Seahawk stiff steering

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Seahawk stiff steering

Post by Grangett »

Hi all,

I have read what I can find on stiff steering as I have same on my Seahawk. Cleaned and greased the chain and cable runs and all working weel. Checked this by disconnecting cables from quadrant and rotating wheel to and fro and good smooth movement. Checked the quadrant and it is stiff i.e. to move it i need to put a foot on it, brace myself against a bulkhead and push hard - then it moves. I have tried WD40 around the (ptfe) layer just above the circular base plate that is bolted to the hull (this is where the movement is and I am assuming houses the bearings) but no joy so far.
Question: should this be this stiff (I think not) and HOW do I lubricate the bearings? Note that the boat is in the water. Is the best solution to lift ashore then drop the rudder and change bearings? Want to avoid this if possible!

Advice greatly appreciated.

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Re: Seahawk stiff steering

Post by Jolly Roger »


The rudder certainly should not be that stiff. My thoughts are it could either be swollen bearings, a bearing has moved or worst case - the rudder is bent. The first two would probably involve new bearings, the latter a new rudder.

The only way to really check is to get the boat out of the water.
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Re: Seahawk stiff steering

Post by kencoley »


I had stiff steering on my Seahawk and I cured it by reducing the tension on the steering cables at the quadrant, been fine since. The autopilot does stiffen it a little especially when the bearings go but easy to check taht by removing the autopilot (if fitted)


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Re: Seahawk stiff steering

Post by mikebuggy »

You havent said whether the QUADRANT is stiff with the cables removed (you have said the wheel is stiff with cables removed). If stiff with cables attached, the problem may well be the cables and their conduits, rather than the bearings. The lower bearing is known to swell and stick as a result of calcium and scale deposits on the shaft. It then starts to turn in its GRP housing. Not the end of the world for a short time but should be attended to at the next lift out. I did mine by lowering the rudder as far as I could then sliding the bearing out and down the stock. I cleaned and polished the stock at the bearing location and resecured the bearing in its grp housing with sikaflex. I also inserted a large self tapping screw through the GRP skin of the bearing area into the plastic bearing. You need to blunt the head and get the length just right. All filled and faired afterwards.
I also replaced the cables and their conduits which made a HUGE difference. (see thread elsewhere).
The upper bearing can be replaced ashore without fully removing the rudder. I guess by deft use of wires and bolts through one of the holes at the top of the stock it would be possible to do it afloat, but not sure I'd risk it. Would be entirely possible if there was somewhere you could dry out against a wall? You would need several tides and on the first would need to rig securing lines under the rudder. Be warned, the rudder is EXTREMELY heavy. I was able to use a stack of railway sleepers portions and a very long lever to raise and lower mine.
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