A friend here in North Alabama (Mike Tilley, a.k.a. dmtilley) has a 55 Vagabond with a 25 short-shaft Suzuki. When I put the 25 Suzuki on my 55 Deluxe Runabout, I measured and bought 13 ft control cables for it. But when I installed the cables on my DR, I decided they were a little too long. So Mike bought the 13 ft cables from me for his Vagabond, and I bought 12 ft cables for my DR. The 13 ft cables are a good fit for his Vagabond, and IMHO the 12 ft cables are a good fit for my DR. It's the right length to allow a loop in front of the motor.
It would be prudent to get Mike to confirm my memory. Unfortunately, I don't believe he reads this forum very frequently. I can txt him and as him to chime in.
Mike installed cable/pulley steering on his Vagabond, as I did on my DR. As Locomotion says, it's quite difficult to fit Teleflex steering on these tumblehome boats. I think several of the people who have done it successfully installed long-shaft motors on the boat, so the steering linkage is sticking up fairly high above the transom. Several others have had to cut a fairly big hole in the side of the boat near the transom, to make room for the steering arm.
The Vagabond is really difficult to install the push pull steering on due to the way the tumble home wraps up close to the motor. I hope you can find a way to do it without adding a big hole in the sheeting of the hull.
A number of Vagabond owners have managed it by fabricating a bracket that mounts on the transom and linkage from there to the motor, maybe someone will post what they have been successful with.
Great to hear your able to tackle boat now! Sounds similar to my story..
I had to just measure cable and added 10’ to make up any of my error on measuring. (Pulley Steering)
shift/throttle cables I measured and added 4’ worked out perfectly some how.
look forward to seeing complete.
1957 Ranger IV
Love the Feathercraft!!
Some people want to know how a watch works,
others just want to know what time it is.
I bought my '55 Vagabond October 17, 2012. The same day I joined this group. Sanded hull from 80 grit all the way to 2000 grit. Waxed and buffed too many times to count. Took a whole year of weekends to complete restoration. But having to store outside under a tarp I soon lost interest. 10 years later....just built a new garage with a permanent Vagabond home !! Time to re-restore and get her back in the water. A lot of things to redo.....
Before and after.
First thing on the list is steering. The Wilcox Crittenden steering wheel was cool when first restored but now has started cracking from being under a tarp, and it always wobbled on the steering column. I know that cable steering can be great, but this is one headache that I do not intend to relive. For me it was only adequate at best and I never was happy with my mechanical abilities to install it. The wheel did not fit the column so as you can see in pictures I had to insert bolt from one side to the other to keep it on. So this time around I'm going to update to the newer teleflex-type system. Just seeking advice on which unit to purchase, preferably including a nice retro looking steering wheel, but would purchase separately in order to get a nice wheel. Also, cable length for a right hand steer vagabond is important if anyone knows the proper length.
The new steering will be paired with a new 25hp Suzuki, when purchased. So in short, does anyone recommend a specific steering kit, and does anyone know the correct cable length??
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