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Maritimo 2023 M600 LEADERBOARD

Dyneema steering cable kits

by Edson Marine 22 May 04:25 PDT
Dyneema Steering Cable Kits © Edson Marine

Dyneema steering cables have long been used on Grand Prix race boats where every gram counts and steering sensitivity is paramount.

World cruisers have started replacing steering cables with Dyneema for an entirely different reason, as dyneema is an essential part of a cruising spares kit and quality steering cable can be challenging to get in remote cruising areas. After kicking around the idea of offering a dyneema-based version of our chain and cable kits, it was yet another consideration that pushed us over the edge: dyneema cables are much less of a headache to install in cramped lazarettes and other places where rudder posts live. Catalina 30 owners, rejoice!!

Getting cable clamps onto tensioning bolts in tight spaces has filled up swear jars in ports the world over, and is frequently done incorrectly at that. With dyneema, you simply pre-splice the loop at the quadrant end to the appropriate measurement, then attach the loop to the bolt's eye with a luggage tag hitch (aka cow hitch) and then insert and tension the bolts after.

The splice has been the rub, as we don't have accurate enough measurements to ship you the cable that's sized precisely enough, leaving you the job of making that splice. But the splice is easy - YouTube is silly with great videos about how to do it, and our own will be up on the product page by the time you read this.

Our kits are built around our standard (outstanding) German-made chain and Marlow's 4mm SK-99 Heat Set, which has a breaking strength well in excess of 1/4" 7x19 wire. 4mm dyneema is easy to splice and work with, works great with any sheave size from 4" on up, and does not stretch. Once the splices set after the initial break in, it's not moving. The chain-to-cable connection is made using a very rope-friendly chain to cable adapter, and covered with shrink tubing to eliminate chafe in the pedestal. Last, dyneema steering kits are less expensive than their wire-based counterparts (significantly so if you are replacing 1/4" wire).

There are a few caveats to using replacing your wire with dyneema cable. The first is that your sheaves need to be smooth - no burrs, and no wire chew. You can smooth and polish them with a Dremel tool, or order replacements if they're too far gone. Sheave alignment also needs to be precise, as instead of a wire cable abrading a misaligned sheave, a misaligned sheave will eventually abrade a dyneema cable. Another is that you will need to take a few turns on the tension bolts after initial use - the splices will set and create some slack that needs to be removed. The last is simply that, as we don't have endless decades of data on how dyneema acts over time, we recommend checking in on it much more frequently until you're comfortable with it.

Questions? Drop us a note at or give us a call at 508-995-9711.

Get yours here.

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Maritimo 2023 M600 FOOTER