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Maintaining Your Steering System

Steering is an important part of your boat. Since it’s such a straightforward task, keeping up with it can be easy to overlook. As with all things that go through repetitive motion, however, they tend to break or at a minimum, incur damage. Let’s take a look at a few quick things you can do to keep up with your steering both for general maintenance and for when the steering isn’t functioning up to your standards.


Proper oil level is imperative to proper steering function of your boat. Steering systems require oil for lubrication and pressure actuation. Different systems of steering require different amounts and types of oil, so it’s important to know what type of system your boat has so you can keep up with its maintenance!

Periodically Inspect for Loose Connections

Loose connections (or anything loose) can be disastrous for your boat. Check your steering system for loose connections by turning it sharply in two directions, and having someone keep their eye on the valve as you do so. If there is any oil that appears after you perform this test, you may have a leak, and you may need to investigate further.


It’s important to inspect every part of your boat’s steering system periodically, even the rudder. You’ll want to keep your eye on the tiller arm, which connects the steering cylinder to the rudder. Make sure everything is connected firmly and appropriately, whenever you can.

boat maintenance

Inspect for any debris or scum that’s built up on surfaces; these can leave damaging and corrosive marks that can, in the long run, impact your boat’s steering system’s performance!

The steering system of your boat shouldn’t be glossed over, even if it’s a little difficult to remember to check. The steering system can hugely impact your boat’s performance. The above tasks should be performed as frequently as you can manage, to ensure the steering system of your boat is in top shape.