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On the first boat I used an electric trolling motor. The stern is about 3 1/2 foot from the rear of the cockpit, so you really can't reach the tiller. I moved the tiller into the cockpit. The way it works is there's a pulley on the shaft of the trolling motor. Cables exiting the rear of the boat pull the pulley right and left. There's over 180 degree range of motion here. I thought up all sorts of ways to control these cables, but what I settled on is the following:

I ran 1/2 PVC electrical conduit from the stern up through the ribs on both sides of the boat up to forward compartment. The conduit conducts 1/16" galvanized cable that runs through two pulleys attached to the deck rib in the forward compartment.

Between the 44 inch ribs on the starboard side there's a gap where there's no conduit. The control system is in this section.

In the picture on the upper left you'll see steering system parts. There's a bracket that bolts to the gunnel on the inside. A pie shaped wedge slides back and forth in the bracket. Later, I screwed eye bolts in either side of the wedge. The cable comes into the wedge from the stern side and plugs into the bow side of the wedge. The bow side cable comes across the wedge and plugs into the stern side. To keep the two cables from interfering with one another, the conduit to the stern is about 1 inch lower than the conduit to the bow. The control box is screwed into the arms that come off the wedge and the tiller arm of the trolling motor with its switch mechanism, which is thankfully modular and comes out of the motor very easily and just plugs in, sits in this box which was carefully sized and designed to fit the switching mechanism exactly. The grooved pulley you see in the top two pictures didn't work and was replaced with an un-grooved pulley that bolts onto the trolling motor shaft. This system provides very smooth steering.

Click for COMPLETE STEERING SYSTEM PLANS free and online of course!

Any questions? Email me, I'd be happy to answer them.

Legal Disclaimer: This website is intended for entertainment purposes only. The author is not a professional shipwright or naval architect. Many of the methods used building these boats are untested. It is not recommended that anyone follow the example on this website to construct a boat or anything else for that matter. If you do use any of these methods you, your family, friends, and anyone else you can think of could be hurt, drowned, maimed, or otherwise killed due to the faulty construction.

Copyright 2003, Edward Askew. All rights reserved.