Hydraulic steering - SailNet Community
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Hydraulic steering

I'm working with a guy who just bought a big boat with Hydraulic steering.

It is almost 15 turns of the wheel from lock to lock.

This is a very big boat 60' about 55,000 lbs and the wheel is small.
Barn door rudder on a skeg.

The delivery captain complained that the number of turns made it hard to steer. I'm not surprised. I operated the wheel and it turns easy enough but of course, it still takes a while to do 15 turns. It is a bit of a workout.

I have him checking the model as some models have an adjustment for the number of turns. It will translate into a harder to turn the wheel if fewer turns used.

Does anyone have any experience similar to this?
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Re: Hydraulic steering

I sailed a few big boats with hydraulic steering and I would never own one, you get no tactile feedback from the helm. I don't recall the number of turns being an issue but I do recall how much I hated the steering.
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Re: Hydraulic steering

Our launch drivers swear by these:
https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Ste...58652775&psc=1

The autopilot probably doesn’t care.
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Re: Hydraulic steering

I don't have any experience with boat hydraulic steering, but I suspect it is similar in function to hydraulic steering on old off road dump trucks I worked on years ago.

On those systems the wheel drive a hydraulic pump. If the seals in the pump were worn they did not move as much oil. Also if there is air in the hydraulics it wouldn't function very well.

It sounds to me like the hydraulic system needs an overhaul. I cant imagine 15 turns to full lock is normal.

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Re: Hydraulic steering

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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
On those systems the wheel drive a hydraulic pump. If the seals in the pump were worn they did not move as much oil. Also if there is air in the hydraulics it wouldn't function very well.
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That sounds plausible. If the seals leak it will work but the pump will leak and not move as much oil.

It is supposed to have been serviced recently but in Guatemala.

I wonder if there is a way to test the seals without disassembling.

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Re: Hydraulic steering

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
That sounds plausible. If the seals leak it will work but the pump will leak and not move as much oil.

It is supposed to have been serviced recently but in Guatemala.

I wonder if there is a way to test the seals without disassembling.
If the seals are shot, they will often leave an oily film on the ram and or around the pump.
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Last edited by Arcb; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:09 AM.
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Re: Hydraulic steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
That sounds plausible. If the seals leak it will work but the pump will leak and not move as much oil.



It is supposed to have been serviced recently but in Guatemala.



I wonder if there is a way to test the seals without disassembling.
Can the wheel continue to be turned if the rudder is held in place? That would be a good indication of leaking pump seals.



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Re: Hydraulic steering

bleed the system, see what you get
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Re: Hydraulic steering

no steering turn like a car? lol
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