Boat Steering Cable Replacement Guide

Boat Steering Cable Replacement Guide – Video Transcript

This program is how to measure steering cables. At some point in every boats life if it has mechanical steering, you're going to have to replace the steering cable.

In the case of this particular cable that I have in front of me, it's from a rotary helm and once you take the cable off the boat, if you look at the engine end of the cable on the plastic jacket you'll find part numbers. In this particular case the part number on this cable, because it's a Teleflex cable is SSC6316. Those last two digits indicate the length of the cable in feet. Now if it's a Morse cable it'll be the last three digits and that will be the length of the cable in inches.

If you can't find the part number on the plastic jacket then you're going to have to measure the plastic jacket only from end to end. When you've done that, when you've measured the plastic jacket from end to end, add 18 inches and then round up to the nearest foot. Now be aware that some of the cables that you may take off of a boat are the original equipment cables and they could be in a length that is a foot and a fraction. As an example it could be 15 feet 6 inches or it could be 16 feet 6 inches. All of the replacement cables that we have available are in 1 foot increments so that's the reason that you need to do the rounding up. So if you've got a 15 and a half foot cable or 15 feet 6 inches, you need to round up to 16 feet. The same would hold true on the rack and pinion cables, if you have to replace the rack and pinion cable, it's the same type of measurements. You measure the plastic jacket end to end but in this case you add 30 inches and then round up to the nearest foot again.

For a new steering system installation on a stern drive application you're going to need to have three dimensions to get the cable length correct. The first one is the "A" dimension which takes you from the centerline of the helm over to the gunnel. Your "B" dimension is going to take you from the gunnel all the way back to where the gunnel and the transom meet, and your "C" dimension is going to be from the point where the gunnel and transom come together to the centerline of the stern drive. Those are the three measurements you need to get the correct length of steering cable for a sterndrive application. When measuring the steering cable for an outboard application you need to add six inches to the "A", " B" and "C" dimensions, if you have the steering cable going through the tilt tube on the outboard.