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Author Topic:   Cable Steering On Older 13-Foot Boston Whaler
bigpat posted 11-08-2006 11:52 AM ET (US)   Profile for bigpat   Send Email to bigpat  
[I] am ready to upgrade my 1976 SPORT 13 classic with a Teleflex QC mechanical cable steering. [M]y existing steering is wire rope and pulley. Side console. [I]t appears [I] need to buy a 20-degree bezel for the top of the console as [I] want to keep the wheeel angled back towards me. Do [I] need to find a wedge kit for under the console? Is there an existing piece from the aluminum wire spool (helm) that [I] can use from my original set-up? [I] can't tell by feel and won't know until [I] remove the side console and steering wire rope and pulleys. Has any [13-foot Boston Whaler boat been upgraded from wire rope and pulley steering to mechanical cable steering]? How is the helm kept angled back on top of the console?

regards to all-

alfa posted 11-08-2006 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for alfa  Send Email to alfa     

I have installed a complete Teleflex steering system on my 1977 Sport 15. Console is wood as yours, I think. I bought the SS-132 TeleFlex steering kit.
I bought a 20-degree TeleFlex Bezel kit for about $30-US. Reference is SB 27483. Fit is perfect


cinco de whaler posted 11-08-2006 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for cinco de whaler  Send Email to cinco de whaler     
I just recently converted my 1967 13-foot to Teleflex also. You can discard all of the original hardware. The new kit with the 20 degree bezel will be all that you need. Make sure you get the right model of gear box. One is oblong shaped and was too big to fit under the console and would hit the inner left side of the console if you tried to align the steering shaft with the existing hole. The one that worked for me had a smaller round gear housing and fit perfectly. I can't remember the model but it was a Teleflex NFB system and the difference in the two models is obvious if you look at them side by side. Good Luck.
tjhart posted 11-08-2006 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for tjhart  Send Email to tjhart     
What length cable did you use?
contender posted 11-08-2006 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Your engine will turn sharper with [the wire rope and pulley steering] than the TeleFlex system. You also have to make sure the unit fits on the console without hitting the [starboard] side of the boat with the cable installed. You might have to move the sterring wheel to the left on the console (and I do not think the steering hole will line up. You may have to make a new hole or replace the console top. Teleflex does sell the bezel you require with their steering helm. Good luck

Bjornas posted 11-08-2006 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bjornas  Send Email to Bjornas     
Don't discard the old steering system. There are many people looking for those.
13sport posted 11-08-2006 09:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for 13sport    
I have a Teleflex system and in a hard turn the cable does hit the right side of the boat. When I turn the all the way the other way there is a good 5 inches sticking out. Can I safely trim the cable?


contender posted 11-08-2006 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
13sport--Do not cut TeleFlex cables. The helm is designed to go so many turns. If you cut the cable your steering will be lost.
cinco de whaler posted 11-09-2006 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for cinco de whaler  Send Email to cinco de whaler     
I can't remember the cable length. I'll go back and check my receipt. I think I started with a 9-foot, sent it back, got an 8-foot, but I'll verify and get back to you.
cinco de whaler posted 11-09-2006 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for cinco de whaler  Send Email to cinco de whaler     
My 1967 SPORT 13 used a 9-foot Teleflex cable with the original side console with a Suzuki 50-HP four-stroke on a 5-inch CMC vertical extension. It turns perfectly left and right and I didn't have to make any modifications other than raising my engine height due to the short transom.
GlennO posted 11-10-2006 01:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for GlennO    
First post here at CONTINUOUSWAVE, so please forgive me if I cover what may be old ground for some of you.

I'm going through the conversion of a 1970 13-foot Boston Whaler boat to Teleflex QC stering and 2003 Honda 20-HP four-stroke. I have had several moments of "enlightment" I thought to share:

--Cut down transom accomodated the motor nicely, BUT the end of the steering arm drove into the cutout at straight ahead position, preventing right turns.

--Having the requisite short-shaft motor, I was forced to mount the "Mini-Jacker" in such a way that the motor mount/saddle doesn't clear the original transom, and requires removal of the clamp-screws to clear, as well as addition of 5/8-inch spacer behind it. I had one cut from plate aluminum.

--The steering box fits in the console, with careful cutting of the old hole to new dimension to fit new angled mounting bracket. The "stinger" on the "out" side of the steering box can easily be accomodated by careful routing under the console. End section of mine slipped out to parallel the main steering cable along the rail.

