Options for dual steering stations?

I have hull #127 (#127, Kathrian)…a “Special Edition” rear cockpit cutter which I’m currently overhauling. I am looking at improving the steering systems which currently consists of dual mechanical stations. The pedestal is an Edson classic pedestal and the upper station has wire in conduit (conduit about 10′ long on each side) and the lower station is also wire in conduit which has about 17′ on each side. Each station has it’s own quadrant with the outside one fixed and the lower one is backed off so it is not operable without a pin being engaged to connect the rudder post to the shaft. My concern is twofold. First, the outside station has a fair bit of drag in it which I’d like to eliminate or at least reduce considerably. Secondly, I’m concerned that the connecting pin for the lower station is insufficient for the forces on the quadrant that should rely on clamping friction to transfer the loads. I’m thinking of adding some idlers and sheaves to operate the upper station with an open cable arrangement, along with ensuring the lower station quadrant is not dragging which hopefully will resolve the friction in the upper station. Next I would replace the wire & conduit in the lower station to reduce that friction. If lucky I can connect both stations all the time without too much friction. Can any of our members suggest any? I don’t want to change over to a hydraulic system. Jack Verheyden Hull #127 (s/v #127, Kathrian)

a. Hello Jack. Cable steering is not really a good way to go for the reasons you have stated. An alternative to cable and hydraulic systems is the mechanical systems using direct torque tube systems or rod steering. The system was introduced by Whitlock Marine Steering Systems (now under Lewmar ownership) and eventually by Edson. We installed the original Whitlock Cobra dual steering system comprised of torque tubes, universal joint coupling assemblies and all coupled to a powerful gearbox assembly which is coupled to the rudder post via a short lever giving a variable ratio speed to the rudder. Rudder feedback is excellent and once set up, requires no maintenance. We have installed an integral autopilot to this system which requires very little power but has lots of torque. Our boat “#023, Simmerdim” was the first Corbin to use this system and during the construction stage of our boat we were visited by engineers from CS Yachts who eventually also used this system with great success. A couple of Corbin builders were able to purchase the Whitlock Steering components when CS Yachts ceased production. These units however did not use the gearbox system. The cockpit pedestal has 2 turns lock to lock and the inside station has 3.5 turns lock to lock due to the smaller wheel used in the pilot house. Installation was easy and very little space was required to route the torque tubes. There was an agent in Ontario located in Barrie, but the name escapes me at the moment. Check with Lewmar for up to date info. Janis Priedkalns (s/v #023, Simmerdim)

b. Thanks Lester but I have my question answered. I installed a Jefa steering system, similar to the Whitlock, but with reduction gears and shafts…Works GREAT. Jack Verheyden (s/v #127, Kathrian)