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External steering question..

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Old 02-24-2002, 12:47 PM
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Question External steering question..

When should you start thinking about external steering for a boat and why? Forgive my ignorance on the subject but I have never really gone fast enough to warrant it

I hope I soon will...
 
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Old 02-24-2002, 12:51 PM
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Good Question! I had always heard "around 70" but I drove my first with it this year And I think any boat used for "performance" It is the anawer!!!!!
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Old 02-24-2002, 01:05 PM
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mlitefan,
The answer to that question is all relative. If you consider what happens when the steering breaks at say 50 or 60... well then external is the way to go. But steering rarely breaks if it is in maintained in good condition. The higer speeds will put stresses on the steering so that is also a factor. I had a single ram external steering when my gimble broke at 80mph. The result was a serious head injury.
They say no matter what when the big black thing in the back that steers the boat either falls off or the connection to the wheel is lost it will be a violent reaction. I agree with that statement because I experienced it. I have friends that run 100mph with stock steering.
I feel that anything above 70mph will warrant external steering depending on how and where you drive it. Running on flat water will not be as stressful as riding wave to wave on Lake Michigan.
So like I said it is all relative. If you are going to spend money, it can be either life insurance or external steering, it's up to the individual!! Just my .02
Good luck, hope this helps..

Dick
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Old 02-24-2002, 01:16 PM
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Thanks guys...I run in mostly flat water on a lake in NC/VA (Buggs Island). Very seldom do I take it out in the bigger water on the James river and beyond. I don't have a lot of dead rise (15.5) so the bigger waves make the ride a bit uncomfortable.
 
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Old 02-24-2002, 01:44 PM
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Keep in mind that there are two types of hydraulic steering. You have FULL hydraulic from the helm, that does NOT utilize any cables. Then you have EXTERNAL hydraulic, that uses cables from the helm to the out drive and utilizes the hydraulic rams for external use only.

BIG price difference between the two! In my opinion, if you are running at speeds over 70, I would go with FULL hydraulic. I have heard the figure of 75 mph as the cut-off point also.
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Old 02-24-2002, 02:50 PM
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I don't see where the use of a full hyd. or an add-on should make a difference. They both remove the stress from the steering arm and put it to the outdrive itself. They both give the same added security that is needed. I've never heard of the steering arm breaking with the add-on systems. Which more likely fails.....the hyd lines and helm, or the cable. BTW, we ain't talking no 1/4" steel cable with pulleys. The cable only acts as a method of switching the valve, so not like it is under all the forces that is applied to the steering arm (tiller). The tiller is what is actually the conscern(weakest link) here, right?
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Old 02-24-2002, 06:36 PM
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mlitefan,

Go with the full! Do the upgrade one time only. Do the upgrade with the best parts you can get ($) and don't look back.
I have had both and the "full" is my 2 cents.

Birdog. You liked that steering a?
 
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Old 02-25-2002, 12:28 AM
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I have the full package on my Donzi and I love it. It is really a stable package. The boat is a lot more comfortable to drive on the long hauls.
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Old 02-25-2002, 12:38 AM
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I agree the full hyd. is the cats meow. Was just trying to convey that any hyd. system would eliminate the slop and more importantly be safer.
Jerry
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Old 02-25-2002, 06:42 AM
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Mercruiser recommends external steering for any boat using its products that run at speed greater than 70mph and tie-bars on all twin engine boats that hit speeds of 60mph or faster. With an external steering system, the full hydraulic is the way to go in my opinion. With full hydraulic the steering is smoother and more comfortable. You can actually take your hands off of the wheel in mid turn at high speed and the boat will stay exactly on course with the full hyddraulic. Race boats and the fastest pleasure boats use full hydraulic systems from IMCO, WPM, Marine Marine and Latham exclusively.
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