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  Wire and Pully Steering Dangerous?

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Author Topic:   Wire and Pully Steering Dangerous?
srd posted 04-18-2001 08:06 PM ET (US)   Profile for srd   Send Email to srd  
I read an ealier post that older boats with wire and pully steering were dangerous and should be replaced. I hav e a '75 13" BW w/ wire and pully steering that seems to work just fine. If, however, there is a safety issue with this steering system I would certainly like to know.
whalernut posted 04-18-2001 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
SRD, I had a 71` `13 Sport with the Pulley Steering and it was fine and worked great! Keep it in good shape and replace with new components(cables, pulleys,etc.) when needed. Regards-Jack Graner.
Dick posted 04-18-2001 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
In good condition I wouldn't say the cable & pully steering is dangerous. In bad condition it is very dangerous. Without the proper tension between the cables and the helm there may be slipage which can be disasterous.

All manufacturers of the helms discontinued them 10+ years ago for liability reasons (safety). Replacement cables and pulleys are still available.

The cable and pulley steeering compared to the current steering systems is like comparing a tin can string phone to a cel phone.

If you are comfortable with it and your speeds are low, keep it and keep it tuned up.
I wouldn't run it, but I'm an opinionated old f---.

Happy Boating


RHLOOS posted 04-18-2001 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for RHLOOS  Send Email to RHLOOS     
Owner of 1966 Sport 13 since new. This boat has had a 18,28 & 35 H.P. in its career. Now a 2000 Yamaha 40 H.P Four Stroke sits on the transom. I've used this motor for one season, and I'm sold on 4-Stroke. This season's improvements are most of all , steering up-grade. Question: Do you feel it is absolutely necessary to replace steering? I've used it for 35 years! However, the new motor has more weight/torque
Dick posted 04-18-2001 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Yes! New steering will not only be safer but you won't believe the difference in steering responce. It's nice to keep a classic a classic but good safe steering is a posetive trade off.
whalerron posted 04-18-2001 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
srd -
No steering system is safe if it is not maintained. I have a pulley-and-cable system and it works great. The cable is routed through a slot in the drive pulley at the steering wheel and then about 7 or 8 turns of cable are wrapped around that drive pulley. There is simply no way it can slip. The problem that can be caused by low tension is the cable jumping out of a pulley and jamming. If you keep the cables taut (spelling?) and if you check your plastic pulleys for cracks from time to time, everything should be fine. You also need to replace the cables when the plastic coating starts cracking. Don't let these modern steering systems fool you. I once had a boat with a modern push-pull steering cable and the cable broke while pulling a water skier. At least with the cable system, I can visually monitor its condition.
Dick posted 04-18-2001 11:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
If the cable & pulley system was safe the manufactureres of the steering helms would still have them on the market. Why can't we still get mechanical brakes on our cars, because they are not safe and there is a better system. Any steering system can fail if it is not properly maintained but it is much less likely to happen with the newer style push pull systems.
Tom W Clark posted 04-18-2001 11:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Oh for Pete's sake! Cable and pulley steering, especially on something like a 13', is perfectly safe. If you have a boat that already has it then there is no reason to change it. (though you might want to replace the cable itself) If, on the other hand, you have a boat with no steering, then install a mechanical system. They are easier to install and work great. The fact of the matter is that a correctly set up cable and pulley system is more precise and tighter. Less slop, less resistance.
Gep posted 04-19-2001 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Gep  Send Email to Gep     
I have a 59 13' sport with cable steering and have never in the 40+ years of being around the boat had any problems with the steering. I replaced the cable about 8 years ago only because I was rebuilding the console. I will probably replace it this year only because I'm redoing the thwart seats and side rails and needed to pull off the steering wheel to attach my console to the side rails.
srd posted 04-19-2001 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for srd  Send Email to srd     
Thanks everyone. I guess the main lesson you have all conveyed is an old one. What is dangerous is a boat that is not maintained properly.

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