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 EZ Steer Kit for Sailboats
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kwalsh
Deckhand

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USA
20 Posts

Initially Posted - 08/07/2018 :  11:20:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All,
When we purchased our C-25, TR/SK, she came with a 2008, 8 HP, 4 stroke kicker. We have difficulty managing the turns in the unprotected, tight marina we are in when the breeze is kicking up or with large wakes from the nearby ICW. We discovered the EZ Steer for sailboats, which essentially uses a tie rod and quick disconnects to the rudder and the motor. When the tiller pushes the rudder the kicker goes wth. A brilliant idea! Any experienced EZ Steer users out there? Comments? Suggestions? Many thanks!

Kevin Walsh
Segelboot
1984 C25, TR/SK
Sail No. 4433

Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4145 Posts

Response Posted - 08/07/2018 :  16:32:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Absolutely! There have been several riveting discussions about the various packaged and home-made (some very well done) mechanisms for synchronizing the engine tiller and rudder. Some were simply fixed connectors while others provided quick release doohickeys. In general folks that use the quick release types report being satisfied with their performance while those with fixed installations complain that there are times when the engine interferes with sailing.

Me, personally I steer in reverse with the engine while backing into my protected slip but Iím a two-hander: one for the engine and the other for rudder tiller. It generally takes me between 5-10 seconds to do it so I donít feel I need it. If I were on my original slip in a big tidal river with lots of boat wakes and wind, I might go for it.

Like I say itís a very protected area and I have no slip-mate beside me. The fairway between slip fingers may be 35 feet wide, so I donít have to be too accurate and itís a very short distance to backup.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain Stratford & Milford, CT

Edited by - Voyager on 08/07/2018 18:22:26
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kwalsh
Deckhand

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USA
20 Posts

Response Posted - 08/07/2018 :  18:05:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many thanks, Bruce!

Do you offer training for two handing in reverse? That would be ideal. Lol !

Perhaps EZ Steer will help train us, too.

Thanks for the support and info.

Cheers!

Kevin Walsh
Segelboot
1984 C25, TR/SK
Sail No. 4433
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4145 Posts

Response Posted - 08/07/2018 :  18:23:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My rates are very reasonable! Whereabouts are you on the ICW?

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain Stratford & Milford, CT
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JohnP
Master Marine Consultant

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1482 Posts

Response Posted - 08/08/2018 :  08:47:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I am backing the boat into my slip, I steer with the outboard and the rudder, since the rudder provides insufficient steerage at very slow speed. Turning the motor to steer is also safer than building up speed to use the rudder when leaving the slip at very slow speed.

Out on open water you could practice rotating the boat in position by turning the motor and the rudder, in both forward and reverse. Steering the boat in reverse while the outboard pulls it backwards is quite different from steering when moving forward.

Going backwards the rudder can act as a brake if it is not in line with the direction of movement, so I generally line up the rudder with my reverse direction in these tight spots.

It's not hard to get a feel for steering with the motor.

JohnP
1978 C25 SR/FK "Gypsy"
Mill Creek off the Magothy River, Chesapeake Bay
Port Captain, northern Chesapeake Bay
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3375 Posts

Response Posted - 08/08/2018 :  09:43:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use the 2 hand method whenever manuvering in and out of my slip. Left hand works the engine tiller and throttle while the right hand works the rudder tiller. One of the benefits of having an outboard.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8008 Posts

Response Posted - 08/08/2018 :  10:14:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The 2-handed technique is more natural in reverse, since you tend to be seated and facing astern when you hold both tillers--better visibility. One caution: In either direction, be careful not to over-steer with the rudder--past about 45 degrees it becomes more of a brake than a rudder. A friend had problems going forward out of his slip without running into boats on the other side of the fairway... I rode out with him one day, and he slammed the rudder hard over to about 80 degrees--the boat was barely turning. I pushed the tiller about half-way back and the boat swung right around.

When you're barely moving or standing still and using the outboard to turn, you can push the rudder over further to virtually pivot the boat on its keel, but when moving (forward or reverse), watch for oversteering. The sound of turbulence from the rudder is a clue.

I decided against a motor-rudder link because other than at the slip, I felt it would make steering too "touchy". If you've ever tried steering the boat just with the motor at speed, you might know what I mean--it's hard to hold a straight course. So I mastered the two-handed technique for the slip.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 08/08/2018 11:56:56
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JohnP
Master Marine Consultant

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1482 Posts

Response Posted - 08/08/2018 :  12:21:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kevin,

It's certainly difficult to dock our boats under some conditions of wind or current or waves, but it is also important to remember Dave's docking dictum:

"Never approach a dock faster than you're willing to hit it."

I approach the marina fairway at about 2 kt and then coast about 100 feet with the engine in neutral and try to come nearly to a stop at my slip entrance, so that I follow that rule. If a breeze pushes to boat around, I may have to shift to forward or reverse for a few seconds to reposition the boat before entering the slip.

At the end of coasting towards my slip, I swing the bow slowly away from the slip while shifting to reverse, turn the motor, and pull the boat straight in stern first.

