Cape Horn Self Steering System

The instructions stress how important it is to make sure the hole is parallel to the keel and that it is level. It also states that do the hole cutting from the dock is the best way. I gave it a good try. The movement of the boat dock tide wind was too much. So I measured 10 times held my breath and drilled a hole. I had to manufacture a larger drill bit for the mandrill as the one that came with it did not allow for the slope of the stern.
I also decided that it was easier to drill from the inside. Using a level.
So there it is! a 2 1/2 inch hole in the stern of my boat. Since the stern is only 1/2inch thick, there is plenty of movement once the tube is installed.
So the instructions state that the tube should be about 50/50 both sides of the transom. ( measured from the support strut brackets) this allows the tube to clear the transom point.
Not the hose clamp allowing real time positioning. This was a touch of genius!
Obviously the positioning is very important. I stared for hours into my lazerete trying to figure out how I could hold all the bits so that I could find the correct position for the supports while keeping the tube level and parallel to the Keel.
For those of you with any engineering sense this will not be remarkable. I figured that if I used a hose clamp to hold the support arms steady I could :
1) I could figure out at which point they would attach to the stern.
2) It also gave me a guide to drill the stainless tubing!
So arms taken off. My Patented jig for drilling into a Capehorn lol. Simple, allowed for careful positioning of the arms and mounts, and worked real easy. Drilled the inboard ones first on each base
So here you have the second hole being drilled the foot is held in place by the mounting base supplied with the unit. I moved it down the tube so that as I drilled the hole in the tube above I would not drill into the screw theaded base. So the base is under the bolt in the photo and further down the tube. There is nothing I can wreck when I punch through. ( Of note here is that I used my crappy bits I have had for years. I took my time and the holes are straight and true.)
In the installation instructions it talks about the 2 plastic bearing caps at each end of the tube being different sizes and the tube clearly marked fore and aft. Not on mine! had a special association meeting called and with various inspections and measuring using tapes and micrometers could find (technically speaking) no bloody marks and no bloody difference in the end bearings..
OK for the fun part! Getting this TUBE straight and parallel to the keel is wonderful. Eric stressing that this part is critical had me nervous to begin with. Getting the tube centered fore and aft was a royal pain. Not just the measuring but then getting it to hold its position while setting up the support legs. I used red tape on the tube because the tube reflected black lines on the transom so that I was unsure which was a drawn line and which was a reflection.
Positioning the arms was a royal pain. As everyone knows nothing is square flush or has easy access. In the end I decided to fix one arm in place as close as I could judge and then secured one hole at a time. Once one side was on I set the other side. took a fair amount of time before I was satidfied with the positioning.
I know it would cost more but these rods need turn buckles at each end. To adjust the turn buckle on the Tube end means you have to disconnect the end with the foot which is an arse about backwards way of doing it. Took me hours to getit right.
So after much enduring the 3 S’s Sweating, Swearing and Sh…….
THe Dock Marine engineers informed me that I was plumb and parellel to my keel told me to stop being a wimp and do it> SO I got out the West Epoxy and started to do my thing. Note the old battery box caught 6 bolts and 3 washers from bouncing to an uncertain future within the bowls of my bilge. Not pretty but bloody strong. This was the first of several layers. I have given too much to ever loose this piece of kit!
this is the end of the tower that attaches to the axle out of the stern tube. Below is a picture in the instruction manual. Mine is missing a bit, hopefully the black stepped cap does the same job as the welded rod in the next photo does. I assumed that the pointy bit on the axle fits into the round bit on the tower. As the round bit is offset on mine I am not sure if this is important or just how it was welded. Again I spent a long time trying to align the pointy thing for the hole, since you can not judge once you close the 2 parts.
However a voice in my head,after an hour, said Stephen take off the other end and then all with reveal itself to you. Sure enough 30 seconds she was on!!!!!. Beware there is a right and a wrong way to reattach the tiered bottom plate. I got it right after another hour of trying to figure out why nothing would work.
Not the same is it? I intend to email Eric!
OK this is with the tiered end removed. Easy to fit the 2 parts together. Just remember which is top and bottom when replacing the tiered back plate.
Looks good with the quadrant bolted on. Have to work out the placement of the blocks now. Getting confident that I can do this now!
Before I started this minor engineering feat I smiled when someone said it took him 44 hours to do the job! LOL I think it took me that long to drill the first hole.
Still it is starting to look good. Now I have to get the Tower supports done and then the block system worked out.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.