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After 2 years of saltwater service, my rudder cables began to show their age by fraying at the rudder. So instead of waiting a week or so for new cables to be shipped, I decided to make some new ones and try to improve on the previous design.

For this repair/upgrade you need:
– 2x 12-15 feet of 1/16″ cable
-electrical shrink wrap 1/16″ 3/32″ and 1/8″
-16-14awg ring type crimp connector
– A soldering gun with solder.
-Side cutters or wire cutters
-Wire crimpers

First start by removing the cable at the rudder. If yours is as far gone as mine instead of trying to pull the whole frayed section through, just take your cutters and snip the cable at a clean section and pull through to the foot controls. Once that if done, remove the foot pegs and pull the foot controls off the boat to unbolt the eyelet end of the cable.

Next simply run the new cable though the tubing until you have enough through to work with on both ends.

On the foot peg end place your ring connector on and crimp at tightly as possible. Once that is done remove the plastic from around the crimp and apply a generous amount of solder making sure to get a good solder connection. This need to be strong because you will be applying a lot of force to this area when you are turning. When the solder cools, reconnect to the foot brace and reinstall in to the tracks.

Back at the rudder I used the shrink wrap as an extra layer of protection where the cable makes a sharp 90 degree bend. That bend caused the cable to chafe and wear out faster than any other part of the rudder system. To prevent this from happening again, run the cable straight though the hole then slip on a 2 inch section 1/16” shrink tube and position in the middle of the rudder, heat up to seal in place, then repeat with the other 2 sizes and you are all set to route the cable to the locking tab. Secure with the bolt and trim the excess wire so it will fit under the cover. The last upgrade I did was to use about an inch long section of shrink tube on the tag end of the cable to keep that from fraying out.

Re-install the covers on the rudder and you are all set to hit the water!

– James Schlingmann