Frequently Asked Questions
OPERATING LINES TO THE BOAT'S QUADRANT - Why can I not lead the lines directly to the quadrant?
We have been in this business since 1979 and we have reviewed thousands of owner installations. Feedback from all these installations has been very valuable and is reflected in our recommendations. The idea to go directly to the quadrant might appear attractive but we are strongly against it, for three good reasons.
First, there would be excessive drag resulting from moving the wheel "backwards" (see the discussion in "Lines to an emergency tiller", above). A simple test is to crawl into your lazarette (do this when at the dock!) and attempt to move the quadrant by hand. We're certain that you will find it quite difficult. Your wheel is set up to give you a mechanical advantage when steering - use it instead of fighting it.
Second, there is the question of maintenance. When things go wrong it never happens in port, but rather when it's blowing hard, is dark and there is no moon. This is not the time to put a flashlight in your mouth and crawl into the lazarette to find out what is jammed or replace a line that has chafed through. We are strong believers of the KISS method (keep it simple stupid) and we prefer to leave the lines exposed. Such an installation has fewer blocks, minimizing friction, and the lines can be inspected at a glance. If the lines go directly into the quadrant you will have to install a myriad of blocks to arrange a purchase system to get more power. Normally this is a miserably inaccessible place to work and service and you will introduce more friction, which is not good for the performance.
Third and last, even if you manage to make it all work you will be losing valuable storage space - you can't put much in the lazarette if it's full of operating lines and blocks.