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Old 27 April 2003, 06:00   #1
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Country: UK - Channel Islands
Boat name: Spud
Make: BWM
Length: 5.75
Engine: Mariner 125
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Steering fail-safe???

Right after spending a few hours trawling through searches I have found many talk of people having a back up plan in case their steering goes peer shaped. But never an explanation of what this 'back-up' involves.

I am asking because I am upgrading my outboard on SPUD, my 5.75 BWM. From a Force 90 to a Mariner 125. But after reading about your steering woes I am concerned as to if the current cable steering will rated / able to cope with the new outboard.

So what systems do you have as back up?
  • bring along a big guy who will be able to turn the engine on his own
  • Maybe a rope / pulleys configuration between the outboard and the 'A' frame to enable it to be turned?
  • Just a simple spare steering cable that you will swap whilst at sea?

Thank You,
Lee
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Old 27 April 2003, 06:51   #2
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I have been told that the thing to do with steering failure is to disconnect the steering cable from the engine and then lash an oar/paddle to the engine to use as an emergency tiller - or have a suitable piece of ali pipe on board for this purpose. You can't go very fast but at least you will be moving - hopefully in the right direction.

I don't know how practicle this would be for your engine but a trail run may be an idea before you need it in anger.
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Old 27 April 2003, 07:46   #3
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If

you feel current steering will not be up for the job- change it now to one which will be rated & give you piece of mind

if your steering does go at speed you probably wont still be in the boat to even be able to think about mending it !
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Old 28 April 2003, 09:23   #4
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I have had the steering go on several boats that I have been driving over the years. Usually you can tell that it is going to go because it becomes very stiff just before the cable breaks. You should always have your hand on the throttle, if this is the case you should be able to bring the boat back under control easily with ought the steering.

I carry a piece of angle iron simple because it is strong cheep and has loads of holes for the bolts to go through. Often where the cable attaches to the engine their are 2 bolts in line. By attaching the angle iron here you will be able to steer the engine with ought to much difficulty. The main problem is that you are so far from the throttle. Ensure that your makeshift tiller will clear the seating in the boat and that their are 2 bolts with it.
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Old 28 April 2003, 18:41   #5
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Don't let it fail. End of problem.

If you feel you need security, use a twin cable helm unit. With this, one cable pulls and the other pushes. It has another big advantage; adjust one cable so it is tensioned for a port turn and the other tensioned for a starboard turn. You then have no-play steering, and it matters.

JW.
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Old 28 April 2003, 19:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by dgpw
You should always have your hand on the throttle, if this is the case you should be able to bring the boat back under control easily with ought the steering.
Intresting concept, but surely only if the srearing jams. Even with a foot throttle if the stearing breaks on a race boat it normaly flips.
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Old 29 April 2003, 10:22   #7
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both the cables I have had go the steering has jammed. Plus cables tend to be fitted on 130hp and less. Tends to be hydraulics on the big boys and they don't just snap. You should have enough control over the rib with the throttle. I am not talking about a phantom or ring hear. They would be far harder to control. Though a phantom tends to come out of waves fairly straight. Not that I have stuffed one of course.
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Old 29 April 2003, 13:01   #8
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Fair point, though hyraulics can fail as suddenly as cable. The real bummer is the Jesus bolt, the little one at the end of the steering arm in which you put all your faith.
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Old 29 April 2003, 16:25   #9
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steering handle mounting

th pic shows the mounting lug for the emergency steering handle on one of the merc 90 two strokes on a MST rescue rib. Apparently the handle off the manual bilge pump doubles as the steering handle after opening the hydraulic valve at the back of the steering wheel. Probably (?) in next issue of Rib International.
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Old 29 April 2003, 16:27   #10
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Jesus bolt- the same pattern as the one that holds the rotors on to the helicopter then!
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