July 2012 at 11:08
I wonder that you write: "Hanse has changed that design into blocks that are attached through the aluminum using a single bolt and the screw-thread as only attachment point. Jefa confirmed that this is by far not strong enough in a situation where some force will be exercised to the rudder, e.g. when sailing backwards and letting go of the steering wheel."
Down below the drawing is from jefa, so they produce this stopplate for hanse as i think......And they deliver the stop locks aswell. I would ask jefa, if they are aware of this problem, why do they produce a weak product for Hanse? I am not sure if this is only a way to link the problem back to Hanse......

BTW1: Myself when going backwards i always hold the steering wheel strong in my hands. Never let it turn itself and turning in high speed to the stopblocks. I am sure these will break even if the are fixed in a better way, as the loads can get really high on these bolts. So be always careful when driving backwards. This is definatly not only a Hanse/jefa related problem. Have you ever tried to hold a tiller on a tillersteered boat when going fast backwards. It can break your leg! This happened to a friend of mine  some years ago!!

BTW2:
here is a foto of my stopblocks. You can see both on the foto. The diffrence to yours is, that i have a thread with nut, and you seem to have only a bolt.









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Blake 370


Posted By: MisterM
Date Posted: 11 July 2012 at 11:18
Thank you Peter-Blake,
 
You are right in my opinion. Jefa said that they produce this setup on request of Hanse, and that Hanse thinks this is strong enough. Jefa never heard of this issue before, they state.
You are also right that when sailing backward, one should hold the wheel strongly, which I always do BTW, so this damage on my boat is not from such an incident, which means that in normal use this setup can already default.
Thank you for the photo of the setup on your 370, which is more sturdy indeed, as it should be. So maybe just an issue for 320 (and 350)?
Jefa added that the best solution is a stop-setup directly to the rudder(top), as apparently standard practice with Dutch yards, and not at the lever, so still this setup could be better.
 


Posted By: Véronique
Date Posted: 16 July 2012 at 16:23
The exact same problem happened to us this weekend. Quite scary!

We were going very smoothly approx. 7.5 Knot in a nice breeze and choppy waves. Just after tacking, we heard a weird noise under the pedestal. First, the wheel was blocked on one side, then went berzerk on the other side. We did a full 360º, totally uncontrolled.

When the situation somehow settled down, we managed to tack again in order to turn away from the shore (in those situations, the more water in front of you, the better...). The wheel went berzerk again, we heard a terrible cracking noise, and then everything went smoothly, as if nothing had ever happened. We prepared the emergency tiller (just in case...) and managed to make it back to the marina without any further problem.

After inspecting the hatch behind the pedestal, we discovered the loose blocking device MisterM was referring to (stopplate). It may have been broken for quite a while and may have been dislodged when we tacked, jamming a rod in the steering system. This would explain why the wheel was suddenly blocked.

We will look into a sturdier solution to make sure we don't go thru such an experience again. If anybody is interested, I will post pictures.

P.S. I have no recollection of ever letting go of the wheel when going backwards, and we are always very gentle when steering. The broken device is definitely not the result of an abuse on our part!


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Veronique

Sir Titou 320, Switzerland
Caprice 445, Southern France


Posted By: Old Finn
Date Posted: 16 July 2012 at 19:11
Hi Veronique,
I´m very interested, please send me your pic by pm.

axel


Posted By: MisterM
Date Posted: 16 July 2012 at 21:43
Veronique, that is bad to hear. I had the same experience, including the blocked steering wheel and the noises as well, but in my case it was only in harbour, so less risky.
 
As a further update, I know learned from the Dutch technical guys working for Hanse that this issue IS known to the yard and now has been solved with a modification on newer versions, and that they did have some issues with the older models (build years until 2010 or 2011, I don't know). I am going to have a better device installed as well, for which I will post pictures as soon as this has been installed (but I'm afraid this will only be after the holiday...).
 
Meanwhile, with the device out of place, I have been warned not to sail, as the steering device can go blocked once the dead point is overstretched, and this cannot be repaired under sail or in water, so quite severe.
 
I do think this is a serious safety issue that Hanse should (re)act much better upon, as I don't think they want to bear the negative image of a copy of the Bavaria-failing-keel!


Posted By: MisterM
Date Posted: 20 July 2012 at 08:42
Véronique, you may want to report this issue also at Jefa, since they produce this. They can be reached at mailto:sales@jefa.com" rel="nofollow - sales@jefa.com and they respond quickly.


