Carbon Fibre Steering wheel

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by captainjsw, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. captainjsw
    Joined: Sep 2005
    Posts: 39
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 24
    Location: Perth Western Australia

    captainjsw Junior Member

    Hi folks,

    Does anyone have any idea how to build a carbon fibre steering wheel for a yacht - thinking 30-36" diameter. I have 2 steering positions on a new sailing catamaran I am building - was just thinking of maybe just buying a couple of stainless steel ones but was just wondering how they were made - in real life.
    Thanks John :)
     
  2. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 1,896
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 739
    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Carbon tubes of any shape are made by winding the fabric around a mandrel then assiming it is pre-peg stuff bakeing it at the proper temprature to cure. I have heard of people using hula-hoops and other things for the form, but have never done it.

    The price for a carbon wheel in this size range is going to be about 4500-5000 compared to an aluminum wheel in the 2500-3000 range. Personally I have never thought the price difference was really worth it except on extreme racing hulls where every pound really does matter. But unless you are already looking at custom high performance steering systems I would save the cash for things that give more bang for the buck.
     
  3. susho
    Joined: Dec 2006
    Posts: 88
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    Location: the Netherlands

    susho Composite builder

    I've seen them being made in 2 halves. 2 moulds are needed ;)
     

  4. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 4,127
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    $5,000 steering wheel, ouch! ;) A hula-hoop as a form could work; you'd then have to wind several layers of unidirectional tape around it at suitable angles. Spokes could be prefab carbon tube. But I think most of the fancy raceboat ones, with the Y-shaped spokes, are made in female moulds as susho describes. If you have unlimited access to a 5-axis CNC and a nice supply of good tooling material, this works... if not, well, what's wrong with laminated wood?
     
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