Steering Inspection Update
This past week I paid a visit to Edson Marine at their New Bedford MA. headquarters. I had stopped in to talk with them about a new pedestal steering system for Malaya. Malaya’s current system is an Edson knock off made by Yacht specializes in the 1980’s. Yacht specialities went out of business many years ago so parts are difficult to come by and with a broken pedestal base I figured it was time to replace with a new system.
While there we got into a discussion about maintaining steering systems, in particular chain and cable steering systems. I learned that while cables do break it is more common for the chain itself to break. Located under the compass and in some cases engine control housing the chain rarely gets the lubrication it needs and further the master link ends of the chain, where the cable attaches, are hard to reach so get even less lubrication than that part of the chain which passes over the sprocket when the wheel is turned from hard over to hard over.
The lesson here was your chain needs to be lubricated with 30 weight oil, at least yearly if your boat is used seasonally and several times a year if cruising. Both chain and cable should be lubed and both should be replaced every 5-7 years, more frequently if you cruise in tropical waters.
For more information on all Edson Steering Systems and steering systems in general, visit edsonmarine.com/support/maintenance.php where you will find a steering inspection check list (Document EB372), plus owners and maintenance manuals with detailed instructions for chain and cable as well as geared (rack and pinon) systems.