Hard Steering

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
roguewave
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Texas/Maine

Hard Steering

Postby roguewave » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:31 am

We only use the [1998 MONTAUK 17 with 90-HP two-stroke-power-cycle engine] for a few months in saltwater, and then it sits until next summer.

I thought I did a good job winterizing in 2019.

In preparation for summer 2020, I found the steering was locked up hard and it took days to free it up. This might be from water getting into the steering cable housing where it attaches to the engine.

The exposed steering rod on the engine mount itself was frozen hard, and only after pounding and PB blaster for days was it freed.

Now the steering is terribly hard, to the point where I now have to take it all apart and figure out why it is so hard and what the fix will be.

Give me suggestions on the fix Thank you.

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..."some gave all, KIA"...

Don SSDD
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:58 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Original 1998 17ft Montauk with the 90hp 2 stroke, hard steering...

Postby Don SSDD » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:55 am

A Steersman Nut added to the port side will allow you to grease the [tilt tube and steering actuator rod] and keep [them] clean from water and debris.

Seachoice also make [a akin to the Steersman Nut]. [I am] not sure if [the Seachoice fitting is] as good as the original. [The Seachoice fitting] May have a smaller O-ring inside with a tendency to roll out of place.

Your existing steering cable may also need replacing.

I recommend you first clean, regrease, and add the Steersman Nut. Then see how [the steering] works.

I used [a Steersman Nut] on my Montauk with a Mercury 90, [The Steersman Nut] worked great for the three years I owned the boat after the installation.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

roguewave
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Texas/Maine

Re: Original 1998 17ft Montauk with the 90hp 2 stroke, hard steering...

Postby roguewave » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:40 am

Can you add [a Steersman Nut] to both sides [of the engine steering-tilt tube]?
..."some gave all, KIA"...

biggiefl
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Location: south Tampa Bay area
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Re: Original 1998 17ft Montauk with the 90hp 2 stroke, hard steering...

Postby biggiefl » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:31 am

No. The steering cable screws onto the other side.

I would not mess with cleaning it all up and trying it out as that usually lasts a couple weeks.

On a 22-year-old boat I would buy the helm and the cable and change it out for under $200.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

roguewave
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Texas/Maine

Re: Original 1998 17ft Montauk with the 90hp 2 stroke, hard steering...

Postby roguewave » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:06 am

Do you have a preferred [retailer] to order [new steering system components] from?

[This 1998 MONTAUK 17] boat was a fresh water boat all its life—over 200 original hours—until I hauled it up to Maine. Now the saltwater use for the last three years has been minimal.

Thanks for the help.
..."some gave all, KIA"...

biggiefl
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Location: south Tampa Bay area
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Re: Original 1998 17ft Montauk with the 90hp 2 stroke, hard steering...

Postby biggiefl » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:51 am

If you think the helm is still good and was not wrestled with to get free, try cleaning the cable or just buy a new cable. Many people try and use the helm to free it and do damage to the teeth.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

roguewave
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Texas/Maine

Re: Original 1998 17ft Montauk with the 90hp 2 stroke, hard steering...

Postby roguewave » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:07 pm

I got a bit rough with [the helm] and now there is about 12-inches of play in it.
..."some gave all, KIA"...

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: Hard Steering

Postby jimh » Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:21 pm

Order new system.

A fancy nut only works if there is lubricant in the tilt tube. The Steersman Nut makes adding grease to the tilt tube much easier.

roguewave
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Texas/Maine

Re: Hard Steering

Postby roguewave » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:37 am

Sound like the best thing will be to order a new steering system, as suggested above.

[Who is a] good [retailer] to order from? I want quality parts and fair pricing. Thank you for any suggestions.
..."some gave all, KIA"...

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: Hard Steering

Postby jimh » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:33 pm

roguewave wrote:[Who is a] good [retailer] to order from? I want quality parts and fair pricing. Thank you for any suggestions


Most mechanical cable steering systems used for replacement are made by SEASTAR SOLUTIONS. You will not likely be able to purchase directly from them. They sell their products to retail customers through distributors and dealers.

A good on-line retailer will be DEFENDER.COM, but you need to know what to order; they are a big on-line store and have good prices, but their representatives are not likely to be experts in renovation of mechanical cable steering. DEFENDER is east coast.

GO2MARINE.COM is west coast, and seems to have a lot of steering components in their catalog.

I have bought from both sources.

If you need advice from the retailer, sometimes buying from a local boat dealer may cost more but may include expert advice or the chance to exchange some components that were wrong.

I try to buy as much boat-related stuff as I can from my local boat dealer. He is a great asset. I want him to remain in business as a local brick-and-mortar store with great service for my engine.

If you can save hundreds of dollars buying from a big, high-volume, national retailer compared to buying from your local store, the decision of where to buy becomes more difficult to make.

roguewave
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Texas/Maine

Re: Hard Steering

Postby roguewave » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:37 am

Thanks Jim, your a big help....as always.
..."some gave all, KIA"...

Sjc
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:15 am

Re: Hard Steering

Postby Sjc » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:17 am

In Maine it is hard to beat Hamilton Marine for quality and selection.

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Phil T
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Location: NYC then MA, NY, ME,DC,VA, ME, now Kentucky

Re: Hard Steering

Postby Phil T » Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:55 am

Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

Don SSDD
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:58 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Hard Steering

Postby Don SSDD » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:34 am

The steering on my Outrage is getting hard and I decided to add a Steersman nut to my cable. I contacted Steersman by email to see if they had a Canadian supplier, they told me the Seachoice Steering Guard nut is supplied by them.

Just posting this as an FYI for future reference for anyone reading this forum thread.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

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Phil T
Posts: 1646
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:08 pm
Location: NYC then MA, NY, ME,DC,VA, ME, now Kentucky

Re: Hard Steering

Postby Phil T » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:44 pm

Don -

Wow, that is very interesting. Thanks for sharing that.
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

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GoldenDaze
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Location: Virginia

Re: Hard Steering

Postby GoldenDaze » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:13 pm

When that happened with my 2003 169 Dauntless I used it as an excuse to upgrade to Baystar hydraulic steering. No regrets!
2003 160 Dauntless Golden Daze