1st Gen SES with spungy rudder action

2 years 4 months ago #27770 by Canadasurfskiguy
I'm wondering if anybody else may have a creative solution to my issue.

I've got a 1st gen SES that has a spungy rudder (you crank it all the way to one side and then the pedal will still flex forward a good inch or two). I initially thought the there was too much flex in the cable. I replaced the cable and the issue is the same. I've since learned that older Stellar's have this red cable housing that expands when wet. This creating a zig-zaging housing instead of a straight one and the housing then acts like a spring when the cable is under pressure. Being that the housing is inside the boat and can't be accessed, I don't see a solution that doesn't involve major league surgery. Is this boat destined to have spungy steering or is there a fix that I haven't thought of?

Thanks a lot!
ian

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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 4 months ago #27781 by Simon Haywood
Ian,

The SES is the only ski in the Stellar range I haven't paddled (I'm too big). But common to all the Stellar Skis I've owned(14) is the steering...What I do from delivery of a new ski - I remove the steering line and replace with 2.5mm Grey Dyneema (solid - no cover). I think the factory use a nylon covered spectra - it has a little give. The second thing I do is put little cleats behind the foot pedals. Thirdly the rudders have been in the past fairly ordinary - I've re-shaped and resprayed (clear coat) all mine. For ocean downwinding I usually use a 9" rudder for 20knots + but in lighter conditions change out to a 8"...All my skis are fitted with my home made weed deflectors too.




Also, the early built skis had the rudder shaft right at the front of the foil - I could never get that to work right either - guess I'm just a hack!

Previous craft: Affinity, Endorfinn, Multisport, Epic V8, V10sport, V10, V12, Fenn Swordfish, Spirit PRS Elite; Stellar S18S, SR, SE, SEL, S2E, S2EL

Current Skis:
Huki S1-R
Stellar S18S - Excel
Stellar SR - Ultra


Skis on order: None!
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2 years 4 months ago #27784 by Canadasurfskiguy
Mine is one of the early built one's with the rudder post at the front of the foil.
Have you ever solved the problem of spungyness caused by expansion of red cable housing?

I know they stopped using it once they discovered the problem and their new housing is black. The cable I put in has no flex, so that's definitely not the problem. This should only a problem associated with the early models. On flatwater it's not a big deal but down wind I can have the pedals cranked and the rudder will move around when under pressure (tested by having someone else crank the pedals and me manually twist the rudder).

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2 years 4 months ago #27793 by Simon Haywood
Sorry Ian, none of my Stellar Skis have been that old! All the skis I've have & had are the ones with black tube. I'd try a balanced rudder too (the one with the shaft set back from the front of foil) it might give you some relief.
Ranga might have come across this before - he might have a remedy.
Have you tried contacting Dave Thomas (designer) at Stellar - he's usually very helpful.

Previous craft: Affinity, Endorfinn, Multisport, Epic V8, V10sport, V10, V12, Fenn Swordfish, Spirit PRS Elite; Stellar S18S, SR, SE, SEL, S2E, S2EL

Current Skis:
Huki S1-R
Stellar S18S - Excel
Stellar SR - Ultra


Skis on order: None!

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2 years 4 months ago #27794 by Canadasurfskiguy
Thanks anyways.
I've been in contact with Dave about fixing an s18 sea kayak and that's where I learned about the red/black tubing thing. He was very helpful. I asked him about this and he said it would be major surgery or possibly running new black housing above the deck, but I can't see that working well around the cockpit with remounts etc. I figured it would be worth mentioning here in case some outside the box thinking person has a new idea.

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2 years 4 months ago #27796 by photofr
You can get the spectra line needed from your favoride kite store. This will fix your problem immediately. The houssing inside your boat is totally independant from everything else, since each line is DIRECTLY attached to two points: pedals and rudder.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 4 months ago #27808 by Dicko
CSG,

I think you're overcomplicating this problem.

