Redesigning the Seawind 1160 Center Steering Bracket

I’m in the middle of upgrading the center steering bracket. The Seawind design had a single Ronstan Traveler Car to support the Steering Bracket. My understanding is the newer 1160 catamarans have relocated the Steering Bracket from a vertical mount to a horizontal mount to reduce stress on the ball bearings. This would be a significant change so instead I have added a second Ronstan Traveler Car to distribute the load and minimize play in the steering system.

This involved:
1. Disassembling the Steering Bracket and Rudder Interconnect Tubes
2. Ordering a new Ronstan S19 Traveller Car 85mm (P/N Z05068, blank car with Torlon balls)
3. Ordering four 1/4″-20 x 5/8″ 100 degree flat head stainless steel machine screws
4. Redrilling the new Ronstan Traveler Car for the 1/4-20 machine screws
5. Purchasing S19 Track to allow for loading the Torlon ball bearings (P/N RC1190-1.0)
6. Ordering spare Torlon ball bearings, since I lost a few during removal (P/N RC00520)
7. Drilling and tapping new holes on the Steering Bracket
8. Attaching Ronstan Traveler Car to the Steering Bracket
9. Loading each car with bearings
10. Reinstalling the Steering Bracket and Rudder Interconnect Tubes

Two Ronstan Traveler Cars

Replacement Torlon Ball Bearings (these guys are $1.00 each so treat them like gold)

Center Steering Bracket with Four New Tapped Holes

Removal was straight forward, remove the two bolts holding the front half Steering Car Bracket to the rear half Steering Car Bracket. Slide the front half off and then remove the two Delrin washers from the Rudder Interconnect Tubes. After sliding off the Rudder Interconnect Tubes, the spare piece of S19 Track can be used to roll the rear half of the Steering Car Bracket off the boat track without losing the ball bearings (there should be 60 balls in each car, 30 per side).

After disassembly the parts were cleaned, holes drilled into the rear half of the Steering Car Bracket, and the two Ronstan S19 Traveller Car were installed with 1/4-20 machine screws with Loc-tite blue to ensure the screws do not back out and jam the traveler car. Once that was done the reassembly can be completed in the reverse order of the disassembly.

1. Be sure to use Loc-tite. This is critical!
2. Do NOT use a McLube spray lubricate on the Torlon ball bearings, if needed only use McLube OneDrop ball bearing conditioner.

For any Seawind owners looking to make this upgrade – the minimum purchase of T19 track length is 996mm. The piece I purchased, I had cut into three pieces. If you are interested in a 332mm section the cost is $20 plus shipping.


  • Joshua McElwee December 27, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Hey Chris,

    Curious why you decided to make this change? Were you having issues with the steering? Or just a preventative upgrade? If it works well, i might be interested in taking a spare piece of the tracking for our Seawind….

    • Chris French January 3, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Dave, who owns Nimrod and has many miles on his 2008 1160, has had issues so it was on his recommendation that I decided to be proactive and do the upgrade. Initially I wasn’t going to do it but on the sail down the Pacific coast of the Baja I got to thinking about Seawind changing their design which must indicate they have had a number of boats with an issue so I figured it was cheap insurance. Just let me know if you would like a piece of the track or have any other questions.


Leave a Comment