JohnP
1978 C25 SR/FK "Gypsy"
Mill Creek off the Magothy River, Chesapeake Bay
Port Captain, northern Chesapeake Bay
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Lee Panza
Captain

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USA
326 Posts

Response Posted - 08/08/2018 :  12:22:21  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm another one who considered - and dismissed - the idea of a link between the motor and the rudder. While it was initially interesting, I paid attention to how I was actually maneuvering in tight quarters and challenging conditions of wind and current, and I realized that I make quick changes in the direction of thrust (forward/reverse/slow/fast/port/stbd), so I need to hold the motor tiller handle (and throttle) almost continuously anyway. Trying to move the rudder and tiller just by pushing the short motor tiller handle would impede those movements and adjustments. It would also cause the rudder tiller to be swinging wildly back and forth just when I DON'T need something else to worry about.

Granted, with one hand on the motor tiller handle, and the other on the transmission shift lever, it's necessary to set the rudder and take my hand off the rudder tiller. But I have a tiller brake that's quick to set and release (WaveFront TillerClutch). In practice I seem to keep one hand on the rudder tiller and switch the other hand between the motor tiller handle and the transmission lever.

The only time a link between the rudder and the motor would be handy is when I'm motoring through very choppy waters and a stiff cross-wind. The motor occasionally gets pushed over to one side or the other in those conditions.

The stiffness of the pivot hinge on the motor is adjustable, so if I'm going to be motoring for some time in those conditions, I tighten the adjustment bolt. I keep a nut driver handy for this purpose (I've forgotten what size, but I'm sure it's metric). I just have to remember to loosen it as I enter the marina, but I'm reminded as soon as I begin to slow down outside the harbor entrance and resume steering with the motor. I don't bother tightening the adjustment for just leaving and returning to the marina when daysailing.

As Dave B. just pointed out, it's usually much easier to steer with the rudder, than with the motor, when you have some forward velocity. I'm still thinking about it for those relatively rare occasions when I have to motor some distance in knarly conditions (usually when the Admiral is aboard, because she's very uncomfortable sailing in those conditions, but it could conceivably occur when both sails are unusable or when I'm fighting for seaway off a lee shore in a storm - could happen, I'm sure). But even then I'd be leery of a connection I couldn't uncouple in a hurry, and I haven't come up with something (realistic and reliable) that wouldn't require me to extend myself out over the transom in conditions that I'd rather not.

The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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kwalsh
Deckhand

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USA
20 Posts

Response Posted - 08/08/2018 :  19:38:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks everyone!

Very insightful, helpful information and from experience. I know what to keep practicing starting ASAP.

Many thanks !

Kevin Walsh
Segelboot
1984 C25, TR/SK
Sail No. 4433
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8008 Posts

Response Posted - 08/09/2018 :  19:24:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kevin, I don't know your experience with boats, and particularly with motors on boats, but there's something that comes into play when maneuvering at slow speeds or from a stop: "prop walk". This is the tendency of the prop, when gunned at slow speed, from a stop, or when the boat is moving opposite to the thrust from the motor, to push the stern of the boat to one side or the other, causing the boat to turn or diminishing its ability to turn in ways you might not expect.

An "old saying" I made up to remember which way prop-walk is going to affect my maneuvers is this: "In forward gear, it Shoves the stern to Starboard; in reverse, it Pulls the stern to Port. Keep this in mind when working around a dock--it might help you to plan your moves.

Pardon me if I just explained something you already knew.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 08/09/2018 19:26:19
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kwalsh
Deckhand

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USA
20 Posts

Response Posted - 08/18/2018 :  12:28:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many thanks, Dave!

Sorry for the delay in responding to your reply of 8/9/18.

Your discussion/explanation of 'Prop-Walk' is one of the best, concise and most informed I have read. Thank you for sending it along with your "old-saying." Small 8 hp kickers experience the same theory as do larger boats with their motors.

We elected not to go to EZ Steer, but practice and practice some more with your "old-saying". This has been a big help for us. Many thanks!

Now, our boat's digital, thru-hull transducer depth sounder has failed. Digital numbers or values were present on the screen, but then would count down to 0. It is an SR Mariner Instrument, model DDM-1 (I think), and cannot say how old it is, but was working fine last season. We are just getting started for a late season this year. It no longer is being manufactured. I called the company and learned they have a few new transducers remaining for sale and some parts are available for repair. They are sending me a plug for the transducer and I plan to remove all equipment and send to them for inspection and hopefully an inexpensive repair. I see there has been many discussions about depth sounders in recent posts and I should get caught up. If you have any experience or know about this model and can provide recommendations, we will appreciate it. Cheers!

Kevin Walsh
Segelboot
1984 C25, TR/SK
Sail No. 4433
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3375 Posts

Response Posted - 08/18/2018 :  14:00:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My depth Sounder has done that occasionally. Re setting it (reboot) has always fixed it but I have the manual that tells you how. Mine is a Standard Horizon so maybe you can find your procedure online.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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