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Old 22-03-2016, 09:51   #1
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Steering maintenance time

With the coming season it is time to think about inspecting your steering system. For those with the common chain and cable systems this video should be of help. Be sure to watch part 2 as well. If you have any questions or run into any problems let me know. Loss of steering is one of the most common reasons boats are abandoned at sea. A bit of preventive maintenance will go a long way to ensuring you do not have problems.

https://youtu.be/270dLsfbR3M
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Old 22-03-2016, 10:46   #2
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Re: Steering maintenance time

I contacted Edson Marine last week to find a kit to change my two lever (throttle separate from Transmission) to a combined single lever. During the conversation he emphasized in the strongest terms the need to replace, not just inspect and refurbish, the entire cable/chain set in my steering system with all new components - every 10 years!! This is in addition to refurbing bearings in the controls and steering assembly. And, he said the pedestal should be replaced with new every 15 years (invisible cracks in the column can cause catastrophic failure where the pedestal breaks)!

This not only expensive, it can also be a bear to do.

They no longer make the combined throttle/transmission single lever assembly I wanted although they do have one that is part of a new guard rail.

All this went on to my project to do list for my 1981 boat. I believe the cables have been replaced by the PO but I highly doubt that he replaced the pedestal. I have never heard of having to do that before. The next thing I will hear is that my whole boat must be replaced every 15 years because it might fail.

You are right in the need to ensure your steering system is up to snuff. I have friends who lost theirs from a broken cable 100 miles offshore. Not fun.
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Old 22-03-2016, 11:27   #3
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Re: Steering maintenance time

I have not heard this before and I worked closely with Edson on this video. Never in the conversation did it come up about having to replace everything. They would like to see the chain and cable replaced every 10 years but even that may not need to be done if you take care of it. Watch the 2 videos and you will get a good idea of what needs to be done. If I was heading offshore I would replace the chain and cable just to be on the safe side but this is not expensive. I have never heard of a pedestal breaking with out being helped by an outside force. Common sense here really, just do the basic stuff and make sure it is in good shape, look for problem areas and deal with them. These are pretty robust systems and most failures are a result of lack of maintenance. Good luck and do not replace the whole boat just yet!
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Old 22-03-2016, 11:27   #4
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Re: Steering maintenance time

I have a replacement cable already made up in case it's needed. But, replacing it means dismantling the pedestal to get at the attachments to the chain. Not something I want to do at sea. Preventive maintenance looks like a good idea.


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