BUYING! H34! (my boat thread)

Jun 8, 2020
73
Hunter 34 White St Helens, OR
When you had your new sail built, did you add a second reef above the new first reef? up here on the Columbia River and The Gorge we seen to have either 5- 10 or 25 to 35. I like the light air performance of the boat, so now I'm looking at home to make it sail better in stronger winds.
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,559
Hunter 34 Berkeley
When you had your new sail built, did you add a second reef above the new first reef? up here on the Columbia River and The Gorge we seen to have either 5- 10 or 25 to 35. I like the light air performance of the boat, so now I'm looking at home to make it sail better in stronger winds.
Yes. I have the second and third reef. Also had the Genoa made with the padding so that it can be rolled partially up and have decent shape
 
Feb 26, 2009
604
Oday 30 Anchor Yacht Club, Bristol PA
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While you were all talking about building sails and reef points I moved the boat to her semi-permanent home at Greenpoint landing Worton Creek Maryland.

The wind storm yesterday was pretty bad but today it was okay. (August 19th) 10-15 wind & Waves were behind me all the way, not fun, I wasn't sailing.

Apparently my St 4000 autohelm when not being used the cam lever keeps dropping in and locking the wheel kind of dangerous so I'm going to have to take it off the wheel until it's repaired, really weird the little lever just drops down on its own! Clackety snap all the way home lol
 
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Nov 26, 2012
1,559
Hunter 34 Berkeley
View attachment 197358While you were all talking about building sails and reef points I moved the boat to her semi-permanent home at Greenpoint landing Worton Creek Maryland.

The wind storm yesterday was pretty bad but today it was okay. (August 19th) 10-15 wind & Waves were behind me all the way, not fun, I wasn't sailing.

Apparently my St 4000 autohelm when not being used the cam lever keeps dropping in and locking the wheel kind of dangerous so I'm going to have to take it off the wheel until it's repaired, really weird the little lever just drops down on its own! Clackety snap all the way home lol
Hijack
 
Feb 26, 2009
604
Oday 30 Anchor Yacht Club, Bristol PA
It's all good.. but I actually took off for the weekend I'm pretty happy with the boat not happy with myself not handling hot humid excessive heat but I've always been that way and I don't see that changing. The little yanmar just hummed all the way!

Throttle lever is pretty hard to move.

The St 4000 I guess I have to remove the wheel to remove it right?
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,559
Hunter 34 Berkeley
It's all good.. but I actually took off for the weekend I'm pretty happy with the boat not happy with myself not handling hot humid excessive heat but I've always been that way and I don't see that changing. The little yanmar just hummed all the way!

Throttle lever is pretty hard to move.

The St 4000 I guess I have to remove the wheel to remove it right?
The sticky throttle lever may be caused by corrosion at the engine end of the cable. The cable attaches to the throttle arm on the starboard side just below the heat exchanger near the front of the engine. Any water leaks at the heat exchanger will drip down onto the throttle arm and rust it all up. This makes it stick. Check for leaks.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,439
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
The St 4000 I guess I have to remove the wheel to remove it right?
Yes.
St 4000 autohelm when not being used the cam lever keeps dropping in and locking the wheel
You will need to open up the wheel. Inspect the gears, bearings, the screws to see all are functional no cracks in the plastic. The bottom on the clutch lever can become worn. There are two indents that ride up and onto two nibs on the back of the wheel. The nibs hold the clutch in place.

Here is the back of the clutch. The center became rounded from forcing the clutch lever into place. The right section is the arm of the clutch. The linear hole is what fits over the nibs. You can see it was not large enough to fit the nibs and plastic is worn.

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Oct 22, 2014
16,439
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Fix was to get a new part from a Canadian guy who 3D printed a replacement clutch arm.
 
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Feb 26, 2009
604
Oday 30 Anchor Yacht Club, Bristol PA
Fix was to get a new part from a Canadian guy who 3D printed a replacement clutch arm.
Could it really be that simple?
Holding the lever up while trying to steer in somewhat heavy conditions completely exhausted me yesterday.

Either way is removing the wheel is easy as removing the nut or do I need a puller?
 
Jan 18, 2016
696
Catalina 387 Dana Point
Remove the nut. Wiggle/Pull the wheel off. You hopefully will not need a puller. If it's frozen on there, some gentle heat/cold cycles may help. After that it's puller time. I'm not sure on merriman stuff (what I think you have) but on some Edson wheels there's a square key that you have to be careful that it doesn't fall out.

I take mine off regularly to make the cockpit easier to get around while moored, thus it's never stuck. Also would need to be removed to use the emergency tiller so greasing the shaft is a normal maintenance item.

