Steering Wheel Replacement

At some point, the original Sea Ray steering wheel on our boat was replaced by an OK-looking, but all chrome steering wheel.

What does shiny metal and hot sun produce?  Yeah, pretty much - heat.  The wheel isn’t terrible, but considering I was already in plans to replace a few bad gauges along with the helm dash panel - I figured I might as well go ahead and make the rest of the helm the way I wanted it - in this case, including the steering wheel.

What are the options?

As always, you can try to locate an OEM steering wheel, which depending on the age and model of your boat - may be easier or more difficult.  If you are able to locate an OEM or NOS/New-Old-Stock part - they may be on the expensive side, and you’ll need to consider the relative cost/benefit you attach to having the original part.

OEM Steering Part #s for 1998 SDA Sundancer 270

I’ve seen used-good-condition wheels going for in the $300-$400 range on eBay, and have not as of yet found a reliable supplier for my 1998 SDA of the exact part number, but these PNs seem to be valid across at least the 1998-2000 models based on part PDFs I have on hand.  Very likley valid for other years and models as well.

  • 0836239 - Steering Wheel, 15” 8 degree 3 spoke, 5 bolt hub

  • 0858738 - Cap, Steering wheel center

  • 0322909 - Emblem, Sea Ray Logo 1 3/8” Round

Aftermarket replacement wheels

STWHW370 2

The key thing here seems to be the face the Sundancer has a 3/4” tapered hub.  

Numerous options are out there, including starting at $50 on up at Amazon.  I can’t speak to which of those specifically fit, but note the 3/4” hub, stay in the general size of OEM at 15” (smaller wheels are OK to a point but will increase steering effort needed, while bigger diameter wheels will make it easier to turn the wheel), and check the reviews and comments to see if anyone has at least installed one being considered in a Sea Ray.

Again, you can search eBay, and Flounder Pounder / has a few aftermarket options which generally match the ’Sea Ray style.’  To the right is their PN STWHW370 - Genuine Leather with Cherry inserts.  It’s not inexpensive at $230 but I put a bit more faith in it that the random stream of random companies popping up with race-to-the-bottom prices, at least on something that you really do NOT want to have fall apart in your hands.. ;)

They also have a few other options in similar price ranges, or all chrome starting at $90 or so.

I also picked up their center cap in Cherry Burl with engraved Sea Ray text for another $15.  You can get them in Cherry, Black Stardust, and blank, with Sea Ray lettering with or without the logo.

What’s needed for installation?

Not a whole lot.  The center cap pops off (may have a small screw holding it in), then there’s a nut and washer holding the wheel on.  It may come off easily manually, or having a wheel puller like the one on the right may be needed.

I’d also suggest having a dead-blow hammer or a hard rubber mallet on hand, and some marine grease to coat the shaft before putting the new wheel on. 

Installation with pics to come