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Lost steering on my Mac26x

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Sep 25, 2008
Macgregor 26X Beaver Lake NW Arkansans
When we were sailing down the Arkansas River we had problems with the steering on my 98 Mac26x. It started with when turning to the starboard the wheel would make a popping noise and slip and I could not get the boat to turn. Later it got worse and it was slipping both ways. I have ordered a replacement steering system. Has anyone out there replaced their system. How hard is it to replace. Any advice would be helpful.


Dec 28, 2007
Macgregor 26X Surfside Beach, SC
I replaced the steering system on my 2002 26X two years ago. Not too difficult; took a couple of hours. Avoid sharp bends when running your new steering cable. Sharp bends will make the steering action more difficult. Gentler curves are best.
Jun 4, 2006
Macgregor 26X Gray Hawk, KY
Replacement Rack

Sounds like the rack is slipping. I have a good rack, if you want it. I had a cable freeze up and so replaced the entire unit. I saved the rack in case someone would need it.



Mar 15, 2008
MacGregor 26D Valparaiso, Indiana
My rack is lousy. But the GF's is GREAT...
Sorry, I just couldn't resist.
Here is to good sailing, good steering systems and good racks.
My tiller and rudder on the M26D has never been a problem. For those with wheel steering, make sure you have a backup emergency tiller.

Jun 2, 2004
Macgregor 26X Lynn, MA
I concur with Jim.... I'm not mechanical and I've done it twice on my '96 26X. Since I've lost my steering twice I'm now looking to replace my helm and cable due to slight slipping experienced over last two seasons.

My problem is the 1996 used a hellm (MOR 292525) that Morse/Teleflex has discontinued and seems to be out of stock on the Internet. I did place a backorder at jamestowndistributors.com but don't know if they'll come through.

Anybody out there know of a source for a 1996 helm?

I did order what is the closest I could find from West Marine (Teleflex Safe-T Rotary Helm SH5023P) but the holes would be different for attaching and the sizing might be a tighter fit). Not sure how that would work out so I may have to start the season with what I have but you know how that may end up!

Thanks in advance for any assistance,
"Dan's Dream"
'96 26X
May 4, 2005
Macgregor 26d Ft Lauderdale, Fl
I wonder if anyone has a hydraulic kit for an X?

pricey up front, but should be trouble free once installed.
May 10, 2010
MacGreggor 26X Danville
The steering on the 26X has a design defect: whereas the visible parts connecting the steering rack to the motor are stainless steel the insides are just steel and on that piston/sleeve assembly there is no drain whole or sealing sleeve. Over time water accumulates and the rust will make the steering stiffer until the rack wears out. A hydraulic system would be great as it potentially would also free some space inside the boat (i.e. no large radius required)
Jun 13, 2004
- - Dana Point, CA
I replaced my '96 26x steering myself after the original stiffened up. In my opinion, the factory bent the cable too sharply. Replaced it with a teleflex 4:1 NFB 10' unit from West Marine. It was a perfect fit, but all the crawling around under the cockpit was a pain. Also had to rearange the steering connections. Sails great now.
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