Used to reduce the shock loads on steering systems when the steering limit cable comes to its full extension. Standard on boats built beginning around the year 2000.
Installed on the wire limit cable that attaches to the quadrant and prevents rotation beyond a prescribed range past which damage will occur. Critical when in reverse as, if the wheel is released, the rudder will naturally continue rotating to one extreme. This absorber, when properly installed in the system, helps limit the shock loads on the quadrant and deck where the other end of the stop wire is attached.
The rubber will degrade with time and may eventually fall off the cable.
If you have a boat with this limit cable system, inspect the absorber to make sure it is still in place and pliable.
Replace immediately if it is missing or if it is starting to become brittle or is cracking.