I have an old 1968 Lazy Days Sportsman houseboat 43 ft. long 12 ft. wide with a fly bridge. It is a single engine inboard with no out drive but it has a propeller and a rudder. It hasn't been taken out for about 5 years but the last time it was used the steering worked smooth and easy. Now I'm trying to get it going again and am finding that the steering seems to be seized up. From below and above I can turn the wheels about 1/3 of a rotation and then they become so hard to move I'm afraid to push any farther. When I let go it's sort of like a slow spring action and pushes them back to about the same position they started in. I disconnected the rudder at the back and that moves very smoothly and easily. The exposed inner rod part of the cable back there had a lot of old dried out grease which I cleaned off with acetone but the rod doesn't appear to move when I turn the wheels. At this point it seems to me that the cable is probably bound up at the back and compresses or sort of stretches a bit when I turn the wheels and the long length is what makes the springy effect. Two videos I've watched seem to provide possible methods of working through this without the horrific job of trying to replace the entire cable.
The first suggests getting vice grips to turn the fitting at the and of the cable and un-seizing it that way. The second at around 4:20 suggests heating the end of the cable to soften the dried out grease. Do any of you folks have experience with this problem and recommendations on how to overcome it without replacing the entire cable?
Thank you for any suggestions!