The old Stellars, all had shocking steering. The line used would slip at the pedals when you tried to steer.
I suspect that is why the rudder is moving. Simply tie a knot of some description to stop the line moving through your pedals. It fixed every Stellar that I ever knew of.

Secondly, buy a new rudder from Stellar. The old rudders are simply the worst rudders ever made. They wander when you paddle, are useless on waves and have a tendency to snap off at the base. However, they make the best weed guards. I have inherited half a dozen over the years and have made about about 20 weed guards. So don't throw it away.

Thirdly, replace your line with Qpowerline spectra. Its the yellow stuff that Think use. It is a piece of cake to replace because it simply pushes through the tube. Your mates will thank you because you get enough on a spool to do about 6 skis. Its expensive but worth it.

The old SES is still a good boat. Don't go attacking it until you've tied the line off at the pedals.

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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 4 months ago #27809 by ccchappell
Completely agree with Dicko.

My biggest problem on the very early Stellars was the slippage at the footplate. Here are a couple of pictures of some small 'buttons' I made to just add enough resistance so no slippage, but still able to adjust. Made them out of left over yellow fiberglass squeegee, but sure you could use any available plastic. Believe these pics are from my previous V12, but same idea. This helped tremendously on both the red tube as well as black tube Stellars I owned

Chris
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2 years 4 months ago #27812 by Canadasurfskiguy
Thanks for the responses guys.

A buddy had some left over Think rudder cable which is what I used to replace the stock stuff. There's definitely no stretch in it. I had assumed it would instantly fix the problem.... no such luck.

I will try tieing the line at the pedals asap. Though I suspect it will not solve the problem because in my attempts to isolate the issue I've grabbed the line between the pedals and where it enters the hull and pulled towards the bow which results in spungy flexing.
Even though the line is tied between to fixed points (rudder & footplate) it is not taking a straight path because of the zig-zagging housing. When pressure is applied to the line it attempts to straighten itself but that force is opposed by the housing that is trying to stay zig-zaggy.

I really like the hull of this boat (which is why I bought it). I've just got to get the steering and the bailing issues improved.

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2 years 4 months ago #27814 by owenw
Well I'm buggered if I know! A lot of people over the years seem to have had issues (of all different kinds) with Stellar steering. I've owned 4 (2 x Gen1SR, 1 x Gen1 SES, and 1x Gen2 SEL.) I have the stock set-up on all and all with the supplied cable; the SEL has black/yellow flecked sheathed cable, the other 3 the grey unsheathed style. They have all worked fine for me (after a little bit of initial stretch). The only ski I've had steering issues with was an early DD3, where I ended up putting small jamb leats on the back of the pedals. My wife (who paddles a new Vault) also has a Think Eze - I don't reckon this set-up is any better than the Stellar and is in fact a bit more "fiddly" to adjust for different leg lengths.

Life truly lived is full of risk; to fence out risk is to fence out life itself

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2 years 4 months ago #27858 by Canadasurfskiguy
FYI, I tied of the cable at the foot pedals and the stretching is still there.... bummer. I suspect the spungy steering is just the way it goes with this boat. If I decide to keep it then I think I'll take the aforementioned advice and buy a rudder with the post in the middle and that should reduce the leverage from which water can apply force to the rudder.

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2 years 4 months ago #27860 by Reg
I fitted a fenn downwind rudder to my SEI. It made a big difference. The standard stellar rudders are crap. It didn't seem to matter which of the three rudders I fitted, it still wouldn't turn. The SEI is a fantastic ski, pity they don't invest a bit of R&D into their rudders

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2 years 4 months ago #27861 by Dicko
Just make sure the post isn't actually twisting in the rudder. Make sure the post isn't twisting in the tiller.

I suspect the rudder is contributing to the feeling that the boat is wandering. if you get on a wave it gets worse. All the lift generated by the rudder is behind the pivot, so everytime you take a stroke the rudder moves all on its own. Makes the boat wander. If you have the pedal angle set too far forward and you're touching them as you leg drive it will make it worse.

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