Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-09-2010, 19:37   #1
Registered User
kismet's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Maryland USA
Boat: Van de Stadt Victory 40 ketch
Posts: 217
Images: 1
Send a message via Yahoo to kismet
Steering Cable

My old steering cable is made of 1/4 " galvanized steel and has developed some rusty sections and some meat hooks. Time for a change. I was wondering what the general consensus is regarding using some newer low stretch kevlar type line instead of steel. Any reason to not use a modern rope instead of steel?

I spent all my money on booze, boats and broads. And the rest of it, I wasted. - Elmore Leonard
next is the proof
kismet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2010, 19:45   #2
Registered User
Ziggy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: U.S., Northeast
Boat: Contessa 32
Posts: 1,430
Images: 2
I'd be concerned about abrasion where the rope passes through sheaves and the quadrant. Also, perhaps a minor concern, but the rope would likely get contaminated with oil from the steering chain. I don't know what oil does to Kevlar or similar high tech fibers.

... He knows the chart is not the sea.
-- Philip Booth, Chart 1203
Ziggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2010, 21:03   #3
Registered User
High Heels's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Boat: 1978 44 foot Camper & Nicholsons Ketch
Posts: 342
kismet - at the boat show">Annapolis Boat Show last year there was a rep from a company in California who sells 'Amsteel' - he was very knowledgeable - wished I still had his card...Could you try just contacting Samson directly Samson-The Strongest Name in Rope, Pulling and Stringing Lines Maybe they can give you an answer regarding Ziggy's concerns and answer other questions about it.

We have used Amsteel for our lifelines and we really like it! I understand the issues are different with steering some ways I think Amsteel could be a better answer barring the chaffing issue because it is so flexible but hardly stretches if at all.

I will be watching this thread since we will now have a wheel after having a tiller for a long time. We chartered a boat whose steering cable broke...luckily it was a pilot house and had two steering stations...
High Heels is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2010, 21:39   #4
Registered User
bewitched's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 888
Images: 3
Most modern race boats use the high-tech materials rather than steel cable. If you go that way, you'll find you get a much better 'feel' for the helm.

The downside is that they are much more susceptible to chafe - the two failures I have 1st hand experience of were both caused by chaffing on bulkheads that the line passed through.

Maybe someone else can confirm, but you may need to change out the sheaves and quadrant to get the correct cross section (wire is different to rope). This is the case when you change out the old wire halyards - may also be the case with stearing cable - I'm not sure, but worth finding out.
bewitched is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-09-2010, 16:12   #5
Senior Cruiser
Blue Stocking's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Georges, Bda
Boat: Rhodes Reliant 41ft
Posts: 4,131

What a co-incidence. Just put Bluestocking back in the water yesterday after extensive refit lasting 5 months. (Just in time for Igor to hit us on Sunday).
She has in-house built steering by Cheoy Lee. Bevel gear on wheel shaft driving vertical shaft with take-up/let-off drum at bottom. 12 yrs ago put St steel 7/32 7x19, and always felt that the helm was "springy" in feel. Put new 7/32 7x19 galvanized aircraft cable, cleaned and regreased the turning blocks and quadrant channels and cable, and wow- what a difference. Talked to a professional rigger friend about using one of the newer products, and his one question was would I feel comfortable leaving it 12 yrs without major maintainance. Answer was NO.
Asked the J125 racing guys who said stay with the cable for my type of use.
Jus sayin !
Sheaves and contact surfaces should be suited to synthetic materials.
so many projects--so little time !!
Blue Stocking is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Catalac - Steering Cable ? syoung33 Multihull Sailboats 6 10-07-2010 14:30
New Steering Line / Cable Advice Meck Construction, Maintenance & Refit 3 03-07-2010 09:28
Hydraulic vs Cable Steering rocma Multihull Sailboats 6 14-02-2010 11:08
Steering-Cable Pulleys Ecosse Construction, Maintenance & Refit 9 18-12-2009 08:33
Steering Cable Adjustment ? grafozz Multihull Sailboats 1 26-10-2009 11:01

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:55.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.