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It's time to change my steering cables and I have been told to use 7X19 galvanized cable, not stainless cable. Is there a reason not to use stainless? The previous owner was adamant that galvanized is more flexible and doesn't kink up. Is galvanized really better?
 

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It's time to change my steering cables and I have been told to use 7X19 galvanized cable, not stainless cable. Is there a reason not to use stainless? The previous owner was adamant that galvanized is more flexible and doesn't kink up. Is galvanized really better?
Yep. Just keep a good coating of water proof grease on the cable. You'll be glad you do.
 
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I'd have to say stainless. I really don't want to grease my steering cables several times a year, nor do I want the grease dripping onto whatever is below the cable, or getting grease on me whenever I accidentally brush against the cable.
I doubt that you'd break a s/s cable before you had to change the galvanized one and in time, use will wear the galvanizing off the cable and it will rust, most likely in a spot you can't easily inspect it.
 

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Cables?? What cables? ;)

 
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Galvanized cable is far less prone to metal fatigue . It doesn't get meat hooks, and is very cheap to replace when it shows too much rust. I just replaced a galvanized halyard I put on in Tonga in 2003, ten years of mostly full time use, and a Pacific crossing. Stainless ones a friend used lasted only 3 years of weekend and occasional two week vacation use. A friend on one of my 36 footers uses galvanized in the tropics, which last him several years. Stainless has meat hooks in after only 6 months of use in the tropics.
 

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Thanks HyLyte! When you say "waterproof grease" is that the white stuff?
Yes. "White" lithium grease for one or any of the silicon grease formulations. Common galvanized steel wire (vs. stainless) is more flexible, stronger for a given diameter, and less prone to fatigue failure. When I was younger, it was the rigging of choice so long as one coated it with boiled linseed oil from time to time or tarred served and parceled splices. So long as the wire isn't bathed in sea-water as leeward standing rigging might be from time to time, it's excellent "stuff" and will last nearly a life-time with reasonable care. Of course, you can go with the new more costly cables or synthetics but why bother if the cost/benefit ratio is (much) less than 1.0 or there at all, eh?
 

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galvanised is by far a better choice in this application...I mean I cant imagine how exhausting greasing a cable is once or twice a year

oh the humanity!!!

get 7x19, its much more flexible(cheaper and stronger) and with thick bearing grease or truck bearing grease that wont melt and or drip you will have a very smooth steering system...get some extra clips and cable and tie them to the ends of the quadrant or whatever that way in an emergency you can quicky reatach your cables at least temporarily to gain steerage way...

you can use stainless clips if you want...bit you are very protected down there and grease does wonders
 
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galvanised is by far a better choice in this application...I mean I cant imagine how exhausting greasing a cable is once or twice a year
oh the humanity!!!
Play nice Christian.
On our center cockpit boat the cables run uncovered through the engine room, then into the bilge, under the aft cabin floor and bunk before reemerging at the quadrant, making it no easy task to grease them. We really have plenty to do without adding another maintenance chore. Plus, it's a lot easier to store a s/s spare than a galvanized one, as I don't have to worry about it rusting before it's even seen service. "oh the humanity!!!"
 
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Play nice Christian.
On our center cockpit boat the cables run uncovered through the engine room, then into the bilge, under the aft cabin floor and bunk before reemerging at the quadrant, making it no easy task to grease them. We really have plenty to do without adding another maintenance chore. Plus, it's a lot easier to store a s/s spare than a galvanized one, as I don't have to worry about it rusting before it's even seen service. "oh the humanity!!!"
Capta--

In your case, stainless may be a better choice--different ships, different long splices. Note, however, it is not tension on a cable or rust, alone, that causes wear/deterioration but friction/vibration. In your case I suspect there are more than a few rollers/idlers that your cables pass around/over. Each of these needs be lubricated periodically to ensure the sheaves roll freely and do not wear on the cable, which they will otherwise and particularly so if the sheave becomes frozen. While I hate the process--and my joints do especially--I have to crawl under our cockpit at least once a year to lubricate the idler rollers on our own steering gear whether I like it or not and regardless of whether our cables are stainless, galvanized or some high tech fiber.

FWIW...
 

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hey capta it was in jest but Im over pleasing all ears if you will...all boats are created different but I just was commenting in the fact that greasing cables twice a year can hardly be called maintenance intensive or a nuissance

anywhoo

no problem with stainless other than the fact that I have noticed that it suffers more in cases like this...why cause sometimes its damp and stainless doesnt like damp

sorry if you thought I was being mean

christian
 

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Nearly every manufacturer of wheel steering I know of ships them with SS wire.

This includes Whitlock, Lewmar/Whitlock, Edson & Merriman/Yacht Specialties.. Many of these cables are well past 30+ years without owner replacement. I replace mine on an every-ten schedule and it costs me about $30.00 to do so in SS, and stay with what the manufacturer specified. That said the original SS cables on our boat went approx 45,000-50,000 nm before being replaced....
 

