How to Change a Boat Steering Cable

How to Change a Boat Steering Cable
After a few years of moderate wear, the steering cable for your boat's wheel may require replacement. Common indicators that the cable needs to be changed are that the wheel feels tight while turning, or that you notice that it is more difficult than usual to turn the boat.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Steering cable Philips screwdriver Wrench
  • Steering cable
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Wrench
Step 1
Disconnect the cable attached to the hull to expose the dash and rudder. Depending on the fixture in that area, either unscrew the dash with a Phillips screwdriver or a wrench if the connection is a bolt. When the dash is removed, you will be able to see the steering cable. If you are unsure what the steering cable looks like, consult the instruction manual for your specific steering system.
Step 2
Remove any extraneous equipment, such as stereo equipment and navigation equipment. (These will likely get in your way when you are trying to change the cables.)
Step 3
Unscrew all screws and bolts that fix the steering cable in place. Lay down under the dash to remove the last bolt that attaches the steering cable to the rudder, if necessary.
Step 4
Push the old steering cable through the engine and hull. If you cannot get the whole cable through, but you have disconnected all of the screws, use a small hack saw to cut the cable and pull it through in two pieces.
Step 5
Screw and bolt the new cable to the steering wheel assembly system where you removed the old cable, in the reverse order that you removed the old cable system.
Step 6
Attach the final bolt to the top of the rudder.
Step 7
Attach the new cable to the steering wheel assembly and rudder and replace the dashboard.

Tips & Warnings

 
Purchase the same brand of steering cable you want to replace.
 
Purchase the same brand of steering cable you want to replace.
 
Do not attempt to repair a steering cable. When the cable is worn, a new one is essential. Never attempt to steer your boat with a worn cable, as it could cause serious damage to your boat, as well as navigational problems. If you are unfamiliar with the parts of a boat (or with general repair techniques) contact a certified professional to install a new steering cable for you.
 
Do not attempt to repair a steering cable. When the cable is worn, a new one is essential. Never attempt to steer your boat with a worn cable, as it could cause serious damage to your boat, as well as navigational problems.
 
If you are unfamiliar with the parts of a boat (or with general repair techniques) contact a certified professional to install a new steering cable for you.

Article Written By Jessica Jewell

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.

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