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Old 27 March 2007, 17:37   #1
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Ultraflex/Teleflex

Apologies if this is the wrong place on forum, wonder if you can assist.
I have knacked the helm on my cable steering system which is attached to a 45hp 4str Honda. This is not the first time, I managed to do this on my old boat and although I should have learnt...obviously didn't. Omitted to strip & lubricate at season end ,assuming would be out over winter as is normally the case. However with the windy winter we had in Scotland & lack of time, wasn't in use. Pulled steering wheel with considerable force against its resistance while checking boat over and.....you've guessed it , it now turns lock to lock in 0.0005 secs!! and the outboard don't move.
Have disassembled cable from o/board, problem lies with the helm unit. My question is, is there any cable helm unit out there that has metal gearing components instead of plastic thus making it "unbreakable" for me, save me doing this task for the third time??, Cheers
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Old 27 March 2007, 23:06   #2
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Teleflex does make a heavy duty helm. My Searider is equipped with one. Can't quite remember the name. Big T?

Yup, that's the name. Had to go look it up in a catalog, was driving me crazy that I couldn't remember! "Die cast gears and added shaft support" $199 USD at www.westmarine.com though you can probably source locally.

Unbreakable? Nothing's unbreakable given a big enough hammer!
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Old 28 March 2007, 04:36   #3
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Buy Hydraulic steering!
I went through two Ultraflex systems in less than a year so bought a fairly cheap hydraulic system for about 250. has lasted about three years so far so even if it breaks tomorrow I am still ahead financially and work wise
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Old 28 March 2007, 12:58   #4
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On a 4m rib I would stick to cable steering. They should last about 5 years with an annual squirt of grease. Suggest you buy one of the kits with all the bits in the box but stuff lots of grease in the helm gearbox before fitting it. Grease the steering tube which goes through the engine too because if the cable gets stuck in there is a sod to get out, been there

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Old 28 March 2007, 13:43   #5
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I have a helm unit you can have, just converted to hydraulic.

Chris
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Old 28 March 2007, 15:09   #6
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On a 4m rib I would stick to cable steering. Pete
You are such a fan of cable steering! Murder on the arms...

Hydraulic for me every time...

Kathleen
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Old 28 March 2007, 15:14   #7
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You are such a fan of cable steering! Murder on the arms...

Hydraulic for me every time...

Kathleen
even on a 4m rib with 45hp engine??
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Old 28 March 2007, 15:19   #8
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even on a 4m rib with 45hp engine??
To be fair the RIB I wrestled with was slightly larger. I just found it a bit of a struggle after the ease of steering a 5m /hydraulic/75hp.

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Old 28 March 2007, 16:14   #9
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To be fair the RIB I wrestled with was slightly larger. I just found it a bit of a struggle after the ease of steering an 9m /hydraulic/ with auto pilot around Ireland Kathleen
Says she who is an expert windsurfer
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Old 28 March 2007, 16:20   #10
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There are safety reasons to go for hydraulic as if you fall overboard the boat should keep going and not suddenly torque steer around. But a Cable system should be plenty good for this application.
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Old 28 March 2007, 16:20   #11
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Muscle wastage

post follows...
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Old 28 March 2007, 16:21   #12
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Says she who is an expert windsurfer
Hahahaha Pete my windsurfing days ended the day I sat on a RIB I don't think we ever again passed Hillhead without an engine!!!

Kathleen

(You know very well the boat to which I was referring .
The auto-pilot effort was a doddle by comparison )
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Old 28 March 2007, 18:06   #13
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cable steering

just had the latestCompass marine catalog, they seem to have a meteal system for 144 .
Its made by Allpa says its suitable for up 235hp

maybe somebody knows whats best make , I have neverheard of it .
Take a look www.compass24.com safe-T steering system
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Old 30 March 2007, 10:21   #14
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Many thanks to all those who replied

Have "analysed" all the replies and very grateful.
The rib is 4.8m, engine 45hp 4str. Quite fancy the idea of hydaulic, less strain on the arms, but as my tech knowledge is basic, my brain just about handles the cable system!!.
Overall, the mistake I've made is less than adequate lubrication of the steering, usually try to get grease into bracket "tube" at stern, but never thought to try get some into helm gearing.
However, it seems for the 2nd time, if too much strain is put on a seized helm unit, it can't be coaxed into action and the plastic innards give up!
Think will try get one with metal gearings, but find the online decriptions of helms & systems on web lack any mention of whether the innards are plastic/metal.
If anyone could narrow down my research in this area with a make & model no, from their own experience I'll be a v. happy ribber !!!

PS You windsurfers have the right idea, no engine, no steering to go wrong, tho don't think I'm perhaps the appropriate build!!! Would need large board & sail!!
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Old 30 March 2007, 11:23   #15
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Have "analysed" all the replies and very grateful.
The rib is 4.8m, engine 45hp 4str. Quite fancy the idea of hydaulic, less strain on the arms, but as my tech knowledge is basic, my brain just about handles the cable system!!.
Overall, the mistake I've made is less than adequate lubrication of the steering, usually try to get grease into bracket "tube" at stern, but never thought to try get some into helm gearing.
However, it seems for the 2nd time, if too much strain is put on a seized helm unit, it can't be coaxed into action and the plastic innards give up!
Think will try get one with metal gearings, but find the online decriptions of helms & systems on web lack any mention of whether the innards are plastic/metal.
If anyone could narrow down my research in this area with a make & model no, from their own experience I'll be a v. happy ribber !!!
Been following this thread and not sure what the problem is with cable steering systems for a small rib. My boat's 5.3m, 90 hp, with Teleflex NFB Safe T 11 helm unit. The steering is light, there's little play, and there's no feed back from engine torque, I can let go of the wheel and she just keeps straight. Mind you, with the raked transom it's easy to trim in/down too much and make it almost impossible to steer. Then you need arms like Garth, who would surely break something. Properly trimmed, no problem.

I have had problems with the push rod sticking in the tilt tube. The grease, cold and mixed with salt, turns into glue. I managed to shoulder the engine round and gradually loosen it. Lots of 3 in 1 oil applied to clean out the gunge. Now silky smooth. Maybe try a mix of oil and grease during the season.

I would have thought hydraulic steering would be a bit over the top for my boat, let alone a smaller one. But, wouldn't have cable unless it was 'no feed back'.
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Old 30 March 2007, 11:38   #16
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Precisely the advice!!

Thanks Alystra ! Thats what I was looking for, to stay with cable system ,to get a model number, recommendation & description of how stsyem "feels" to operate! Excellent....now I know what to look for! Cheers!
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Old 30 March 2007, 17:00   #17
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Thanks Alystra ! Thats what I was looking for, to stay with cable system ,to get a model number, recommendation & description of how stsyem "feels" to operate! Excellent....now I know what to look for! Cheers!
Thanks Tornado.

I'd be concerned about putting lots of grease on plastic gears. Once greased the (plain) bearings of plastic (nylon) pullies on my ketch's steering gear. Result? Pullies seized. The nylon absorbed the grease, swelled and the wheels were immovable. Also, I think the NFB system works by a friction clutch system. Perhaps too much grease would make them slip? Not sure how you'd get grease into them anyway.

By the way, my system is 7 years old and the boat used to be driven very hard when my teenage son owned it. I think it would break if you put all your weight on it to try to free a siezed pushrod though.

If you manage to sort a system out, are you going to try for the Corryvreckan Cruise? If the weather's like it has been recently, should be really great. I'm a realist though and I'll make my mind up on the day.

Cheers, Tony
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