Steering System for a 14' Boat

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Mack77, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Mack77
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Mack77 New Member

    Hi Guys!

    I just purchased cheap, small boat to fish on lakes with for the summer, it's a 14' aluminum rowboat. I just recently purchased a 9.9 engine for it and i'm finding out that it's very uncomfortable to drive the boat with one arm behind your back trying to steer and control the speed while you're being rocked around as you drive.

    The question is, does anyone know how, or have an example of a steering and throttle system for a rowboat w/ an outboard engine? I have access to welding, and carpentry tools so any input will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Below is a pic of a similar boat...

    http://www.governmentauctions.org/uploaded_images/boatssss-767176.JPG
     
  2. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    He-he... you're actually supposed to sit aft beside it when you steer with the tiller arm ;)

    A steering however is much more convenient, there are various way you can do this, but in my opinion a push-pull cable steering is the neatest, most reliable. The cable and blocks system could be cheaper but I've seen too may problems with those and I doubt you'd like to go for a hydraulic on that size motor :D

    Push-pull steering. Most power boats use them.
     
  3. Mack77
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    Mack77 New Member

    Thanks!

    Does anyone have a DIY or write up of how to construct a pully system or cable steering device?
     
  4. Mykul
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    Mykul junior member

    I know it as a drum steering system. it is very simple. I will attach a crude diagram. But this is how the stearing was on my boat, till I switched to a push pull system. the key is to have springs between the motor and the cable, I cant remember why but steering is very dificult without the springs.
     

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  5. Lt. Holden
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    Lt. Holden Senior Member

    I have the same problem, could one of you elaborate on this? How much cable on the drum, what size pulleys, source for inexpensive components? Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  6. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Use a push-pull steering. It uses a rack and pinnion principle. A rack is a gear attached to the steering wheel and it's teeth runs into a strip with slots in it so they mesh. The pinnion which is connected to the cable gets pushed side to side when the wheel turns.
     
  7. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    So what is the solution for shifting and operating the throttle?
     
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  8. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    The gear shift and throttle is done with a 'two stage' double push pull cable system. The single lever you push ie foreward first engage gear then begins to open the throttle. The gear cable once reaching the in gear position does not move further, but the throttle cable does. Reverse works the same, but now the gear cable works the other way while the throttle stil works in the foreward direction.

    In the same setup is usually a start / ignition key, throttle, power trim and tilt , choke, but it depends what your motor has is what you will use...

    Almost all small power boats use them. I'm sure you should be able to find some specifics if you google for it.

    The control's I mentioned so far are the easiest, most convenient, safest and most reliable.
     
  9. Mykul
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    Mykul junior member

    The cable went around the drum 3 times, the pulleys where aprox. 2" diameter, and besides a boat dealer I haven’t the foggiest on where you would get the other hardware. But I agree with Fanie, a push-pull system is easier to install and there is less to go wrong. But there are other options to rack & pinion if space is an issue. I went with a rotary system like this one, it cost me $50ish CND. http://www.teleflexmarine.com/cgi-bin/products.cgi?site=steering&type=us&product=1086
     
  10. dcrummett
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    dcrummett New Member

  11. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    First, you need to know whether your motor can be converted from tiller to remote steering and throttle control. Many can and some may be difficult to convert. You should ask a dealer for your motor whether parts for the conversion are available. There is both a carburetor control and a spark advance control to operate although both are usually operated with the same twist grip on the tiller.

    Cable steering is fine but must be laid out properly and built strong. Pulleys must be strongly bolted to the hull, not screwed. As said, Glen L can supply most of what you need. I have a spare drum and shaft you can have for postage cost. I don't have the wheel or shaft mounting bracket.
     
  12. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I know about those systems, what I should have said is how do you remotely operate the original posters manually operated shifting and throttle without going to the expense of the system you mention. As Tom says, it may not even be possible to convert. And Mack 77's inquiry about pulley steering implies he doesn't want stick much money in it.

    You can easily rig up steering with common items, is there a way to run the manual throttle and shift using cheap, commonly available items? I have a classy little decked aluminum runabout with a center steering wheel and pulley/cable steering that I want to power with a 15 hp manual outboard, but the motor is not convertible.
     
  13. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Push-pull and throttle controlls are used the world over. As far as I know it is the most commonly used you can find.

    If you shop around I'm sure someone would have one in his garage junk or at a swop shop.

    Manufacturing such a system is well possible, but will need some mechanical skills... Probably cheaper to save up and buy.
     

  14. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    It's interesting that all the talk has gone straight to pulley-cable versus push/pull-cable.

    Looking at the original problem (not the question it led to):
    The typical 9.9 has a tiller handle about 18 to 24 inches off the steering axis. I had similar difficulties with Sunset Chaser when we upgraded her to a Johnson J30, tiller approx. 24-26" or so.

    Adding a steering wheel, etc. to Sunset Chaser would have taken up a fair bit of space, compromising the amazing crew and cargo carrying ability I love about this boat. So I lengthened the tiller- a simple aluminum pipe, a few hose clamps, and a rod down the middle of the pipe so you can still hit the kill switch from the business end of the tiller, which is now a good four feet ahead of the steering axis. No more shoulder aches, you can steer her with two fingers worth of pressure, and thanks to a coat of Tremclad it looks factory-stock. A simple tiller extension might be worth considering, in your case, before taking up too much of the boat with a console and all that jazz. Just a thought.
     
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