Dometic’s latest product turns mechanical steering into power steering.
Cable steering wears on you after a while. Especially with a single engine that requires a bunch of lock-to-lock turns when docking. A new product offered by Dometic takes existing mechanical steering and turns it into a power-assisted, easy-to-turn system. If you have cable steering on your outboard-powered boat and want to upgrade to power steering without ripping out all of the existing equipment, this product makes a lot of sense. The power-assist steering works in conjunction with the boat’s mechanical steering, which differs from Dometic’s Optimus, fully electronic system, which became available earlier this year.
The Electric Power Assist Steering is engineered to mount to all major outboards ranging from 90 to 200 hp and integrates with any existing SeaStar rack or rotary cable steering. Since you don’t need to remove the steering on the boat, installation mostly involves adding the new actuator. Once the new system is installed, the mechanical steering cable will only turn the power-assist unit, while the electric steering actuator actually moves the engine. The end result is smoother steering with less effort. Dometic also claims it improves response time from the wheel and provides consistent steering from port to starboard.
The Electric Power Assist does not increase the load on the mechanical steering or cable, which helps to ensure reliability and performance. However, should the power assist unit stop functioning, a failsafe system automatically reverts to standard mechanical steering, Dometic says. It also works with both standard and tilt helms. This system is designed for easy plug-and-play installation.
Electric Power Assist Steering is scheduled for production in early 2021.