Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Steering box

Steering boxHere you see the steering gear all boxed off, and that valuable storage space now available to me again.

The major leak in the steering hydraulics was tracked down to one of the solenoids. I kind of knew that anyway, but had not really had the time to address it properly.

Now the troublesome solenoid is temporarily off until I can get that sorted. In the meantime, I made up a blanking plate which, along with a gasket, has stopped the oil leaking for now.

I'm pleased to say that all the oil that had pooled on the deck below the steering gear has also been cleaned up. Yuck.

If you look carefully, you can also see the emergency steering arm in the background there. This, along with it's locating pin, has now been rounded up and safely stowed.

I know the very place to take my leaky solenoid, it's just getting the time to go there as it's the other side of Portsmouth.

In the meantime, the steering does still work using the manual pump in the wheelhouse.


  1. Anonymous9:39 PM

    Is there a valve/valves you have to open somewhere to allow the manual tiller to control the rudder? That ginormous hydraulic cylinder looks like it might hold the rudder pretty steady if the fluid behind it wasn't let out.

    BTW, is what looks like another ginormous hydraulic cylinder on the right/hand (aft I think) of the rudder shaft connected to it? It's hard to tell in your steering gear pix if it's attached to anything or what exactly it is.

  2. Hi Anonymous

    There must be some valves somewhere, I'm very sure. I just don't know where.

    The plan is if I ever need to, I'll work at it then. Why try to fix something that's not broken? If all else fails I can drain the oil from the system.

    The two cylinders you see are to push the rudder to either port or starboard (there is no pulling).



  3. Fred (WWR)2:23 PM

    When I was in the Coast Guard, the aft emergency steering room was my assigned position when leaving and entering port. There were three of us assigned to it in case something happened to the steering servos. If you ever have a real crew that should be something you would need to practice while under way sloooow.

    Get to know the system, don't wait till you need it :).

  4. The idea of two cylinders full of hydraulic oil is that one pushes and the other dampens, as the oil is transfered across. if only one has oil and the other has air then the rudder will be forced across by the sea as was the case of the old German mine-sweeper whose, newly installed, hydraulic steering we modified ( on her journey to sal island, cape verde islands)

  5. I am always impressed by the quality of the technical expertise your followers have Tim! For myself, I'm just glad I don't have these engineering challenges on my barge. The worst it's going to get for me is sorting out a starter motor to attach to my engine to make it electric start. It's only a hand start right now and I can't do it on my own.

    Anyway this is about your blog and LJ, and may I say how lovely she looks! thanks so much for posting the photo. It's great and she looks very elegant alone at her moorings. By the way, how to you reach her? Is there a jetty or something, and do you ever intend to live aboard?

  6. To the last poster....

    I have removed your post.

    While relevant and on topic comments or suggestions are welcome, advertising is not appreciated here.