Ultraflex Mechanical Steering Systems
C.H. Smith Marine
Boat Equipment & Supplies, Boat Construction, Boat Building
Ultraflex Steering Systems feature Planetary gears or Non-Reversible connection options, giving you more control over your steering
The Planetary gear design has three satellite gears that rotate on their axis, while at the same time, rotate around the central helm axis. This allows for equal distribution of engine torque over three points of the central gear, dividing and balancing the system loads. The benefits of this special design are increased system longevity, increased efficiency and less engine feedback, when compared to single pinion gear helms.
Non-Reversible steering systems increase your safety by securely locking your steering wheel position in place. If, for any reason, the driver is not holding the steering wheel, a change in external forces (wind, current etc.) or internal forces such as rudder torque originated by the way of rotation of propeller, can move your boat off course. Engine torque usually generates a load on the steering system which must be continually compensated for by the driver, even when the boat is going straight. The additional effort by the driver to maintain a true course can often cause fatigue.
The combination of engine power, hull type and boat speed, influence the correct selection of the steering system. The load on the steering system increases with the boat speed and engine power, with the torque generated by the propeller rotation in high power outboard applications, often making it hard to steer.
The Ultraflex non-reversible steering helms elimiate this issue as a special patented device allows the helm shaft to lock until turned by the driver, maintaining direction and neutralising the feedback load on the steering wheel. This mechanism is engaged when the driver is not turning the wheel and is automatically disengaged as soon as the driver applies pressure on the wheel to change the direction of the boat.
To ensure the safest use of these steering systems, the steering cable must be installed avoiding excessive and/or tight bends. This will provide the driver with easy handling at all speed, helping to reduce inefficiency and excess play in the system.
Mechanical Steering Systems Maintenance
Marine corrosion may cause the materials to deteriorate affecting maneuvering efficiency and in the worst case, system failure. By following the engine manufacturer specifications, the steering cable end fittings and the engine cable support must be cleaned and greased periodically; these simple operations minimize wear and corrosion in the system. The steering cable must also be regularly inspected. If steering becomes hard, inconsistent, cuts on the conduit surface are noticed, or any other component found damaged, the cable must be replaced immediately. When storing your boat for an extended period of time we recommend removing the steering cable end fitting from its engine side support and cleaning it adequately.
For more information on these or any other Ultraflex products, contact CH Smith Marine in store or online.
, Boat Construction
, Boat Equipment & Supplies