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34 rudder post access for AP

Discussion in 'Bigger Boats' started by Benjammin, Jun 7, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Benjammin

    Benjammin

    Joined Jan 28, 2017
    5 posts, 0 likes
    O'Day 34
    US Suttons Bay
    I started a project to install a belowdeck autopilot and have hit a snag. The rudder post is completely encased in a fiberglass tube except where the radial drive wheel is through bolted on, making it impossible to measure the post diameter for a tiller arm, much less install one. Has anyone dropped their rudder and checked out the post and that tube? Would removing a couple of inches just above the radial drive create any functional issues? Does the post have a keyway or does everything need to be through bolted?
    I've read the threads about attaching the AP rod to the edge of the radial drive. I'm interested in keeping the hardware below deck to have an emergency steering system and less motor noise in the cockpit. Thanks for any guidance.
     

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  2. Harlan

    Harlan

    Joined Jun 4, 2004
    73 posts, 6 likes
    Oday 34
    US Niantic
    Not sure of the post diameter but you can open the deck plate at the top and measure the diameter there. There is no key in the post - there is a single bolt that passes through the quadrant and post (there are additional clamping bolts on the quadrant but only one that passes through the post). IMO, I would question making the opening in the fiberglass tube wider to accommodate a tiller arm. It's a key structural component of the steering system. I'd attach onto the existing quadrant.
     


  3. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,344 posts, 186 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    I would like to hear what other O'Day 34 owners have done, but I think you would end up best trimming the 'glass tube above the radial drive and mounting the tiller arm there. There are compelling reasons to have a separate, bronze tiller arm. Those aluminum radial drive wheels can break!
     


  4. DannyS

    DannyS

    Joined May 27, 2004
    889 posts, 26 likes
    Oday 35
    US Bayfield, Wi
    I've dropped my rudder a couple of times and it's a pain in the butt. The space between the tubes is just enough for the quadrant. I think it would be tricky to get a good clean, perpendicular cut with the space you have to work. Would attaching to the quadrant not work for your AP?
     


  5. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,344 posts, 186 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    I went around and around on that topic a few years ago, and went from vigorously defending the idea of connecting the linear drive to the Edson radial drive wheel, to being a staunch supporter of a separate, bronze tiller arm.

    Is the quadrant on the O-Day the same, the Edson aluminum radial drive wheel?
     


  6. Benjammin

    Benjammin

    Joined Jan 28, 2017
    5 posts, 0 likes
    O'Day 34
    US Suttons Bay
    Mine looks like it.

    I wonder if I could mill a tiller arm that could piggyback on the radial drive collar using longer bolts with nuts on the starboard flange. And thoughts on that?
     


  7. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,344 posts, 186 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    I advise against it. You really don'e want to Mickey-Mouse this. A clean, separate installation is best. The Edson bronze tiller arm is ordered bored to the exact diameter of your rudder post, and then it's not only clamped, but through-bolted to the post.
    It looks like there's plenty of tube there to trim enough off above the radial wheel to fit a tiller arm.
     


  8. Apex

    Apex

    Joined Jun 19, 2013
    724 posts, 72 likes
    Oday 28
    US Traverse City
    Benjamin, keep a good record of what you run into. I have an ODay 28 that I am looking to add wheel steering. The rudder shaft is currently completely encased. I would be interested to know if only one or both sides of the quadrant contain a bushing for support.
     



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