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Monday, July 28, 2008

Compromise Is Inevitable

As much as we would like to trick this boat out with the coolest/nicest gear, sometimes you gotta compromise. This steering design may be the first big compromise. I have been planning and working on a design for transmission steering for over a year now. Well, I finally got the details nailed down and there are two reasons now why we may not go with it and switch to traditional cable steering: 1) slight technical problem 2) price 1) The technical problem is taking up the 18 degree rake in the rudder post. While I am sure we could futz with the installation and get it to work ok, I have not been able to confidently establish the proper geometry to ensure a smooth steering action. 2) The price. This is the big one. When I started specing out parts for this transmission steering over a year ago, the price was more reasonable. These parts come from Denmark, and the US dollar has grown weaker against the Euro since then. While the setup was a bit expensive a year ago, it is even more expensive now. Enough so that I am seriously entertaining "Plan B" (cable steering). At the very least it merits getting a cable system priced out. Turns out one of our suppliers distributes a cable steering manufacturer. Note sure what kind of pricing we can get yet. So, I need to look into cable steering some more. I will be looking at the "cable in conduit" systems, not the tradition straight "cable with idlers" systems.
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