How To Convert Tiller To Remote Steering? Seven Simple Steps

When you decide to convert tiller to remote steering on your outboard to helm-type steering with a steering wheel, the most important part of the project is testing. After we dip into the way of how to convert tiller to remote steering, we will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages this may have.

how to convert tiller to remote steering

How To Convert Tiller To Remote Steering 

Converting from tiller to remote will necessitate a number of additional components, including a steering control cable, wheel and helm assembly, ram, throttle quadrant, and cables, all of which will cost around $800 or more. You’ll also require a console to house all of this equipment.

The most significant element of the project is testing when you decide to change your outboard’s tiller steering to helm-type steering with a steering wheel. The steering system of a boat must always work correctly and smoothly. However, once the installation and testing are complete, you can spend the rest of your adventure with your boating companions.

These are 7 simple steps for you to follow if you want to convert a tiller to a remote steering. 

Step 1: Measure the distance

Using a measuring tape, measure the distance from the intended wheel location to the side of the boat to the transom. To determine the length of steering wire necessary, multiply by 6 inches.

Step 2: Place the template

The dash layout template can be found in the helm kit. Place the template where you want the steering wheel to be installed. Using a marker, trace the template’s hole perimeters onto the dash.

Step 3: Drill the holes for steering 

Drill the holes in the dash for the steering shaft and mounting bolt with a 2-1/2-inch hole saw and 1/4-inch drill bits unless otherwise stated. Slide the helm unit below the dash so the steering shaft points to the boat’s stern, or back. Place the helm under the dash so that the steering shaft protrudes through the dash, and fasten it with the screws and a screwdriver provided in the box.

Step 4: Remove the screw

Remove the screw at the helm’s end of the rack gear connector. Insert the screw into the steering cable’s end-bore. As you route the steering cable to the transom, install it along the boat’s side. Plastic cable ties are used to secure the cable along the way. Direct the cord to the motor and loosely fasten it to the corner.

Step 5: Use the lubrication

Use white marine grease to lubricate the cable’s end. Push the cable into the tilt tube on the outboard, which is the tube that allows the engine to tilt up and down. Connect the cable’s other end to the motor’s steering arm or link rod, utilizing the bolt and lock nut on the steering arm or link rod. You should use a torque wrench, tighten to 20 foot-pounds.

Step 6: Get the key into the notch in the steering shaft

Dip the sides of the little metal tab, referred to as a key, in petroleum jelly and insert it into the notch in the steering shaft that protrudes through the dash. The steering wheel should be pushed onto the steering wheel shaft. Thread the nut onto the shaft and twist it to the helm’s manufacturer’s specifications.

Step 7: Check again 

To check that the steering wheel easily turns the outboard, turn it from side to side.

Read more: How To Winterize a 4.3 Mercruiser? 8 Easy Steps

Pros and Cons of Convert Tiller To Remote Steering 

Small sailboats benefit from the simplicity of a tiller, which has no pulleys, chains, wires, gears, or hydraulics to complicate the steering system.

A tiller offers several advantages, including:

  • Provides almost instantaneous rudder response for improved safety and performance, especially in tight quarters.
  • A tiller allows skilled sailors (especially single-handed sailors) to multitask while helming; the tiller may be operated with the legs, freeing up the hands to adjust sails, eat, drink, and so on.
  • When not in use, many tillers fold out of the way, allowing for easier access to winches, cleats, and other vital sections of the boat.
  • Water friction flowing over the rudder provides a feel used to make tiller adjustments, and an experienced helmsman can feel if sails require trimming by the level of steering effort.
  • Autopilots are often less expensive and easy to install if required.

However there are some downsides you need to consider before you want to turn the tiller to your remote steering:

  • Tillers provide just a limited degree of leverage and mechanical advantage, despite their ease of use. The helmsman’s use of strength and force is amplified through leverage and mechanical advantage, making sailing easier and less exhausting.
  • Operating a tiller on a boat of any size may be exhausting, especially in rough waves. The tiller can jump out of the helmsman’s hand if he doesn’t keep a firm grasp on it, inflicting a painful blow to the gut or legs.
  • Larger tiller boats are sometimes steered while standing, which improves sight but necessitates constant body balance. This can be physically and mentally exhausting on long journeys.
  • An unattended tiller can cause immediate — and usually radical — turning motions, posing a risk to the crew and other vessels close. Tiller movement will be controlled by an autopilot, lock, or shock cord.

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