Selecting & Measuring The Right Replacement Steering For Your Powerboat
What Is Teleflex Rotary Boat Steering?
The basic system consists of four components as follows:-
Rotary Helm Unit - A dashboard mounted gearbox to which the steering wheel and cable are connected. Turning the wheel turns the gears within the helm unit and hence moves the steering inner cable in, or out, of the outer cable which then moves the engine left or right by means of a suitable engine connection kit.
Bezel - A simple plastic dashboard trim piece that covers the helm mounting hardware behind the steering wheel.
Steering Cable - The heart of the system this consists of a tough nylon coated outer sheathing which is physically attached to the helm unit at one end and the engine, or transom kit at the other. Within this fixed outer casing is a spiral wound high tensile inner cable which can move freely in and out. It is this inner cable that transfers the rotary motion of the steering wheel & helm into a linear movement at the engine or rudder.
Engine Connection Kit - This is the piece of equipment that secures the transom end of the outer cable casing. There are 3 basic types of connection more on these later.
How Do I Measure Up For A New Steering System?
Measure Distance A
Measure Distance B
Measure Distance C
Add A,B & C - Deduct 4" for each 90 degree bend and then round up to the next nearest foot.
NOTE :- FOR OUTBOARD ENGINES WITH THRU TUBE & DRAG LINK CONNECTION FOLLOW ABOVE INSTRUCTIONS AND ADD A FURTHER 1FT (300 mm) TO THE CABLE LENGTH TO ALLOW FOR FULL LINKAGE TRAVEL
How Do I Select A Suitable Steering System For My Boat?
Outboard powered up to 55 hp and under 50 mph - Lightweight System
Outboard, Sterndrive or Inboard powered up to 175 hp and under 50 mph -
Heavy Duty Quick Connect or NFB (No Feed Back System)
Heavy outboard or Sterndrive up to 150 hp suffering from excessive torque steer -
NFB (No Feed Back System) or Baystar Plus Hydraulic System
Any craft over 50 mph or 150 hp - Seastar Hydraulic System Contact Us For Further Details
What Do I Need At The Engine End?
As described earlier you must secure the outer cable sheathing at both the front and rear in order to secure the cable at the engine end there are three main options.
Most outboard motors 20 hp and above are now supplied, when new, with a fitted "through tube" to which the cable bolts and the appropriate "drag link" or "return bar" to connect the engine to the cable.
How About Measuring For A Replacement Cable
If you have a perfectly servicable helm but are just looking to buy a replacement cable you should simply measure only the plastic outer jacket (do not include any of the metal parts) in inches then add 18” and then round up to the next nearest foot.
Always remember you must ensure that you order the correct cable for your helm unit - lightweight cables will not fit heavy duty helms and some older helms may require adaptors to attach the outer cable not all are the same - If in doubt replace both helm and cable together!