Emergency Tiller Maintenance Project


Above is what the emergency tiller looks like on our 41 Defever trawler.  Should we lose steering on account of a hydraulic line failure or other debilitating part failure, we open up the lazarette, connect the steering tiller, turn a valve that releases the hydraulic fluid loop and then employ the emergency tiller. Probably sounds easier to say than use so, some future off-shore testing is in order.


The square emergency tiller tube fits just over the rudder post and the weight of the emergency tiller is what keeps it in place.


Above is the Garmin autopilot pump.  I also vacuumed, hosed off this entire area and then spray lubed the entire area.


Not that long ago a Defever 44 owner told me he once lost all steering, coming down the Baja coast.  What I remember about that conversation is that he required towing.  I also don’t recall if I asked him if he was equipped with any form of emergency tiller steering.

Well here I am today, tackling routine maintenance on my steering system.  Part of that routine maintenance involved scraping off, (then vacuuming up) spraying and greasing various parts you see in the pictures as well as hosing it all down.  I also tried to employ my emergency tiller as one would do in an emergency and I was not able to.

First, the two connecting parts were missing the bolt, washer and nut.  Also, neither part connected together so, I pulled out some scraping tools and did a little cleaning.

While in Portland, Oregon, my mechanic Adam bled the entire hydraulic system and installed new steering fluid; all as part of installing the new Garmin autopilot system.  As of today, totally 100% reliable in every way.



About trawlercat

Retired and now moving on from the cruising life jeeps, adventure bike, gardening, and travel. Always in search of the next great adventure!
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