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mark and linda
mark and linda

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:02pm

Post Subject: steel cruser

I have a coles morton marina steel narrow boat in the shape of a river cruser with center cockpit.30 foot. a great boat and lots of fun but is verry hard to keep in straight line always turning wheel left and right and looks odd crusing down the cut when i brought the boat from london it was fine but now seems to be getting worse. we cruise the curley wyerly regularly

steel cruser
Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:14am

Post Subject: steel cruser

Is there a question in there or is this just a comment? I assume you are asking about the difficulty in keeping it running in a straight line. First of all have you radically altered the fore and aft trim of the boat. If you've done anything to push the bow further into the water then this just might be the cause. In my experience most boats handle best when trimmed down a bit by the stern. There are about four methods for transmitting the wheel movement to the rudder and I have not been told how yours is done. If its is by hydraulics (two pipes/hoses running from behind the wheel to a steering ram like a mini-JCB "bucket lifter") then you may be low of oil. The "lump" that the wheel is fixed to usually forms a pump/reservoir assembly with a filler plug on it. If it is low on oil and you have allowed air to get partway down the pipework you will need to bleed the system as well as top it up. Come back if that is the case. You also need to look for signs of slack or wear as detailed below. I suspect it probably uses a push-pull cable like an over-sized gear or throttle cable. Get access to both ends of the cable and while someone is moving the wheel from side to side through the slack you inspect both ends of the cable and everything attached to the cable for wear or slackness. My suspicion would be ether the cable is becoming unclamped from behind the wheel or the anchor point close to the rudder is loose. It may use a double cable/chain system that runs over pulleys or a rotary system that looks as if its been concocted from old car steering parts. In both cases you need to inspect the whole system for wear/slackness as described above. A you do not mention the steering getting stiffer I am discounting a partial seizure that can also cause wandering. Once you have found out what the problem is go through the system and make sure all the parts that move relative to each other are lubricated to minimise wear. Tony Brooks

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:08am

Post Subject: steel cruser

I have been giving this a bit more thought. With a wheel in the centre it would be easy to sit the rudder on a lock cill without realising. I expect the underwater shape of your hull is much the same as a "normal" narrowboat so check you have not lifted the rudder out of the skeg so it is now hanging to one side of the skeg.

mark and linda
mark and linda

Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:24pm

Post Subject: steel cruser

thanks tony have checked all the items you surgested including rudder no faults found.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:32pm

Post Subject: steel cruser

Mark Are you new to inland boating? If do I suspect this may be nothing more than trying to drive the boat too fast so interaction between the bank and prop "drags" the boat towards the bank forcing you to use excessive rudder to bring it back into line. however, as soon as you overcome the suction form one back the boat spins across the cut and there is a repeat on the other bank. It may also be that you are going so slowly the rudder is having little effect - especially if the rudder is a bit small compared with similar sized boat. Unfortunately neither of the above explains actual slack in the steering, but either would explain difficulty in steering. See if the problem goes away when you put it on a wide, very well used canal or even a narrow canal with plenty of depth. Tony Brooks

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