Boat Steering Parts and Accessories
Without a properly working steering mechanism, it is impossible to direct the boat the way you want it to go. Therefore, it is highly recommended to keep this mechanism in a perfect condition. When installing a completely new steering, it is best to replace the old one with a new system of the same type, so the boat can continue to handle the way it should. The two main steering system types for boats are mechanical and hydraulic. Learn more about the steering system parts to know what really moves your boat.Reasons for Staying with the Old Steering Configuration
Once you start thinking of upgrading to reduce the steering effort or get a faster response from the mechanical system, try, if possible, to choose the same steering configuration. If you want to change the original configuration, note that the feel and handling also changes. It could also be a tougher challenge because of you having to make lots of modifications to accommodate the new components. If you do change the configuration, water-test the system before going for a longer voyage.Mechanical Steering System Parts
The mechanical steering systems consist of several parts, of which the most important are helms, cables and connection kits. The most important of them is the helm. The rotary helm converts the steering wheel's rotary motion into a push-pull motion of the cable. Thanks to the helm, the cable starts to move. The push-pull cables move the rudder or the engine, while the connection kits are hardware that connect the boat's complete outboard engine or the I/O with the steering system. You should replace helms, cables and connection kits as complete units.Hydraulic Steering System Parts
A hydraulic steering system is the best option for handling high-speed boats and high-torque engines safely and easily. Pleasure and work boats could have either a two-line manual system, in which the pump moves the hydraulic cylinder directly, or a three-line manual system, that is pressurised and includes a separate reservoir as well as a pressure-relief valve. Similarly to the mechanical steering system, the hydraulic systems contain a helm, which includes a hydraulic pump and a valve system for pumping the hydraulic fluid into the lines. Another important part is the hydraulic cylinder, which moves as the helm pumps the fuel.