How to Measure Boat Steering Cable
Regarding boat steering cables, one size does not fit all. The length and diameter of your boat’s steering cable will vary depending on the make and model of your boat. That’s why it’s important to measure your steering cable before you buy a replacement. This blog post will show you how to measure boat steering cable and recommend a few tips for choosing the right replacement.
Also, remember that some boats have two steering cables (port and starboard), so you’ll need to measure both cables if your boat has this feature.
What Causes Steering Cable Damage?
Before we learn how to measure boat steering cable, let’s talk about what causes steering cable damage. There are a few common reasons why steering cables break or become damaged. One of the most common causes of steering cable damage is sun exposure. The UV rays from the sun can break down the outer layer of the steering cable, causing it to become brittle and eventually break.
Another common cause of steering cable damage is saltwater exposure. Saltwater is notoriously hard on boat parts, and steering cables are no exception. If you live in a saltwater environment, it’s important to inspect your steering cables regularly for signs of corrosion. Additionally, it would help if you rinsed your steering cables with fresh water after every saltwater outing.
The other main cause of steering cable damage is aged. Over time, steering cables can become worn down and must be replaced. Lastly, improper installation is also a common cause of steering cable damage.
Why Should You Measure Your Boat Steering Cable?
Now that we know what causes steering cable damage let’s talk about why it’s important to measure your boat steering cable. One of the main reasons to measure your steering cable is to ensure that you buy the correct replacement cable. As we mentioned earlier, boat steering cables come in various lengths and diameters.
If you don’t measure your steering cable, there’s a good chance that you’ll buy the wrong replacement. Not only is this a waste of money, but it can also be dangerous. Installing the wrong steering cable could cause your boat to lose steering, which could be disastrous.
Another reason to measure your boat steering cable is to ensure that you have enough cable to repair. If your steering cable is too short, you won’t be able to install the new cable properly. On the other hand, if your steering cable is too long, you’ll have a lot of excess cables that need to be secured. Measuring your steering cable will help you avoid these problems. Additionally, measuring your steering cable will give you an idea of how much cable to buy.
Finally, measuring your steering cable will give you an idea of the condition of your cable. If your steering cable is damaged, it’s likely the wrong size. Measuring your steering cable will help you determine if you need to replace it.
Step by Step How to Measure Boat Steering Cable
1. Find the End of the Cable
The first step is to find the end of the steering cable. This is because you need to take the measurements from end to end. To do this, first, locate the steering wheel. From there, follow the cable down to where it connects to the boat. If you’re having trouble finding the end of the cable, you may need to remove a panel or two to get a better view. Avoid removing more panels than necessary, as this can be time-consuming.
2. Remove the Sheath
Once you’ve located the end of the cable, it’s time to remove the sheath. The sheath is the protective covering that surrounds the cable. To remove the sheath, you’ll need a sharp knife or a pair of scissors. First, make a small cut in the sheath. Then, carefully pull the sheath back to reveal the cable. Take your time with this step, as you don’t want to damage the cable. If the sheath is stuck, you can try using a heat gun to loosen it. Avoid using a torch, as this can damage the cable.
3. Measure the Inner Wire
Now that you’ve exposed the cable, it’s time to measure the inner wire. This is the part of the cable that actually does the work. To measure the inner wire, you’ll need a tape measure. First, find the end of the inner wire. Then, measure the length of the wire from end to end. Make sure to write down the measurement, so you don’t forget it. You’ll need to replace the entire cable if the inner wire is damaged.
4. Measure the Outer Conduit
The outer conduit is the part of the cable that surrounds the inner wire. This conduit is what protects the inner wire from damage. To measure the outer conduit, you’ll need a tape measure. First, find the end of the outer conduit. Then, measure the length of the outer conduit from the end to the beginning of the inner wire.
The length of the outer conduit should be listed in the product description of the boat steering cable. If it’s not, you can use this measurement to determine the length of the cable. Avoid measuring the inner wire, as this will give you an inaccurate measurement.
5. Measure the Cable Diameter
The next step is to measure the diameter of the cable. This is an important measurement, as it will determine the size of the sheath that you need to purchase. You can use a caliper or a ruler to take this measurement. First, measure the outer diameter of the cable. Next, measure the inner diameter of the cable. The difference between these two measurements is the thickness of the cable.
Once you have the thickness of the cable, you can purchase a sheath that is slightly larger in diameter. This will ensure that the cable fits snugly in the sheath and does not slip out.
6. Measure the Length of the Cable
Once you have all of the other measurements, it’s time to measure the length of the cable. To do this, you’ll need to know the make and model of your boat. The length of the cable will be different for every boat. First, find the manufacturer’s specifications for your boat. Then, measure the cable length from the steering wheel to the engine. Make sure to add a few extra inches to account for any slack in the system.
7. Compare the Measurements
Once you have all of your measurements, it’s time to compare them to the manufacturer’s specifications. If any of your measurements are off, it’s important to adjust them before purchasing a new cable. This is because a mismatched cable can cause damage to your boat. Try to find a cable that is as close to the specifications as possible. Avoid purchasing too small or too large cable, as this can cause problems.
8. Hire a Professional
If you’re still having trouble finding the right cable, it’s time to hire a professional. A professional will have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you find the perfect cable for your boat. They will also be able to install the cable for you, so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. Hiring a professional is the best way to ensure that your boat is safe and running smoothly.
Tips and Warnings on How to Measure Boat Steering Cable
- Be sure to have the right tools before you start. You will need a measuring tape, a level, and something to mark the cable with.
- Measure from the center of the boat to the point where you want the steering cable to end. This is important because you need to make sure that the cable is long enough to reach your desired endpoint.
- Use a level to make sure that the cable is straight. This is important because you don’t want the cable to be crooked.
- Mark the cable at the desired length with something visible. This will help you when you are installing the cable.
- Cut the cable at the marked point. Be sure to use a sharp knife or a pair of cable cutters to clean the cut.
- Install the cable according to the instructions that came with it. This is important because you don’t want to damage the cable.
- Be careful when measuring and cutting the cable. You don’t want to cut yourself accidentally.
- Make sure that the cable is installed correctly. If it is not, it could cause damage to your boat.
- Do not try to install the cable by yourself. If you don’t know how to ask someone who does for help.
So there you have it! Now you know how to measure boat steering cable. Just follow the steps above, and you’ll be sure to get the perfect cable for your boat. With the right cable, you’ll be able to steer your boat easily. If you’re still having trouble, don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help. Thanks for reading!