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Nearly every manufacturer of wheel steering I know of ships them with SS wire.

This includes Whitlock, Lewmar/Whitlock, Edson & Merriman/Yacht Specialties.. Many of these cables are well past 30+ years without owner replacement. I replace mine on an every-ten schedule and it costs me about $30.00 to do so in SS, and stay with what the manufacturer specified. That said the original SS cables on our boat went approx 45,000-50,000 nm before being replaced....
Main Sail--

I do not disagree and I have great respect for your view points. Never-the-less, the yacht in question is a custom Vindo 5.0 situated in Brazil; and, the former owner, who certainly knows more about the yacht than I, or any of those that have offered commentary, insisted that galvanized wire was the choice. If he insisted the cable needs/should be galvanized, and galvanized will do the trick nicely and safely, it might be wise to observe his suggestion, no? He might know something none of us do, eh? More than one older yacht of European origin that I have encountered over the years had steering gear comprised of machined bronze with galvanized cable but certainly seemed quite reliable/robust. Sometimes the newer, "modern", materials are not an improvement on the old. That said, stainless could/would work, of course, but that wasn't the question, was it. N'any case,

Here Homer Nods...
 
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Main Sail--

I do not disagree and I have great respect for your view points. Never-the-less, the yacht in question is a custom Vindo 5.0 situated in Brazil; and, the former owner, who certainly knows more about the yacht than I, or any of those that have offered commentary, insisted that galvanized wire was the choice. If he insisted the cable needs/should be galvanized, and galvanized will do the trick nicely and safely, it might be wise to observe his suggestion, no? He might know something none of us do, eh? More than one older yacht of European origin that I have encountered over the years had steering gear comprised of machined bronze with galvanized cable but certainly seemed quite reliable/robust. Sometimes the newer, "modern", materials are not an improvement on the old. That said, stainless could/would work, of course, but that wasn't the question, was it. N'any case,

Here Homer Nods...
For the yacht in question perhaps there is a good reason for not using SS. I do know earlier Vindo's shipped with custom built, presumably by Vindo, steering pedestals, nice teak.. Later Vindo's into the mid 80's seem to be built with Whitlock.. I have been on / worked on two Vindo's but never paid attention to the steering system.. In fact IIRC one of them was a tiller...

I only mentioned that for future reference if someone with an Edson et. al came along this thread. Either wire will work...
 

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Main Sail--

I do not disagree and I have great respect for your view points. Never-the-less, the yacht in question is a custom Vindo 5.0 situated in Brazil; and, the former owner, who certainly knows more about the yacht than I, or any of those that have offered commentary, insisted that galvanized wire was the choice. If he insisted the cable needs/should be galvanized, and galvanized will do the trick nicely and safely, it might be wise to observe his suggestion, no? He might know something none of us do, eh? More than one older yacht of European origin that I have encountered over the years had steering gear comprised of machined bronze with galvanized cable but certainly seemed quite reliable/robust. Sometimes the newer, "modern", materials are not an improvement on the old. That said, stainless could/would work, of course, but that wasn't the question, was it.
Oh, well. Vindö 50 was bulit between 1969 and 1975. At that time ss was an expensive steel, galvanized was not unusual to use in many applications - even also the rigg could be in galvanized steel.

At that time ss didn't have the best reputation. Was said to easy become brittle, which does have some truth. Vinö was a very tradtional built, the yard (Nötesund) was traditional in many differetnt ways - a bit of their trade mark.

On Vindö 50, the steering wheel looks very much built by the yard, exterior is all wood. The commercial alternatives was very expensive (again this motive), and of course didn't have the look and feel wanted in a Vindö.

Consequently, for Vindö 50 to originally have galvanized steering cables is not surprising at all.

Today the choice is differnt. SS is no longer expensive, price is no longer a reason to go for galvanized. From material point of view, ss is in this application not inferior to galvanized, on the contrary is in many ways better.

OP question was
previous owner was adamant that galvanized is more flexible and doesn't kink up. Is galvanized really better?
and the answer to this is:
No, galvanized in not more flexible. When it comes to kinking up then that depends on many differnt aspects, there is nothing saying galvanized should be better in that respect.

More flexible ... what kind of flexibility, and do one want flexibility in steering? Argument seems strange.

/J
 

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galvanised 7x19 is more flexible than equal stainless...strange argument x2

plus galvanised has more give before it fails and isnt as brittle

things i would like in a sterring system...

no?

all you have to do after new is reset the cables in case they stretch a bit

grease is your friend

good luck copacabana...
christian
 

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I have coated galvanized spare halyards with boiled linseed oil and put them in a plastic bag. They have been perfect after a decade or more. However, it was in a steel boat, and thus much drier than many other boats. Commercial builders HAVE to use stainless because people wont buy anything which is not shiny, regardless of how practical it may be
 
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