Saturday, February 2, 2013

How to set up the SIC ASS (Assisted Steering System)

When you unpack a new SIC production board, you get the steering system in the form of a bunch of loose parts in a nice bag with no instructions.  If you have never seen a rudder system installed it can be quite difficult to figure out how to do this correctly.
You don't want to find out that you did not do it right in the middle of a race or when you are a few miles offshore.
I have put quite a few of these together over the years and took some pictures to help others assemble it properly.  Ask your dealer to do this for you if they know what to do, or you can do it yourself by following these steps.

Since I wrote this post, SIC has come out with this video on how to install the rudder, so watch this (in addition to checking the photos in this post) and you will have no trouble installing the rudder system.

ASS Assisted Steering System
The SIC ASS- make sure you have all the parts
The SIC board will have cables installed for regular and goofy foot steering.   Pull out the cable you don't need and save it in case you want to switch the steering in the future.  The cable can be re-threaded later.
Put the rudder in the board and check to make sure it is square.  Sometimes the rudder tube is not exactly square.  This one is slightly off, if it was exactly square it would be parallel with the grey wood trim behind it but it slants a little to the right.  Not enough to have an effect on performance, so I did not worry about it.  If it's way off, you may have to put the rudder in a padded vise and bend the rudder stem with a steel pipe that fits over the stem.  You have to be very careful not to damage the rudder when doing this, don't attempt to do it without a vise.  You can do the same thing if your rudder stem ever gets bent (can happen if you hit the reef or the rudder gets bent in the shore break).  If the rudder itself gets damaged, it needs to be replaced.

These are the parts needed to attach the rudder wheel to the rudder stem.
I find it easiest to attach the wheel to the rudder stem with the board upside down so the rudder can't drop out of the board.  If you have it right side up, you will need someone to hold the rudder while you attach the wheel.  Put the plastic washers on the rudder stem as spacers, then attach the wheel by screwing the bolt into the threaded hole in the rudder stem.
Turn the board right side up and loop the cable around the wheel twice.  Once under the screw and once over it.

Line up the cables so they are the same length on both sides with the rudder centered, then tighten the screw and make sure the cables get held under the washer.   Don't tighten the screw down all the way yet, so you can adjust the wheel position later by allowing the cables to slide under the washer.
The next step is to install the steering arm, these are the parts needed.
Use the right size bit to tighten center screw into insert in board with the two big plastic washers underneath the arm.

Attach the steering batten like this

Put the black plastic tubes over the cable ends and then thread the ends through the tightening bolts like this.
Once tension is added, the loops tighten themselves down.

Adjust the cable length before tightening down the loops.  You want the adjustment screws to go onto the  bolts with light  tension so that the tension can be adjusted.  If there is too much play, you have to shorten the wire loops to a good length.

After the length is adjusted properly, tighten the knots and insert the excess cable ends into the black tubes.
Use needle nose pliers to hold and tension the bolts while tightening the screws  by hand, try to get about the same amount of rotations on both sides, so you have space left to tighten the cables on both sides later.   You will find more tips on fine tuning the rudder in another post linked below.
After the cables are tightened properly, you can adjust the angle of the rudder by twisting the rudder wheel.  With the rudder screw not tightened down, the cables can slide around the wheel to the right position.
Once the wheel is adjusted properly (fine tuning is done later with the hand screws), tighten it down well, so the cables are held tightly in place and the cables can't slip.

The last step is to stick the carbon sliding plate under the rudder arm.  The plate provided is quite big and can be slippery if stepped on, so for my board I  cut out a smaller strip that will do the same job as the bigger plate.
The sliding plate is placed under the tip or the steering arm in the shortest setting, then peel back the adhesive backing and stick down.

Note: If you have to cut the rudder cable, use a SHARP wire cutter to avoid fraying of the cable.

All pau, for tips on how to tune the rudder, please visit this older post: 

Robert Stehlik

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