--swapped over to 10-foot TeleFlex cable from 9-foot originally measured to fit new relocated motor position. I hope this saves someone some frustration.


Ducktown posted 11-18-2006 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ducktown  Send Email to Ducktown     
I'm about to make the same pulley to Teleflex conversion on 1960's era 13-footer with a wooden console. This discussion has already been extremely helpful. The boat has a 1994 Johnson 25 on it and I don't have a clue how or what hardware to use to attach the steering cable to the motor's tilt tube. Or even if it will? Does anyone have advice, a photo, a diagram, and a supplier for the hardware?
alfa posted 11-19-2006 03:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for alfa  Send Email to alfa     
Ducktown, have a look.
Hope this can help.

Bjornas posted 11-19-2006 03:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bjornas  Send Email to Bjornas     
Here is a previous thread showing an alternative setup for having telflex steering with the notched 15 inch transom.
Scroll down until you see the picture JimH posted of the solution. Using a stand-off bracket and motor extension you won't have to go through all the other gyrations. Here is the link

jimh posted 11-19-2006 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is the picture:

Photo: Mechanical cable steering added to older Boston Whaler boat with 15-inch transom

If you have an older Boston Whaler boat with a 15-inch height transom, and you have a motor with a 15-inch shaft, you can convert the steering to TeleFlex mechanical cable from the original wire rope and pulley configuration using the standoff adapter shown in the image above. This part is available for about $70. Here is a link to a vendor that sells these. I located this link with a GOOGLE search for "Teleflex steering stand off":

The general experience with using a through-the-tilt-tube steering arrangement on these older hulls with curved and notched transoms is there is interference between the steering actuator and the transom at some settings of the steering. This is why the standoff is recommended.

If you have a motor with a 20-inch shaft and a hull with a 15-inch transom, you need to raise the motor mounting. This can be done either by adding a jack plate or by fabricating a new transom and filling in the notch in the old one. To see a nice installation using a jack plate approach, see


where many detailed photographs show the technique.

Raising the transom by filling in the notch is another way to proceed, but this technique's success depends upon the skill of the builder in laminating a new transom together. If you have the requisite skill and want to take this approach it may be a good solution. I do caution that I have seen some rather odd looking modified transoms, and, as a general rule, I do not recommend making modifications to classic Boston Whaler boats which involve cutting into the original Unibond hull construction, if the hull is currently intact. Such modifications generally tend to decrease the value of the boat unless they are done very professionally. I don't have a link handy to an example of a professionally re-built transom which has been raised to 20-inch from 15-inches, but I am sure it has been done. The curving nature of the transom makes this a bit more difficult than one might anticipate.

Ducktown posted 11-19-2006 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ducktown  Send Email to Ducktown     
JIMH and all -

Thanks - the photo of the standoff adapter won me over. It looks like the easiest way to go, given the issues some of the past posters have encountered. When mounting this hardware, I assume you go clear through the transom with some kind of a nut/washer combo on the outside.

Again, thanks.

jimh posted 11-20-2006 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The installation shown in the image above has the standoff mounted a little more inboard than necessary. As you can see, there are several inches of the steering tube outboard from where the clamp is located. So you have some flexibility in where you install it. Also, that engine is an older style and does not have the typical tiller extension that a more modern engine would have. (It appears that the old wire rope and pulley steering tang has been re-purposed for the cable steering.) This will also affect where the standoff should be mounted.

I believe that some portions of the transom may have embedded wood in that area. You should check the wood locating diagram. I'd try to located the standoff so that it was in an area of the transom where there was embedded wood for reinforcement. In that case, the four screws should be sufficient to hold it. If not in a reinforced area, then through bolting sounds prudent.

bjwhite01 posted 06-29-2015 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for bjwhite01  Send Email to bjwhite01     
I know the topic is old but I'm in the process of doing a complete restoration to a 13 footer 67ish era. Looking for the original cable system parts you guys took out to replace with Teleflex. Reason? They just plan work. Never broke on me. And I have such a system on my'61 Penn Yan. 12 yrs with spectra line and never a problem.

So bottom line is I'm asking if any of you guys are like me and would never throw out that old system.

If you have it lying around in your cellar or garage, let me know.


jimh posted 06-30-2015 07:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
bjwhite01--I think you mean you are looking for the wire rope steering system parts. This thread is about mechanical cable steering. Search for threads with the search terms "wire rope steering." You will find many discussions.

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