Stuck Boat Steering Wheel – Removal & Replacement with New Wheel

new boat steering wheel

How to remove a stuck boat steering wheel 2 different ways on a Sea Ray to replace it with a new wheel [includes video!]

boat gear shop

Our 2002 Sea Ray 410 Sundancer has been starting to show her age in recent years so we’ve been updating or replacing parts as needed to keep her looking good. In 2020 our boat’s steering wheel starting literally falling apart (yeah, that’s 2020 for you!)

The laminated wood on the old steering wheel starting cracking and then moisture must have gotten under it. The lamination started to peel off and literally drop off in pieces. It was definitely time to replace it with a new boat steering wheel!

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How to Remove a Boat Steering Wheel

Removal of an old boat steering wheel should be a relatively easy job. When you remove the cap in the middle of the wheel it exposes the bolt on the hub, which is basically the only thing holding it on. We made sure to get the right size ratchet for the bolt and purchase a wheel that would fit the hub. Easy, right?

old stuck steering wheel
original old steering wheel with cracked laminate and stuck on hub

Well when you have an almost 20 year old boat it turns out that its not so easy to remove the wheel. Its a common problem that even after unscrewing the bolt the wheel will not easily pull off.

We ended up trying two different techniques to try to remove the wheel. First we tried the old push from behind while tapping with a hammer, and then we tried using a gear puller to pop off the wheel. In the end, the second option worked for us.

Here’s Captain Brian’s video on how he removed & replaced the steering wheel on our boat!
(see below for links to the wheel & puller we used)

Products We Used

new boat steering wheelNew Steering Wheel
Instead of buying another wood laminate steering wheel that resembled the original Sea Ray wheel, we opted for a different style with a steering knob that makes it super easy to move the wheel around! It was very reasonably priced (much less than a wood wheel) and we just love the steering functionality and firm but comfortable grip.

5 Spoke 13-1/2 Inch Marine Boat Steering Wheel with Black PU Foam Grip and Knob for Marine

Gear Puller ToolTo remove the old steering wheel we got a simple Gear Puller Tool that allowed us to easily release the old wheel from the hub. In the end, it was the wheel removal method that worked for us!

Shop more Steering Wheel Options on West Marine

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Diane Seltzer

View posts by Diane Seltzer
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids Active in the boating industry, Diane has also led the marketing for multiple recreational boating businesses and startups.
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