Outboard / Rudder Tiller Steering - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-14-2010
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Outboard / Rudder Tiller Steering

Hey guys,

I've spent the better part of the day looking for a system to combine the steering of my outboard with that of my rudder (Cat 22). I have a Mariner 2.5 hp. It looks like the best way for me to do this is to use a pole that connects from my rudder to the shaft of the outboard. I found this company that sells something, but its ultra expensive and it looks like this would be easy to fabricate:



Sorry for the cruddy image, it was the best I could find. Does anyone have any photos or hints from their own installs? It sure seems like I could get a piece of rubber and some hose clamps, a rod, and some boat hardware. How did you guys do this?

RG
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Old 08-14-2010
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most people with sailboats fitted with a outboard just leave the outboard aimed almost straight ahead and use the rudder exclusively to steer
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Old 08-14-2010
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Thank you!
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Old 08-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioguy View Post
Hey guys,

I've spent the better part of the day looking for a system to combine the steering of my outboard with that of my rudder (Cat 22). I have a Mariner 2.5 hp. It looks like the best way for me to do this is to use a pole that connects from my rudder to the shaft of the outboard. I found this company that sells something, but its ultra expensive and it looks like this would be easy to fabricate:



Sorry for the cruddy image, it was the best I could find. Does anyone have any photos or hints from their own installs? It sure seems like I could get a piece of rubber and some hose clamps, a rod, and some boat hardware. How did you guys do this?

RG
Contrary to what some here might say, lots of people do this. It can be greatly beneficial, because it leverages one of the great benefits of having an outboard - slow speed maneuverability. Sterns make a hard link for fishing boats for $60 (SS) or $25 (zinc coated) that can be easily modified for a sailboat. Either of these would be a fraction of the cost of the EZsteer link.

I've posted here and on the Catalina 250 users site on the subject:

Need advice for leaving my slip in strong currents

Association Forum - Maneuvering from tight quarters at dock (scroll down about halfway)

Association Forum - cable steering to outboard

At the Catalina site there are also lots of alternative designs including a "soft link" that uses bungees instead of a rod. Do some searching and see what works best for you.
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Old 08-15-2010
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murphy's law what can happen will happen,simple is always better
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Thank you kindly for the links and information!
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Old 08-15-2010
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Originally Posted by sawingknots View Post
murphy's law what can happen will happen,simple is always better
I think you generalize too much. Different people have different needs, so the correct solution is different for different people. Maybe he needs a link, maybe he doesn't. I have to dock in 2-3 knot currents, and I know from experience that the link solved a very specific problem for me. Not everyone has to dock in currents like that - but some do.

A paddle is simpler than a motor. By your logic, everyone should ditch their motors and paddle in when the wind dies. Of course we all know that many boats are too large to use paddles, so in this case simple is not better.
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I'd point out that having the outboard steered by the tiller is pretty common on a lot of boats.

For instance, my boat has a pin in the tiller stock that can be put in to connect the tiller to the outboard and steer both the rudder and outboard. Vectored thrust makes for better handling.

On my friend's Iroquois, I jury rigged something that allowed us to steer the 15 HP outboard using the tiller so that it would be more maneuverable under power. Due to the twin rudder design on the Iroquois, all it took was an eyebolt and a length of line.

The Gemini catamarans, one of which I sail on quite frequently, have an inboard engine with a saildrive leg that acts much like an outboard and it is steerable as well. In fact, the jury rig modification I used on the Iroquois was based on how the Gemini steers the saildrive leg.
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One way you could make this youurself is to look at Gas Spring end fittings in McMasterCarr. These are ball joint ends, available in stainless and the balls that they snap onto are available in several different attachment types. They typically have an 8 mm thread, and Mcmaster sells metric threaded rod too.

Gary H. Lucas
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