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S&S Swan Maintenance - Autopilot Arm attachment
08 February 2020 - 08:41
Join Date: 15 December 2009
Posts: 6

Autopilot Arm attachment

The rudder quadrant has slipped down the rudder post. (it was removed to replace bearing seals a couple of years ago) Note the way the autopilot arm is attached. It has even slipped down the rudder post a couple of centimeters and was rubbing on aluminum blocks. This arrangement appears really weak and cheesy to me. 

Can you suggest a better arrangement?

Autopilot arm

08 February 2020 - 08:53
Join Date: 15 December 2009
Posts: 6

I was thinking about a seperate tiller arm if there is room enough.

08 February 2020 - 09:00
Join Date: 15 December 2009
Posts: 6

Maybe answering my own question this from Edson;


IMPORTANT - Edson highly recommends installing an autopilot independent of the primary steering system. This provides for a redundant/backup system in the event of steering gear or cable failure—in effect an “Electronic Emergency Tiller”. Edson’s Autopilot Tiller Arm allows the autopilot to be mounted independently of the primary steering system and should be used to attach an autopilot to the rudder-post.


09 February 2020 - 07:49
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Swandriver

A plate for the autopilot angle sensor has been put into the slot between the quadrant hub halves. This prevents the hub halves from being properly tightened together, and is the reason for the quadrant slipping on the rudder stock.
Take out the plate from the slot, and tighten the quadrant bolts properly, then it will not slip.
A new attachment for the angle sensor is required, the suggestion is to attach a  vertical plate under the hub bottom bolt head. If the bolt is not long enough for this, a slightly longer one is needed.
This quadrant is strong enough for attaching the autopilot ram directly, but it should be done be clamping, and not drilling any holes in the quadrant.
The recommendation is to install the autopilot ram fore and aft, this will reduce the maximum side loads on the rudder bearings.
The photo discloses that this is not an S&S design, but also S&S owners could learn something from this.
Kind regards

11 February 2020 - 14:47
Join Date: 15 December 2009
Posts: 6

Exactly; my mistake misqouting saying it was the drive arm.



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