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Boat Steering Systems

Unlike a vehicle which drives on the land, a boat faces a medium in which navigation is tricky, due to the variation of many factors.
Water, wind, and a constantly, ever-moving surface upon which your craft rises and falls, slipping across troughs and peaks of water from pont to point is more difficult to manage than terra-firma.
Because boats use the physical properties of the water to steer, there are all sorts of different ways to control the direction in which you travel through the water.

What goes into a boat steering system:

  • Boat steering wheel:

    is the part of the helm that connects to a mechanical, electric, or hydraulic system to turning the boat. It is your driver. Learn what your boat uses then decide what works best for your requirements
  • Steering cables and hydraulics:

    Depending on your watercraft the steering may rely on a wheel system, which connects your helm to the rudder with a system of mechanical cables, or even electronically guided hydraulics. Both systems change the angle of the rudder or thrusters to change your direction.
  • Rotary systems:

    Reduction gears and planetary gears are both different types of rotary systems, which change the circular direction of the wheel to the back and forth direction needed to move cables attached to the rudder.
  • Tillers:

    A connection to the rudder or motor which allows direct control of the angle of the rudder. More commonly used for sailboats or smaller watercraft.
  • Thrusters:

    A motorized impeller which can be used in multi-directional angles of attack for greater control.
  • Trim tab controls:

    These controls compensate for propeller walk, torque, and even the ways your boat handles the water which inadvertently alter your course.

  • Regular inspection and maintenance of your boating parts and systems will ensure a safe and reliable experience.
    Due to the harsh nature of water on marine equipment, this is the best way to avoid breakdowns and malfunctions.

    Boat Autopilot

    Due to the ever-changing nature of crossing open water, especially large lakes or seas, the small adjustments you have to make at the helm are likely to be a tedious process and eventually fatigue will set in while keeping your boat on course.
    Auto pilot is a form of a steering system using heading sensors and a central processing unit to make these adjustments automatically, in order to keep your heading and course consistent.
    This is especially useful if you are understaffed for crew or if you simply don't want to spend all day on the water fighting the elements to stay on course.
    This boat steering system is an easy way to get around without having to stand at the wheel.
    Autopilots should be fitted properly for your boat displacement as well as your steering system.
    As with all marine equipment, the elements take their toll, so it is important to have a durable and reliable system, if not a backup on board in case of equipment failure.

    Why Defender

    Defender carries steering wheel systems, thruster systems, tillers, trim systems, and boat autopilot systems.
    With over 80 years of watercraft experience, Defender has the parts and know-how to provide you with what you need to get you on the water.
    Contact us today for information on what boat steering system will work best for your watercraft!