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I have been a sub­scriber to Pas­sageMaker for many years and go through the mag­a­zine pretty thor­oughly. In my lat­est is­sue, Jan­uary/ Fe­bru­ary 2018, I have found what ap­pears to me to be a con­fus­ing de­scrip­tion con­cern­ing the proper at­tach­ments of ca­ble clamps for the steer­ing sys­tem in the Troubleshooter ar­ti­cle. On page 20 the cap­tion for the pho­to­graph states that the U bolt lands on the dead end of the ca­ble while on page 23 the text states that the sad­dle must rest against the dead end of the wire. To me, the pic­ture cap­tion is cor­rect and the text de­scrip­tion is in­cor­rect. Is this the case? —Doug Morse

Good catch, Doug. I looked at my file of the photo and cap­tion and it is cor­rect. You are right, the text de­scrip­tion is not right: It should have read, “...must never rest against the dead end of the wire.” —Steve Zim­mer­man

I found Steve Zim­mer­man’s piece about steer­ing sys­tems in­ter­est­ing and use­ful as far as it went. It didn’t cover, how­ever, an­other sig­nif­i­cant type of steer­ing sys­tem found in many higher end boats: that is, rack and pin­ion, and rod steer­ing, and vari­a­tions on those types (ro­tat­ing torque tube and bevel­head, for ex­am­ple). These are much bet­ter sys­tems than ca­ble steer­ing sys­tems and of­fer some­what less main­te­nance than hy­draulic sys­tems. —Bob Frantz

Thank you for your let­ter and com­ments. I agree that rack and pin­ion steer­ing has its ad­van­tages, but we rarely see such sys­tems on cruis­ing power­boats. Sail­boats with the steer­ing wheel in close prox­im­ity to the rud­der­post of­ten uti­lize rack and pin­ion. Boats with out­board mo­tors use an­other ver­sion, com­bin­ing a steer­ing ca­ble with a rack and pin­ion con­nec­tion at the out­board.

Cruis­ing power­boats how­ever, place the steer­ing sta­tion a long way from the rud­der, ren­der­ing rack and pin­ion im­prac­ti­cal, and for this rea­son I did not in­clude these sys­tems in this ar­ti­cle. —Steve Zim­mer­man

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