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Steering wheel blocking device

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MisterM View Drop Down
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    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.
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CharlesP View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlesP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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
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320 Nr 536 2010

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Gordon Harrison View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gordon Harrison Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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
Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlesP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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
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MisterM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.
 
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MisterM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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:
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MisterM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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?
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MisterM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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:
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Peter-Blake View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter-Blake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.







Blake 370
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MisterM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MisterM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.
 
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