Time for some Whitlock Pedestal Steering gear maintenance

Posted By on February 4, 2017

Spent a few days aboard Encore by myself this week doing a little (very little) needed maintenance. It’s amazing how "just sitting" is a killer for aging a sailboat! That’s not to say I’m ready to let her go, just that I need to give her Whitlock_Steering_Pedistalmore attention.
Winking smile
One of the projects was to disassemble the Whitlock Constellation 400 (I believe) steering pedestal for cleaning, inspection and lubrication. I didn’t find much information on the "late" Whitlock system that was bought by Lewmar, but since I had Whitlock branded X116 Conduit Lubricant, I used that for the cables and added to the chain for good measure. There is some corrosion on the exterior of the aluminum pedestal itself, but that will have to get some paint when I paint the cockpit — on my list. Also, the "wheel brake" has been broken since we bought the sailboat and does not look like a part that I’m gong to find easily … perhaps adapting or making one is an eventual possibility? For now, it is not necessary with the autopilot and Cape Horn Self Steering gear.

Next go-around, maybe I’ll consider looking at the wheel bearing as they are a bit noisier than I think they should be … not heavily grinding, but not exactly right either.



Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.