How To Lube Steering Cable On Boat the Right Way – Straight From The Pros!

Have you ever wondered how to lube steering cable on boat?

This is just one of the many maintenance jobs you need to do, so you can ensure the proper condition of your water vessel.

But at the same time, not many people are aware of how it is done. They may be doing it the wrong way, which can do more harm than good to their boat.

With these things in mind, let us go over these proper ways of lubricating your steering cable. We have prepared a list of tools you will need, as well as helpful techniques to get you started.

The Basics On How To Lube Steering Cable On Boat

When lubricating the steering cable on your boat, you will need to have a few things on hand.

These include the following:

  • Stainless steel steering tilt tube
  • Bore cleaning kit
  • 9/16-inch socket wrench
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Grease gun
  • Marine grease
  • Nut with zerk fitting

Once you have these things ready, then you can get to work by following the steps below.

1. Unbolt


Use your socket wrench to remove the steering tilt tube from its connections on the outboard motor. Then, remove the steering arm right from the tube gently. Sand this piece using your extra fine type of sandpaper.

2. Clean

When you have removed the steering arm, go ahead and clean off marine grease that has hardened in the tube. Spray the inside with a good quality lubricant that can easily penetrate in this section.

Grab a rod and thread a small sandpaper into it, and attach your rod securely to the drill. Put your tube into the vise that will keep it stable and secure. Then, you can run the rod through the inside of the tube and gently clean it this way.

However, if there is a lot of rust in the tube, you need to replace it with a stainless steel type of tilt tube. Otherwise, you may encounter some problems in the future because of the rust.

3. Replace

Use a brand new nut to replace the old one of the tilt tube. Be sure to use one with a zerk fitting, which is suitable for lubricating easily in the future. Tighten securely.

4. Grease

With your grease gun, lubricate the cable with the new grease fitting. Be sure to only use the recommended marine grease by the manufacturer.

Read More: How To Remove Gas From Boat Fuel Tank in Quick and Easy Steps!

Important Things To Remember

This task of lubricating your steering cable involves dealing with power tools. So, be sure to apply proper caution to avoid any injuries or issues with your cable.

In case the boat comes with a pinion helm and rack, you don’t need further maintenance because it is basically a sealed unit.

But be sure to replace the tilt tube when necessary, such as when it is greatly rusted. A replacement is the only solution to this concern.


Owning a boat is fun but can be a lot of work.

Yet, never delay the need to lubricate your cable steering as part of the maintenance process. Otherwise, salt water or salt spray may penetrate the steering link arm and tube, which can cause problems when you steer the boat.

Additionally, rust can collect in the tube and lead to further damages. With some lubrication as part of the maintenance, along with preventative cleaning, you can eliminate any future problems and keep your boat in top condition.

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