One of the problems with not winterising your self-steering gear properly is that 18 months down the line you pay for it. When we started recommissioning Esper at the beginning of the year we were horrified to discover that our Pacific Plus self-steering gear would not budge. Worse still, I had turned the auxiliary rudder round so that it was pointing inwards and therefore made the brass gears inaccessible. This meant that I was not able to put on the paddle section, engage the gears and rotate the paddle in order to ‘break’ the seizure.

Instead we got Bryan of BTVEE involved, a sailor and engineer who was able to make a bracket for us. Before I continue further, I include a schematic of the bracket. You may click on the blueprint below to view a full-screen version in a Lightbox effect.

Alternatively you can download a printable image of the plans here .

I don’t need to say any more as it’s all contained in this comprehensive video. Thanks go to Bryan, Gladwyn and Peter Foerthmann, the designer of the Pacific Plus. Oh, and next time we’ll remember to decommission our Pacific Plus properly. I’ve always said I don’t mind making a fool of myself if someone else learns from my mistakes; didn’t Confucius say “Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes”? I think he did.

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