Hydraulic Valve and Autopilot - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-07-2006 Thread Starter
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Hydraulic Valve and Autopilot

Our Fuji 45 as built in 1976 and came with a hydraulic steering system. The system incorporates a cut-off valve that allows selection of either manual steering or autopilot. What this does is allows hydraulic fluid to travel port or starboard from the rudder or the wheel in manual so that it simulates a real feel steering environment. When switched to autopilot, the valve cuts the helm station out so that the autopilot does not include the wheel in it's activity. Nice, except the switching valve appears to be shot.

Someone told me that there is a valve out there that has a solenoid that is wired to the autopilot, so that this cut off is accomplished when the autopilot is engaged. Does anyone have any information about this?
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-07-2006
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You might try contacting the maker of your autopilot.

John
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-07-2006
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You might try http://octopusmarine.ca/
They make the hydraulic unit for my Pearson 424. The system is a Navico, but many other companies use their hydraulics. Good people to work with, as I have needed their help in rebuilding unit. After rebuilding my unit, aboard, with simple hand tools, I would never want one of the electric drives (having to send it back for repairs...right).
Hope that helps
alan
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-08-2006 Thread Starter
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Thanks Alan, I sent them a note. It's been incredibly hard to find a decent hydraulics person. Everyone makes it sound like its voodoo magic. Found one place and they replaced the seals in the valve about 6 months ago, but the seals are leaking profusely again. And the valve won't stay on manual or auto, it wants to migrate when there is any weather helm. The valve is located in the engine room, so every time it does this, the crew (namely me) has to go below and wait until the helm is relaxed and set it back.
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