How to measure for a steering cable installation

An important component of steering function is proper cable installation. Since cable efficiency is reduced by the number of cable bends and the radii of those bends, it is essential to plan the straightest cable path possible The total of cable bends should never exceed 360o, and no bend should be less than the recommended radius.

If cables must run through ribs, decks or motor well walls, holes should be drilled with adequate clearance. The cable should then be supported with ties or hangers approximately every six feet.

How to identify the proper replacement cable
Look for the Part Number
Remove the entire cable assembly from the boat to insure accuracy  of the number and in measuring the actual cable if your not sure of the number.

All steering cable manufacturers stamp a part number and cable length on the outer plastic jacket of each cable. Most are stamped on the engine end of the cable, but some can also be found on the opposite end. If the part number and length are legible, simply refer to the Steering Cable Replacement Cross Reference index to find the proper replacement cable number and order the length marked on the original cable.

The diagram and formula below would be used if your replacing the entire system or starting fresh with a new dash installation, such as adding steering to a small aluminum fish boat.

In "Inches"
  A= Distance from the center line of the wheel to the gunwale.
  B= Distance from the dash to the transom.
  C= Distance tram the gunwale to the center line of the transom or engine tilt tube.

The total of A+B+C is your basic measurement. From that total deduct 4" for every 90' bend in the cable. For installations that are mounted to the transom or splash well, deduct 6". For installations through the engine tilt tube, add 6". Then round the final total up to the next whole foot.

A=20" +B=104" +C=28" =152"
152"-8" for two 90 deg. Bends =144"
144+6" for a thru-tube installation =l50"
Round up to nearest whole foot = 156" (13 ft.)

Example for Transom or Splash-well Mounted Installation:

A=20" +B=104" +C=28"= 152"
152"-8" for two 90 deg. Bends = 144"
144"-6" for transom installation =138"
Round up to nearest whole foot = 155" (12 ft.)

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