How do I know which length of steering cable I need?
The cable part number and length can usually be found about 2 feet from one end of the cable, stamped into the plastic conduit (exterior jacket or casing). If you can't locate/read it:
a) Is the cable you are replacing rotary?
Rotary is a spiral wrapped black core wire that sticks out at the helm end of the cable. The rack and pinion cables have long metal housing with rack (flat) gear inside (under the dash).
Measure the cable's plastic jacket (casing) in inches. If rotary, add 18" and round up to the next foot. If rack and pinion, add 30" and round up to the next foot. Then, order that length of cable.
b) Are you doing a first-time steering cable installation?
Measure cable routing path in boat as follows:
A = Center line of the wheel to gunwale (inches)
B = Dash to transom (inches)
C = Gunwale to cable connection at centered tiller (inches)
For tilt tube mounting, add A + B + C + 6", and round up to the next foot. Order that length of cable. For transom/splashwell/stringer support mounting, add A + B + C, then subtract 6" and round up to the next foot. Order that length of cable.