Optimal number of turns of steering wheel

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by BTG YACHT DSGN, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. BTG YACHT DSGN
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    BTG YACHT DSGN -sailing is believing-

    Hi,

    I'm curious how many wheel turns do you find the most optimal for a sailboat steering wheel? From ,,0'' position to fully turned starboard for example. So that the steering is not too ,,nervous" and you don't get irritated by turnin' this round and round and...

    Where is the optimum? Are there any guidelines, even given by rule of thumb in the society of boatbuilders and sailors?

    Regards,

    Kuba
     
  2. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Stumble Senior Member

    For me it really depends on the size of the steering wheel. The larger it is the fewer turns from lock to lock because the wheel is more sensitive.
     
  3. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    4 - 5 depending.
     
  4. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    If its hydraulic and you expect to fit an auto pilot pump the answer is 5.

    But why do you ask when you are BTG YACHT DESGN.
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A quick look at the Edson site would be a good idea, so you can develop your vendor data base, as well as your systems understanding. Typically, the system is dependent on tooth count, amount of swing and other variables, but a common geared system will be 1.7 to 2.3 turns, lock to lock. You can decrease or increase the lock to lock dimension, but 5 turns lock to lock is excessive, unless using an exceptionally small wheel. For example, lets assume you've limited rudder travel to 45 degrees in each direction, so a 90 degree swing from lock to lock. A 1/4 turn of the wheel (assuming 2 turns , lock to lock) means 11.25 degrees of rudder deflection. This is sufficient for most in casual maneuvering, while offer enough feed back, without the skipper having to "chase" the helm.
     
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    To get the correct gain on an auto pilot around 5 turns is required. The pump should turn lock to lock i approx 16 seconds. With that the software will handle it.

    If this is yachty racy stuff I hav'nt a clue.
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    mechanical advantage of a large diameter wheel need less lock to lock . small wheel needs more. Motorboats all seem to have small wheels and the issue of control must come into the calculation. A fast wheel might be dangerous.

    Whats the best ? I like a big fast wheel when sailing, but a smaller person may be overpowered by the fast wheel and get launched.

    The boat Im sailing now is 4 turns lock to lock. a pair of 1100mm wheels port starboard. 50ton sloop, fin keel. I dont know the precise lock to lock rudder swing angle. feels good, responsive yet not overpowering and tiresome to drive
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Most all powerboat helms are 2.5 to 3.5 turns lock to lock. Sailboats are a different mater and there are lots of variables governing the lock to lock rate. I too prefer a quick wheel, which increases sensitivity and feed back, all important on a sailboat helm, not so much on a powerboat. Changing the rate is usually pretty simple, often just one part. 4 or 5 turns would just piss me off in a tight anchorage.
     
  9. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    On a sailing yacht fast steering is very desirable when docking the boat. In the perfect world you would have two speed steering.
     
  10. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "In the perfect world you would have two speed steering."

    Sorta depends on the brew selected for the steer person.
     
  11. BTG YACHT DSGN
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    BTG YACHT DSGN -sailing is believing-

    Frosty, just gathering experience- that's why this forum was developed.

    If weight was not an issue, two speed steering would be possible. And helpful in crowded harbours.

    Do you have any experience with this kind of steering system?
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Kuba,

    I meant lock to lock.

    So, to answer your question: 2 - 2.5 turns, depending.
     
  13. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member


    No not at all,-- thats why im talking specifics. Ille google it for you and post a link so you can lift your index finger and open the page.

    Nope--too many options as you have not said if it is a race or cruiser , hydraulic or cable or what sailing you do . You have not mentions an auto pilot infact nothing much to go on.

    If 2 speed was necessary it would exist. I can not understand why any one would be concerend about lock to lock turns entering a marina. What possible situation can you be in to repeatedly need full lock in opposite directions.

    Even a single prop boat can turn its own length without touching the steering with prop walk. Use the wind and the current. 2 speed steering will not help you if you cant drive.

    http://www.edsonmarine.com/support/PDFs/planning/EB381SteeringGuide.pdf


    Some boats are as high as 6-7 turns 2- 2.5 is less than you car. Its not a go cart.
     
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've never seen or used a 2 speed helm, but I could see a desire. Maybe prop walking is fast enough for Frosty, but working a sizable craft through a tight anchorage or marina, particularly a hull that likes to track like freight train, does require a fast and responsive helm. Lock to lock is just the term used, but if you need to swing the rudder from hard over each way (lock to lock or not), the number of turns can be critical. A 5 turn, 36" wheel would have you working out way too much, even if you only use 4 of the 5 turns. Simply put, it's not the lock to lock dimension so much as it's how much reply you can ask of your helm for sudden maneuvering, in a draft or other wise limited vessel. I have a 65' boat that draws a lot of water (well over 8') and I have to stay in the channels or a very expensive lead bulb and fin is kissing hard stuff. I'm 2.2 turns on a 40" wheel which is enough of a work out, even though the average swing is considerably less than lock to lock. I'd run into everything with a 4 or 5 lock to lock setup.

    I do agree we don't know enough about the application for the original poster, to make much more than speculative recommendations.
     

  15. Easy Rider
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Easy Rider Senior Member

    Two w power steering three without.
     
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