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Stiff Steering Wheel

May 22, 2012
12
Beneteau 373 Miami
Hi - Any idea why the steering wheel is so stiff on the 411 after a while. Planning to take the boat out of the water in 2 weeks and would love to fix this problem. Any advice greatly appreciated.
 

NYSail

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Jan 6, 2006
2,538
Beneteau 423 Mt. Sinai, NY
Check cables, pulleys, grease, make sure break pads are clean, Quadra wires are not over-tight....... last boat I bought a rebuild kit and changed out everything.

Greg
 
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Feb 8, 2014
1,216
Columbia 36 Muskegon
Check the stuffing box, it's similar to a prop shaft box. I had one seize to the shaft once, when I turned the wheel it was very stiff, I found the only movement i was getting was twisting the hose and then spinning the box in the hose. That would have ended very badly of I let it go long enough to split or tear the hose.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
7,724
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
Hi - Any idea why the steering wheel is so stiff on the 411 after a while. Planning to take the boat out of the water in 2 weeks and would love to fix this problem. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Did you release the wheel brake?
 
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Oct 22, 2014
12,809
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Your boat has that beautiful deep rudder hanging on the stern. Did a previous owner back into a sandbar and put a kink in the rudder shaft?

Might only be able to assess with boat out of water. And then only by wiggling and climbing into inaccessible voids to inspect.
 
Jul 27, 2011
3,962
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Read Mike Hollingsworth’s post #1 from April, 2007 in the Bavaria Owners Forum. It might apply to your Beneteau as well.

 
Last edited:
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SFS

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Aug 18, 2015
1,791
Hunter 31 Tampa Bay
You said it is not connected to the autohelm. We encountered a situation on our H#! where the autohelm was off, electrically, and the wheel brake was disengaged, but turning the wheel became difficult rather suddenly. The drive belt inside the unit was creating friction. Took us an hour or so to find the problem, as we started with the more logical suspects - cables, pulleys, sheaves, connections, and grease.
 
Jan 10, 2018
174
Beneteau 331 Halifax
Yes, that was what I was referring to. I had to get rid of the autohelm as it could not be repaired.
 
Dec 31, 2016
308
Beneteau Oceanis 351 Charlottetown
Your boat has that beautiful deep rudder hanging on the stern. Did a previous owner back into a sandbar and put a kink in the rudder shaft?

Might only be able to assess with boat out of water. And then only by wiggling and climbing into inaccessible voids to inspect.
That model should have a solid glass rudder post, don't think that would kink, but likely would break
 
Jun 9, 2020
27
Beneteau 361 North East, Maryland
This is what Tides Marine sent me today for a stiff helm in this thread:

The rudder is composite with carbon fiber running through it and through the post.
The rudder post is square both top and bottom.
Where the bearings are the post is sleeved with another two sections of carbon fiber going square to round top and bottom.

The bearings are in the rudder tube. Note: leave them be do not remove.

What you are describing is deteriorating of the lower sleeve. Is my guess based on what you have said and no photo of the rudder out of the boat.

The repair is to “carefully grind down the lower sleeve until you are clear of the voids-and the expansion.” Sometimes looks like osmosis.

Then carefully build back up with epoxy maybe some S glass if really deep. No easy task as it needs to be as round as possible. Often takes several dry fits-and you don’t want it too tight or it will bind under higher loads.

The final epoxy coat is best to finish out with very fine paper so very smooth is what you are after. The bearing surfaces are this sleeve and the UHMW bearing in the tube. I don’t recommend you replace the bearing.
 
May 22, 2012
12
Beneteau 373 Miami
Check cables, pulleys, grease, make sure break pads are clean, Quadra wires are not over-tight....... last boat I bought a rebuild kit and changed out everything.

Greg
Thanks for your reply. removed the pins and the quadrant and the units still will not come down. Any tips will be greatly appreciated.
 
Aug 10, 2014
1
Beneteau 411 St. Clair Shores, MI
My 1999 411 was stiff, too. We had to take the boat out of the water for a day and we dropped the rudder and cleaned and sanded the drum on the rudder shaft. We also thoroughly cleaned all surfaces the shaft and drum ride in. The wheel movement is easy now. The cockpit drains flow through the area where the rudder is mounted and dirty water is always flowing there, so it's important to keep it clean.