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Engineering Students Learn to Replace Marine Steering System

May 24, 2010

Elliot Lewis & his boat - Bennington Banner / by Peter Crabtree

Students in an engineering class at Bennington, Vermont’s Career Development Center are working to repair the steering and other components of a boat in order to return it to the water.

Elliot Lewis, a 17-year-old senior at Mount Anthony Union High School, is one of the five students in an Engineering 2 class who is trying to restore a 15-foot, 1959 fiberglass and wooden Runabout, the Bennington Banner reports.

“I started out thinking I would do the whole boat, but with time constraints, I decided to just do the lighting and steering instead,” Lewis told the news source.

He added that these components needed the most work. “The steering was non-existent when I started.” Cable and pulley style steering was the standard fitment to a boat of this era. Indeed, helms and cable steering systems have come a long way since those early days of the “close-line” style of steering system with cables running down both sides of the gunwhales to the outboard.

Outboard Steering

Single cable steering systems are most common in smaller boats that are propelled with an outboard. The Uflex Rotech Universal Rotary Cable Steering System, which includes helm, bezel and cable, is ideal for replacement marine boat steering systems.

If you’re replacing a cable steering system, you will need to calculate the cable length. When replacing an existing system, you can usually find the cable part number and length about two feet from the helm connection, imprinted into the cable’s jacket. If you can’t locate or read the numbers on your cable, you can calculate the appropriate steering cable length by measuring the plastic jacket only and adding 18 inches

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