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#11489735 - 03/20/16 07:04 PM My wife's ski boat is hard to steer
R.J.E. Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 665
I was wondering if anyone out there can help me with this problem, my wife has a 20 foot ski boat that steer's great when you're on plane but if you're just idling around or if you have a lot of people in it, you have to use both hands to steer it, I've tried greasing the steering and tried adjusting the trim tab at the bottom, it has a 150 Johnson on it. Do I need to replace the steering cables or what? It doesn't have hydraulic steering. I appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

#11489899 - 03/20/16 08:24 PM Re: My wife's ski boat is hard to steer [Re: R.J.E.]
gary purdy Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 10462
Loc: Littlefield Tx & Lake A. H. US...
Only thing different is motor skeg is deeper in the water. You might try raising the motor up a couple of holes on the transom.
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything” GOD IS GOOD

#11489982 - 03/20/16 08:53 PM Re: My wife's ski boat is hard to steer [Re: R.J.E.]
Flippin-Out Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 1562
Loc: Magnolia, TX
I assume it is also difficult to turn the wheel when the boat is out of the water? If so, your cables are at their end of life where they are now freezing/binding inside the sheath. They'll need to be replaced most likely.

An easy way to shortcut removal of the old ones is to cut the cables on the black sheath just before they attach to the outboard steering tube. They are a bear to cut; the only method I recommend is an air driven cut-off tool with a carbide blade. That's the trick as other methods are typically futile. As you cut each cable make sure it is extended as far as it will go out the other end of the tube. This will insure that you are cutting off the most cable possible with the cut. The short part pulls right out of the engine and can be discarded. The other part of the cables in the boat usually get pulled out in the other direction. Use the pieces to measure for the correct replacement cable length before you discard them.

Installation of new cables can require unbolting the engine from the transom or jackplate. This may be required if the distance between the cable outlet and the steering tube is such that the rod ends can't be maneuvered from the cable outlet and into the steering tube. Being able to pivot the outboard to line it up to receive those fixed rod ends of the cable is usually why unbolting the engine is often necessary. You won't have to disconnect the engine harness, just unbolt from the boat to swing it a bit for line-up. Those engines weigh almost 500# and can be dangerous if not adequately supported by a hoist. There is a special adapter for lifting the engine with a hoist. Lifting the engine's weight at the wrong point can damage the engine. I bought my lift eye from Bob's Machine Shop.

Edited by Flippin-Out (03/20/16 08:54 PM)

#11491140 - 03/21/16 12:31 PM Re: My wife's ski boat is hard to steer [Re: R.J.E.]
Stump jumper Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 6968
Loc: Rockwall
sounds like you need new cables. Mine started doing the same thing last summer. I had one cable break and did not know it. I took it out a month ago and the other one snapped right at the helm. I am just glad it did it right at the ramp.

#11491227 - 03/21/16 01:01 PM Re: My wife's ski boat is hard to steer [Re: R.J.E.]
R.J.E. Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 665
Thanks for your help guy's.

#11502692 - 03/26/16 01:20 PM Re: My wife's ski boat is hard to steer [Re: R.J.E.]
Larry M Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/02/16
Posts: 16
Loc: Karnes City, TX
Ditch/cut the cables out and buy a Seastar kit. For that size motor its around $600. I bought the Pro kit for my 225 straight forward to install if your mechanically abled and have some tools. Was a three hour install and that was removing all the old cable [censored]. Blackbear Sporting Goods has or had the best prices on the kits.
I have ditched cables on nearly every boat Ive owned.

PS. I use a grinder with a cuttoff wheel to cut cables lay an old moving blanket down as to not damage carpet and have a fire extinguisher on hand for any power cutting/grinding in a boat. It works best to cut cable halfway from oneside then the other half from the other side this will help eleminate the cable binding on the blade. You could use a carbide blade as mentioned however if it binds it will cause far more damage to surroundings including you.
Better to chase some Dreams than to Die wondering!
Larry M.


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