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How Do I Choose the Best Boat Steering Wheel?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2016
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In order to choose the best boat steering wheel for your boat, you must consider several factors. Some of the factors to take into account are the color of the boat, the primary use of the boat and the seasons in which you will use your boat. The primary task of the boat steering wheel is to steer the boat, however, there are other reasons to choose a specific wheel over others for your vessel. The comfort level is imperative when deciding on any steering wheel. The diameter of the grip, the material of the grip and the overall diameter of the wheel must be considered when choosing the best boat steering wheel.

When spending the day on the water in your boat, maintaining comfort is the primary concern in a boat steering wheel. A hard, thin grip is going to cause problems when using the boat for long periods. Some of the best steering wheel designs utilize a soft foam covering on the grip area of the boat steering wheel. This type of steering wheel will absorb sweat and will allow you to maintain a grip even when spray creates a wet condition inside of the boat. Hard plastic or steel steering wheels will become very slippery when wet, creating control issues in heavy and rough water conditions.

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A wooden boat steering wheel may offer a nostalgic appearance, however, this type of wheel often becomes faded and cracked often after just one season in the sun. The wood also has the tendency to become dangerous in the form of splinters when the finish begins to wear off. Stainless steel or a chromed steel boat steering wheel can get very hot to the touch when sitting in the direct sun for long periods. These wheels also become very slippery and difficult to grip when your hands become sweaty or wet. This can cause the boat steering wheel to slip in your hands and result in a control issue.

Besides being comfortable, easy to grip and cool to the touch in the hot sun, a foam-type boat steering wheel will feel warmer if using your boat in cool weather. The foam also has the composition to absorb your body heat from your hands, giving a warmth to your hands when boating in the cold. Combining these factors along with the ability to purchase the foam-covered steering wheel in a myriad of colors, one of which is almost certain to match or complement your boat's colors, the foam wheel is often the best wheel for your boat.

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