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Old 05 August 2017, 04:16   #1
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Country: Australia
Town: Dalmeny
Make: zodiac
Length: 5m +
Engine: outboard
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 914
Steering broke

With severe weather forecast warnings today we decided to seek shelter close to shore and explore new ground to the south of where we normally fish. The strong westerly ( offshore wind) meant there was pretty smooth water in close.

Headed about 30km south and found a big patch of bait with terns and gannets smashing the surface and salmon and bluefish getting in on the act. With only one rod onboard my daughter was quick to claim it!!!...first cast of the 40g 4cm metal lure was soon found by a very acrobatic salmon, unfortunatly a bluefish decided to bite the lure from the salmons mouth at the boat. Second lure out was soon into another fish which was released after a fun scrap on 8lb line.

Having recently built a high power roller gun my daughter was keen to get in and see if there was anything bigger holding under the the bait to christen her new creation on. Unfortunatly as I put the engine in full lock I felt the steering give way this was going to make staying with my daughter in the strong wind very tricky. By the way my first priority was to let marine rescue know of our whereabouts and lack of steering. We didn't ask for assistance as I could steer the engine by sitting at the back of the boat and turning the engine from the cowling as my daughter worked the throttle.

Game plan changed to simply anchoring over shallow reefs in around 10m for lobsters, this at least got us a feed for dinner.

The run home was interesting with the chop picking up and my daughter only knowing one speed on the throttle, I did have to get her to slow up after a couple of jumps clear of the water off waves ( yep she's a nut).

Back home, all cleaned up and my daughter just informed me she's given the lobsters to the neighbours, looks like burgers for dinner.
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Old 05 August 2017, 05:02   #2
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Country: UK - England
Town: penzance
Boat name: not named
Make: ski boat
Length: 5m +
Engine: 150 HPDI
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 221
I rented a cruiser with a 275hp outboard in the med. The steering linkage broke (and sank) at speed and the engine went suddenly to full lock.
I replicated the old puny 'washing line steering system' using some rope around cleats. You soon understand the torque involved and what a change in revs does. For any who don't know, this may benefit: There's a sweet spot with no forces at a speed defined by balancing prop torque vs the torque/trim tab setting. Up to that speed it wants to steer one way, beyond that speed, the other, so you typically end up restraining the engine with just one rope.

With modern no-feedback it's easy to be unaware of the speed at which your engine has no steering torque. It's a worthwhile exercise to find the sweet spot by turning left & right at a particular speed & feeling when the steering effort is equal in each direction. Knowing that speed just might be useful one day...
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