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Old 07-09-2009
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hydraulic wheel steering

I propose to convert my tiller steering to wheel steering on my 10 tonne, 37 foot Roberts 36. Cables will be tricky due to layout. Hydraulic would be much simpler. Hydrive here in Oz sell a helm pump that allows rudder feedback, and in theory should allow me to reconnect my Aries windvane, possibly through the original tiller, reverse mounted over the lazarette, rather than to a wheel mounted drum
Have any Sailnet members experience, opinions or suggestions re this type of hydraulic steering?
Thanks, crew
Bill
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Old 07-09-2009
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Hi Clarity,

my Roberts 45 has a hydrive unit and it works fine. Had to be rebuilt 2 years ago, however considering it is almost 30 years old that was not really a big issue / problem.

However have to ask why you are considering switching from tiller to wheel steering? On a Roberts 36 I would of thought tiller steering would work fine.

Ilenart
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Old 07-12-2009
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Hydraulic steering

Thanks, Ilenart, for the recommendation. Tiller steering on the 10 tonne Roberts is ok, but I find a few hours is about all I'm good for, whereas a well placed wheel I can steer with my feet. And, my first mate is a bit dyslexic, tending to push, rather than pull the tiller in emergency. Doesn't get any better with age, unlike wine tho. Cheers!
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Old 07-12-2009
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on the hydraulic steering systems i have worked on, the wheel will not be centered in the same place every time due to some leakage in the pump the wheel is connected to. to know the rudder angle you have to have an indicator that will tell you the rudder's position. as long as you do not have leaks and keep the reservoir topped off the system works fine.
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Old 07-13-2009
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I have Marol hydraulic steering Marol Marine on my 41' steel pilothouse cutter (15 tonnes) in a dual helm setup (pilothouse and deck helm). I also have a tiller head on my transom-hung rudder's post.

I suggest you rig any hydraulic steering with a bypass valve. This will allow the rudder to swing freely on a tiller, which is ideal to mate with your Aries windvane. Your "helm procedure" thus becomes as follows: Hydraulic steering while manually steering or while on autopilot (such as while motoring or motorsailing in conjunction with an auto pilot), and tiller plus vane while passagemaking under sail. A single throw of a valve handle is the only difference.

I don't know if this makes sense in your installation, but it allows for an entirely separate means to auto-steer the boat should one of the two systems fail or require maintenance while underway.
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Old 07-13-2009
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Thanks Valiente

Thanks Valiente. Your advice is crystal clear, and appropriate for my situation. My Roberts currently has a tiller with almost a metre between tillerhead and windvane; I propose to reverse the tiller (and the windvane control lines) and use quick connects for use while passagemaking, and utilise the helm for pilotage inshore. The possibility of disabling the hydraulic pump while under windvane will (I believe) reduce the turning force necessary by my vane system.
Thanks again
Another thing, Valiente. Are you able to advise me how I may respond to, say, you alone, so I'm not clogging up the forum with a simple thankyou for your help?
Cheers
Bill
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Old 07-14-2009
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