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Old 11 April 2006, 07:01   #1
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Hydraulic or cable??

I know this has been discussed many times, but I just want to seek clarification once more!

I'm about to install a Mercury 115 on the back of my Osprey Eagle 5.6. The boat had cable steering fitted when I got it (which was connected to a Mariner 75). I've since removed everything from the boat (including the steering). My question is, is the cable system likly to be beefy enough to handle the 115, or, should I bite the bullet and buy a hydraulic system for 399. I know hydraulic will be easier and smoother, but is cable really that unrealistic on this size of engine. I know someone with a 115 Yamaha and he has cable and doesn't seem to have too much trouble with it. On the other hand I am a tad worried becasue I've got cable on my Mariner 40 and that's a lot harder to steer than twin 60s with hydraulic...

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Old 11 April 2006, 10:49   #2
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Tim, a single cable will be fine in terms of strength but it will have play. It's just a feature of cable. Play in the steering will give you poor handling, especially in beam seas where the boat will swerve off to the side as the bow runs into the side of a wave. It can be quite violent. A twin cable can be used and adjusted to remove the play but it will be heavy.

The pros and cons of hydraulic steering have been discussed here at length. For me, lots of turns from lock to lock are a serious pain. I need to be able to just flick the wheel side to side using one hand with the other one on the throttle.
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Old 11 April 2006, 13:26   #3
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Hydraulic Tim, you won't be dissapointed.

My theory is that if you plan to keep the boat for a lengh of time the costs are justified.

You can mix and match the steering pump and actuator (Ram) to give you a better turning ratio. I went from a 2.6 revs lock to lock steering with cable to a 5 turn hydraulic and although the difference was notible during the first few voyages, it doesn't bother me now. You can always fit a wheel spinner thing to help you during manuvering.

The reason I went from cable to hydraulic was because of torque steer and a problem with backlash the cable was giving me a speed causing me to lose stability and kind of chine walk.
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Old 11 April 2006, 17:14   #4
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Well Tim
It simple, Do you want a Rolls royce or a Robin Reliant
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Old 11 April 2006, 18:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M
I know this has been discussed many times, but I just want to seek clarification once more!

I'm about to install a Mercury 115 on the back of my Osprey Eagle 5.6. The boat had cable steering fitted when I got it (which was connected to a Mariner 75). I've since removed everything from the boat (including the steering). My question is, is the cable system likly to be beefy enough to handle the 115, or, should I bite the bullet and buy a hydraulic system for 399. I know hydraulic will be easier and smoother, but is cable really that unrealistic on this size of engine. I know someone with a 115 Yamaha and he has cable and doesn't seem to have too much trouble with it. On the other hand I am a tad worried becasue I've got cable on my Mariner 40 and that's a lot harder to steer than twin 60s with hydraulic...

Tim,
Fit hydraulic!

Fit it and forget it,

Cost of it outways replacement cables and helm units!!
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Old 11 April 2006, 18:19   #6
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hydraulic...
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Old 12 April 2006, 07:47   #7
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hydraulic... for me everytime
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Old 12 April 2006, 08:35   #8
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Hydraulic requires uncompromising maintenance. Seal, or hose failure means you probably need rescuing. Even with quite a badly damaged cable system, it's likely that it can be bodged back together enough to get you home.
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Old 12 April 2006, 17:02   #9
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Hmm I guess I will probably go with hydraulic. It's just so damn expensive. Breaking down is of course another slight worry especially having read that report on the rib that all the fluid leaked out of and lost control. I suppose if I maintain it regularly I will be ok on that front. The boat will have an aux outboard so if all goes totally tits up I will have that to fall back on.

Can anyone beat 399 for a complete system?
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Old 12 April 2006, 19:05   #10
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Quote:
Hydraulic requires uncompromising maintenance
that rib accident on a scottish loch proved that!
However having been in a rib when the steering cable snapped it can be just as scary....
replacement cables and consol units as someone else said soon eats up any savings.
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