As in all expensive boat parts, keep a firm hold on the nut and the wheel: they don't float. DAMHIKT.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,439
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Holding the lever up while trying to steer in somewhat heavy conditions completely exhausted me yesterday.
I can agree. I took a bungee and MacGyver'd it in place during a cruise. Then I removed and fixed.
Yes you can remove the big nut. I prefer to use a large socket wrench, rather than an adjustable or the plumbers wrench.

The latter work but they can damage the shiny Nut. Once you remove and lube when reinstalling, the process can be much easier.
 
Feb 26, 2009
604
Oday 30 Anchor Yacht Club, Bristol PA
I can agree. I took a bungee and MacGyver'd it in place during a cruise. Then I removed and fixed.
Yes you can remove the big nut. I prefer to use a large socket wrench, rather than an adjustable or the plumbers wrench.

The latter work but they can damage the shiny Nut. Once you remove and lube when reinstalling, the process can be much easier.
:)would you know what size socket the wheel nut takes? I'm going to have to remove the mechanism because it really jams badly even with the lever up it seems to catch!
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,909
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
Raymarine wheel pilots are notoriously known for failing after years of use. The internal gear assemblies are plastic as well as the clutch lever, etc. I replaced my entire pilot, including computer, compass, and controller last year. Ironically, the wheel portion of the unit is the same as the st4000 unit, except for the drive motor. You can purchase the wheel assembly only for just south of $600 vs replacing the entire autopilot for approximately $1300. If you replace the clutch lever, gears, and belt you are in the neighborhood of $350; however, beware because there are other plastic components, such as gear mounts, in the drive mechanism that can fail, that render the unit hopeless. I have seen videos, etc. as to how to replace some of the internal components such as gear shafts, studs, mounts, etc. It can be done; however, it would take some time and effort and $$. Pity that Raymarine doesn't manufacture a more robust wheel pilot. The new computer, compass, and controller is improved; however, the wheel assembly is the same plastic component.
 
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Feb 26, 2009
604
Oday 30 Anchor Yacht Club, Bristol PA
Thank you everyone I have been researching it but it definitely has to come off until such time I do replace or upgrade.

Big easy, I did look and they are under 600 dollars which makes a lot of sense but I don't "need" an autopilot, but I do need to steer the boat without the autopilot automatically locking the wheel! so it has to come off for now.
 
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Feb 26, 2009
604
Oday 30 Anchor Yacht Club, Bristol PA
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I'm back on the boat today, tomorrow I'm headed over to Delaware to stay with friends until this heat wave is finally over! (another week?) even with the AC and the boat I can't survive, and most of the time the bay nothing but a giant hot water puddle covered with stagnant air! (If you haven't guessed I am not a summer person!)

Back to the autopilot & what I found...The nut on the steering wheel was already loose so that came off with no problem whatsoever.

Removed the wheel drive from the steering wheel; what I found; screw heads were not flush with the internals. The shear pin for the cam lever was definitely sheared off! So at very least I need a pin and probably the cam lever and I'll probably get the cam but not today.

I now understand how the thing works there are no gears on the driven wheel, which driven only by friction which seems kind of hokey to me. I was under the impression when you turn the wheel the belt turned and it was released from the drive gear.
But at least I'll be able to steer the boat now!
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,439
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Sorry, Denise, I have been away from the forums for a couple of days.

The wheel pilot uses what Raymarine calls an eccentric gear, moved by the clutch arm to apply pressure to the belt. It tensions the belt and the wheel is moved by the motor. When you release the clutch the eccentric gear rotates back freeing the boat helm to move.

Looking inside the wheel unit you will find bearing that can take a drop of lubricant after cleaning. Take care not to apply lubricant that gets onto the belt. The system will not function. The eccentric gear can get salt and dirt build up. Cleaning this will help. If you look carefully the eccentric has an inner bearing inside an outer bearing. A drop of lubricant on the inside bearing smooths the way for the eccentric to be rotated agains the belt. The belt sits on the outer bearing and you do not want lubricant to get between the outer bearing and the belt or the belt will slip.
 
Feb 26, 2009
604
Oday 30 Anchor Yacht Club, Bristol PA
After seeing it is just a big friction drive on that plastic wheel it really comes down to one thing it was the broken pin on the lever, I'll leave it off probably until next season I don't think I'll be needing it for any auto navigated courses this year. I have no idea where the flux gate compass is either, but I'll find it. There is that long wire remote control on the boat that plugs in somewhere which also needs to be found. But, it's nice to be able to use the steering wheel should I decide to go out for a day sail!