Tips & Warnings
The end of the steering cable must be fully retracted into the outboard tilt tube before adding lubricant. Adding lubricant to steering cable when fully extended (not retracted into the tilt tube) could cause steering cable to become hydraulically locked.
Lubricate the steering link rod pivot points during your spring fitting out, half-way through the season and at the end of the season as part of your winter lay up.
Steering cable problems can cause a sudden steering failure. Sudden steering failures mean that you're either a "vessel not under command" or a vessel in serious trouble. If you experience a steering failure, take all way off of your vessel: shift your engine into neutral or, if you're approaching a ticklish situation, shift to reverse to stop more quickly: from 10 knots, a small boat will stop in twice its own length if full reverse is applied. Don't forget to shift back to neutral once forward motion is checked.
Article Written By Will Charpentier
Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.