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Author Topic:   SEASTAR SOLUTIONS SAFE-T QC Rotary Steering Sytems
Kolbert posted 05-28-2015 12:13 PM ET (US)   Profile for Kolbert   Send Email to Kolbert  
Hi everyone. [I f]inally decided to update the steering on my 1971 Nauset to the Safe-T QC rotary steering system. I have a Johnson 90 VRO and wanted to use the existing and original mounting block for the steering. The cable fits easily but the connector is different, and longer. I had an idea and tried to do a quick modification, but I know there has to be someone who has done the same upgrade. I did search the site, but couldn't find any pictures.

I have pictures but don't know how to link. Thanks for your help.

jimh posted 05-29-2015 10:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The SEASTAR SOLUTIONS SAFE-T QC mechanical steering is a typical steering product for outboard engines that is usually installed to the outboard engine by inserting the engine-end of the mechanical cable through the tilt tube of the outboard engine. A DRAG LINK is then used to connect the actuator arm of the steering cable to the tiller arm of the outboard engine.

The drag link is not provided in the steering system products. The drag link is usually provided by the manufacturer of the outboard engine. The drag link connects to the engine steering tiller and to the steering actuator with specialized bolts that usually have been machined without threads in the region of the bolt shaft which will be part of the actual mechanical coupling between the tiller and actuator, called shoulder bolts. The shoulder bolts are usually provided by the outboard engine manufacturer as part of the gear included with the DRAG LINK.

The installation of a SEASTAR SOLUTIONS SAFE-T QC mechanical steering system on a small boat would generally employ the through-the-tilt-tube mounting. In some instances, most notably on the older 13-foot Boston Whaler boats, mechanical steering actuators cannot be easily fitted to the tilt tube of the outboard engine. The steering actuator is fixed to an accessory stand-off mounting bracket that is mounted to the boat transom, and the steering actuator is attached directly to the remote steering tiller of the outboard engine. To see this method, compare at: 8_CamoWhaler13Transom.jpg

In this thread KOLBERT has provided no information about the previous steering method or the nature of the link between the steering and the outboard. This requires me to speculate about what method was used. On some very old outboard engines, particularly lower horsepower engines, the attachment of the steering actuator was made to a carrying handle; these older outboard engines would typically not have a remote steering tiller provided. My expectation for a Johnson 90-HP outboard engine would be to find a remote steering tiller. Outboard engines with a remote steering tiller are usually intended to be fitted for remote steering with a drag link and a through-the-tilt-tube actuator.

ASIDE: To link to any image you can just give the complete URL to the image. For an example, see my link above to an image. To make your image available for others to see, use a public image hosting site.

A good choice in my opinion for a public photo hosting site is GOOGLE PHOTOS. See

To link to an image hosted on GOOGLE PHOTOS, just give the URL as a hyperlink. Here is an example of a hyperlink to an image I have hosted on GOOGLE PHOTOS:

On many image hosting sites you must explicitly set the permissions for viewing the image to be PUBLIC if you want to allow anyone to see it. GOOGLE PHOTOS will create the sharable link to your image. It is this link that you should give to others to let them find and view the image. I regret that I cannot offer to host images for all of the 40,000 participants of this website. My resources would be exceeded. A company like GOOGLE has more resources than I do, and you can use their image hosting for free.

jimh posted 05-29-2015 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The accessory for a Johnson 90-HP engine that will connect the steering actuator to the engine is called STEERING CONNECTOR KIT--STAINLESS STEEL in some years and in other years a DRAG LINK. You can use the resources of the excellent website


to see detailed exploded-view illustrations of all components of the engine and most all accessories. The drag link kit is nicely illustrated.

jimh posted 05-29-2015 10:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If the existing steering on the 1971 NAUSET boat under discussion uses the unusual transom mounting fixture for the steering actuator instead of the through-the-tilt-tube method, it might be an improvement to change the steering arrangement to the tilt-tube and drag link method.

If the transom mounted actuator is necessary, the link between the actuator and the tiller arm is usually accomplished with a clevis arrangement. Look closely at the image I linked above to see the clevis attachment at the engine and steering actuator connection. The clevis hardware should be available as an accessory part from SEA STAR SOLUTIONS or other steering component manufacturers, it there is not already a clevis in use that can be adapted. Here is a link to a page from SEASTAR SOLUTIONS showing the SA 27576P/27577P CLEVIS KIT: Clevis-Kit-SA27576PSA27577P-Rev.1-IS-SA27576-7.pdf

The use of this hardware should permit attachment of the steering actuator arm to the outboard engine tiller arm in most any arrangement.

jimh posted 05-29-2015 11:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It is prudent to note that the manufacturer offers the following advice:

This system [SAFE-T QC] is only recommended
as replacement for the original system as
installed by the boat manufacturer. SeaStar
Solutions always recommends NFB helms for
outboard applications. NFB helms lock out
steering loads caused by propeller torque
eliminating the driver fatigue normally
experienced with a standard helm. Patented
SeaStar Solutions steering helms are a drop
in replacement for Safe-T systems.

Kolbert posted 06-01-2015 03:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kolbert  Send Email to Kolbert     
Thank you for the feedback Jim. All good stuff.

On my Nauset, the steering system was the original from the factory, and it was a cable in black jacket system from the console back to the engine. The cable was mounted to the transom using a sturdy brass block with a locking, wedge type through bolt (not thru the tilt tube). From the block, the cable end was attached to the steering arm of the engine with a swivel type bolt setup.

The original lasted 40+ years with minor lubing and one full tear-down, so I think I got my value out of it!

I will sign up for the google site so I can upload some pictures. I spoke with a gentleman from Teleflex and he passed along that I could use a clevis setup that was similar to the original. I still have the issue of the new cable end (moveable portion that extends to turn engine) being too long, so I may need to go with a drag link setup.

Will upload some pictures so you can see.

Kolbert posted 06-17-2015 06:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kolbert  Send Email to Kolbert     
Finally had time to upload the pictures of my new steering and the connection issue. Here are 2 pictures that show the existing connector block (brass fitting). The white length, was a piece that I put together to try and move the arm end further away from the steering arm.

The clevis setup is what is on the boat now, but I cant just clamp the new cable in the block because the end of the cable where the steering arm would connect, would be too far over.

Any ideas?


Kolbert posted 06-18-2015 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kolbert  Send Email to Kolbert     
I think that I have found a solution to the steering connection. There is a support tube that will connect to the steering cable and fit through the block. This will support the cable and act as a solid point for the steering to move through. A link to a picture is shown below.[user]=141819316&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=0

Will get back if this solves the issue.

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