Cable/pulley steering vs rotary ?

cyclops2

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My springs, pulleys, corner brackets, S S braided cable. are still perfect. After 42 years of sitting in the rain everyday . May 15 to Sept. 20 every year in St. Lawrence river. There is a Steering Friction adjustment screw on the Evinrude 30 hp. Zero maintenance in those years. If a cable system ever fails in the boonies ? ALWAYS can be jury rigged to get home.
Cables are STILL APPROVED in racing boats. ....You can not inspect the gear box systems insides. riveted or spot welded closed.
Both systems in tin boats are excellent.
 

thill

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Your marina would not touch it because they probably have no clue about it.
I currently run both styles in my boats. My older boats (like yours) run cable. I run it up to and including my 1960 Glaspar G3 with a 1960 Evinrude 75hp V4. Plenty reliable enough for twin set-ups as well.
These cable systems when set up properly and the pulleys are nice and free are super nice steering systems with zero slack and very easy to turn.
As far as reliability? these systems are still current systems in a lot of single engine APBA racing. Pretty much bulletproof with occasional maintenance. About the time the clear covering over the cables makes it time for replacement cables is when I go in and check the pulleys, etc.
The shrouded pulleys eliminate the possibility of jumping by the way. Anyone who has done these systems should know that.
It's Your money!!
Oh, the marina knew about the systems. One of them raced vintage boats, and he did the inspections. But guys who race their boats must have them inspected regularly, and they tend to be knowledgeable take good care of their stuff, like you do, no doubt. But regular people use their boats when they can, and typically only check or fix stuff if it acts up.

That being said, would I recommend cable & pulley steering to a regular boater? NO WAY, for the safety reasons already stated.

RichG99 stated above how he had a near miss during an avoidance maneuver. To bring the thought home, imagine if that were someone in YOUR family, perhaps with small kids that YOU love, and they didn't have time to get pulled to safety. If YOU were the one who recommended the old pulley and cable system, and that happened, it would be a heavy burden on you for the rest of your life. Can you imagine the regret you would feel? It would be almost unimaginable.

Of course, ANY steering system can fail, but the cables typically give you a lot more warning before they do.

Not trying to get too heavy or bust your chops too much, but human health and life are irreplaceable. I've learned to be VERY careful of what I recommend to others. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry. Sorry is not enough sometimes.
 

airshot

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I’ve been looking for shrouded pulleys like Pappy mentioned earlier and in many cases, the pulleys are called “tiller rope pulleys”. Makes me wonder if they used rope before cable became the norm.
Yes, it was rope many many moons back. As a kid I remember well replacing frayed rope and get into the new fancy vinyl coated cable. Just bare cable was used for a short while, but it ate up the pulleys and frayed into pointy sharp ends causing more problems.
 

JL8Jeff

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My jet sprint boat had a cable/pulley setup (not quite the same as your old setup) for the steering and it worked fine in a boat that ran 70 mph. If you have old plastic pulleys, you probably want to swap out for metal pulleys but I guess that won't look original. If you can find original looking pulleys it should work fine.

jetcraft_steering4.jpg

jetcraft_steering3.jpg.jpg

jetcraft_ramp.jpg
 

Ironhorse2022

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Thanks Jeff. That’s a cool looking boat - I’ve always been interested in jet boats. What engine were you running ? It would be cool to drop an electric motor in it if the battery tech was available/affordable. Silent running except for water. While l lean towards the original look, I’m fine making exceptions where it involves mechanical or safety benefits. I plan to replace the original 70 yr old pulleys because despite looking fine, plastic does age and become more brittle. I don’t really like the look of the after market replacements and even the NOS pulleys I’ve seen occasionally on eBay are still old. Metal pulleys would be perfect, especially if they are shrouded. I’ll start looking for some of those. Thanks.
 

Ironhorse2022

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A quick search reveals that 3” garage door pulleys may be a good substitute. Metal with bearings rather than plastic with bushings. Also removable forks (probably not these ones) may allow me to use the original hull anchors without having to drill out the rivets. They also allow better maintenance practices, allowing the pulleys to be removed, cleaned and lubed easily. Looking for some made in the USA - not so easy.
 

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JL8Jeff

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Thanks Jeff. That’s a cool looking boat - I’ve always been interested in jet boats. What engine were you running ?

The boat had a ZZ3 350 Chevy crate engine in it (around 345 hp). It was a lot of fun and I regret selling it, but one project always leads to another interesting project.
 

Stand Up

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A quick search reveals that 3” garage door pulleys may be a good substitute. Metal with bearings rather than plastic with bushings. Also removable forks (probably not these ones) may allow me to use the original hull anchors without having to drill out the rivets. They also allow better maintenance practices, allowing the pulleys to be removed, cleaned and lubed easily. Looking for some made in the USA - not so easy.
You can purchase pulleys here Garage Door Extension Spring Hardware
and at many of the garage door companies in your area. They are inexpensive too.
And I think Lowes has them as well.
 

Pappy

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BTW Marine engine has one of P/N 976376 pulley which is what you are looking for.
 

Crow

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I have teleflex on 1988 16.5 foot aluminum v hull, 50hp, was $114. Replaced the original teleflex cable last winter only because of moving the consul. New works as seamless as the original, flawlessly.
 

Ironhorse2022

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Thanks for the pulley info. I tried marine engine and it didn’t like that pn for some reason. I’ll track it down. Appreciate the teleflex input Crow. I’m sure it’s a good system as well.
 
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