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Problem With Hydraulic Steering Arm

Andy Loops

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Hi there,

As some of you know the boys in my family bought a 240 Outrage Boston Whaler last year. Within the first two months we had to replace the hydraulic steering arms (twin 150HP Verados) as there are two bracing nuts that literally cracked in half and fell off the thread. (warranty job and was fixed in days - a credit to the after-sales support of the dealer - but still disappointed it fell apart in the first place)

My understanding is that these nuts serve two purposes - they act as a brace for the main hydraulic rams and protect the main threaded bar from corrosion.

These particular nuts have smaller screws that 'lock the nut' in place as they drill through the nut and onto the thread of the main bar - kind of like a locking nut on a collar.

Now I can understand the older nuts breaking and falling away as boat had been sitting on showroom floor for a good 18 months and its possible this part just deteriorated.

BUT while out wide last weekend the same freaking thing happened and one of the nuts cracked in half and fell away from the thread. I noticed this while fishing but given it was a good 20k run back to shore there was nothing I could do - had to just drive her back.

Apologies for the long windedness but basically I want to know if any other Boston Whaler owners have had similar problems - or if other boats with a twin outboard setup have experienced the same thing.

As it stands I am waiting on replacement parts and then dealer needs to perform warranty job.

Any thoughts? this is the first boat I have owned with outboards - all others have been stern drive - so its a bit new to me.



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Let me guess - seastar bullhorn Hydraulic steering by the sound of it or did they cheapen up and use baystar. Do you run 2 bullhorns or one and a link bar , liquid tie bar? If it isn't ignore the following-

If it is the split nuts are there and should only ever be lightly tensioned and then locked off as all they do is prevent sideways movement of the spacing shims and hence the ram. The whole unit should float on it's fittings not be locked solid like so many installers do especially now they are usingg plastic spacers. I don't like the new "split nuts" with the allen key bolt acting as the "lock" and actually preferred the old solid knurled nut ones alloy ones that had a allen key grub screw in them. To put it simply there is little force on these things so why do installers insist tightening them up so tight. If you motor is catching on something in the full lock position it could put it under pressure and trailering them can also if you have motors hard to starboard either that or it might be a bad batch. Whoever at seastar had the bright idea of using a painted split brass nut fitting on a stainless or alluminium thread with a stainless bolt in it for salt water use should be nutted to start with as the teflon coating just doesn't last on moored boats.

Check thet everything is 100% clear of steering from lock to lock and the same when tilted up as they shouldn't fail unless there is some undue pressure or they were severly overtightened. Are you running counter rotation motor?

If it is seastar - which part is breaking

General info


Parts List-- What part is it that is broken???

I'm guessing part 10 adjusting nut and screw? from page 9.


It's only a 15 minute job to fit one a only 2 nuts need to come undone so should be an easy one for them to come to you rather than drag the monster in to them. The second failure is a bit sus and I might think that instead of doing the 2 nut removal they may have taken a shortcut and spread the split nut to slip it on. They were never designed to be fitted that way and would fail premeturely. Have you got the old one?

Edited by pelican
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