Posted By: Drumduff
Date Posted: 21 July 2012 at 17:58
I managed to take a look at these stoppers and what I have found is the two O rings have dropped off one of the stoppers. This may be the first stage towards failure but at least it looks like I have caught it before more damage has been done. The O rings need to be made of a better material than what they are now as they were found to be in very poor condition and have simply dropped off the stopper due to being totally eaten away from the salty environment.


Posted By: MisterM
Date Posted: 26 August 2012 at 07:25
It seems that the issue was known for some time with Hanse, and they've created a solution, which consists of replacing the rubber stops with an integrated aluminum ring with stops welded upon it. See the picture below for how half this ring looks:
This ring has been cut in half by the technician, as for the instalment of the full ring, the whole pedestal should be removed. In my case, this would mean removing the teak layer (breaking it off, actually, since it's Sikaflex'ed onto the ground), then dismantling the whole pedestal. Now, the half ring has been installed, and that was possible since only the stopper at the front in my case was broken.
 
This is how it looks when installed:
 
Looks like a sturdy solution to me, happy that this could be solved.


Posted By: CharlesP
Date Posted: 26 August 2012 at 17:40
I've just checked mine. They are through bolted just like the Jeffa photo. However, the two "O" rings have have broken. Only two years old and rotted through. Is that normal?

Charles

-------------
'MERIDIAN LADY'

320 Nr 536 2010

Medway


Posted By: Gordon Harrison
Date Posted: 16 September 2012 at 15:07
The time has come for me to do something to the steering stops which have come off . I think I might just through bolt them as this seems to be ok on various models fitted in this way. I wonder what the reason for fitting by the other method was?
I gather from reading the post from Mr M that the pedestal has to be removed, has anyone removed one yet or know exactly what is involved. I am thinking maybe I can just disconnect rod at joint and undo the 4 ? bolts under the pedestal.  


-------------
Gordon


Posted By: MisterM
Date Posted: 16 September 2012 at 16:41
Gordon,
 
The guy that did the job on my boat told me that the pedestal also has 4 bolts at the cockpit floor. I have teak in the cockpit, and in my case these bolts are covered by the teak (which is not the right way, he told me). So it is 4 bolts under the pedestal, and 4 at top (or it may be 4 the same, through bolted as well, I don't know). If you don't have teak, or your bolts have been left easier accessible by wooden stops, then you should have no problem removing the pedestal. This is all I know.
 
Machiel.


Posted By: CharlesP
Date Posted: 21 September 2012 at 10:47
I don't think I will replace the broken O rings. I will wrap some rubber around the stop fixed to itself with superglue.

Charles

-------------
'MERIDIAN LADY'

320 Nr 536 2010

Medway


Posted By: Gordon Harrison
Date Posted: 04 March 2013 at 13:22
Has anyone removed the pedestal looking at the underside I think is unlikely it will come off and go back on without also removing the plate it is fitted on as one of the bolts is vey difficult to get at. Does anyone have any ideas on the best way to release the plate as it appears to be glued on.

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Gordon


Posted By: Gordon Harrison
Date Posted: 27 April 2013 at 12:10
I have now carried out the mod to the steering stops by unbolting the floor pedestal and steering rod. I do not have teak flooring and I managed to get a small bottle jack under the rear of the floor to put a little pressure on whilst cutting through the sealant with a sharpened filler knife. The grp floor section is bonded to the aluminium plate . I then drilled through the original holes for the stops reamed out the grp and put the bolts in from above then fitted the stops back on with nuts and washers. The stops are now secure and fitted as I gather they should have been and the base of the pedestal covers the bolts completely, also hex bolts are below the surface of the grp.
All in all the job was easier than I expected.

-------------
Gordon


Posted By: CharlesP
Date Posted: 27 April 2013 at 12:41
Well done Gordon and thanks for the info. Have you still got 'O' rings around the stops?

Charles

-------------
'MERIDIAN LADY'

320 Nr 536 2010

Medway


Posted By: Gordon Harrison
Date Posted: 01 May 2013 at 08:57
Charles one of the rings was intact but The other split so I copied your fix with tape

-------------
Gordon


Posted By: Dagmar
Date Posted: 08 May 2018 at 12:36
Hi MisterM, I have the same problem on ny Hanse 350. How do I purchace the alu ring ?



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