Hydraulic

RussC

Almost A Member
Apr 8, 2013
112
16
Clovis/CA
Name
Russ
Boat
Grady White 209 Escape
I just went through a lot of expense changing from standard cable steering to hydraulic steering. I fine that the hydraulic steering is very stiff. I would say it is harder than the mechanical steering. I thought it would be like power steering. WrongO! Is this normal? I mean if this is the way hydraulic steering is why would anyone go through the expense. What's the attraction for hydraulic steering........you can let go of the wheel and not have the boat turn.........Really, is that all there is! Fyi; I'm running a 200 Yami on a 21 foot boat.
 
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ShadBurke

Just a Guy and his Boston Whaler
Oct 28, 2005
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Carlsbad
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Shad Burke
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22' Boston Whaler Guardian
Should be very smooth to turn. Is it all new seastar components and was it bled correctly?
 
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RussC

Almost A Member
Apr 8, 2013
112
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Clovis/CA
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Russ
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Grady White 209 Escape
It is a Uflex system. I went with that because it really looks to be high quality. As far as the bleeding, it was installed by a marine mechanic at his shop. So I would hope it was done right.
 
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jaw1970

I Should Upgrade My Account
Sep 6, 2008
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Long Beach, CA. USA
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John
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Koa Honu 28 Skipjack
Was it sized correctly? There are different GPM helm pumps for different applications. Is the cylinder the correct size? Lots of variables. In my experience, you probably won't be able to steer with one finger, unless you have power assist, but it shouldn't be stiffer than cable steering.
 
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RussC

Almost A Member
Apr 8, 2013
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Clovis/CA
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Russ
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Grady White 209 Escape
According to Uflex it is the application for my make and size motor and boat. But, really hydraulic steering doesn't make steering easier, in my experience. The only thing it does is hold the course when you let go of the wheel. There is no pump......you are the pump! Right?
 
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ConSeaMate

Legend in my own mind
Sep 6, 2005
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Escondido
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Buster Brown
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28' Silverton "ConSeaMate"
Something is wrong.....I put hydraulic steering on the old WarpDrive and it was a dream.....no cable play no sticking it just turned with easr.......
 
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jaw1970

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Sep 6, 2008
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Long Beach, CA. USA
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John
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Koa Honu 28 Skipjack
The helm unit is a pump, powered by you. They also make power assist pump that are electrically driven and mount between the helm and the cylinder.
 
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jaw1970

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Sep 6, 2008
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Long Beach, CA. USA
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Koa Honu 28 Skipjack
Typical helm sizes are 1.7, 2.0, 2.4 GPM. The larger the helm, the less turn lock to lock, but more effort is required.
 
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spear-fish

Something smells fishey
Aug 26, 2005
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Chino
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Mike
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77 Skippy 20 Open OB Spear-Fish III
Typical helm sizes are 1.7, 2.0, 2.4 GPM. The larger the helm, the less turn lock to lock, but more effort is required.

+1

I went from a 1.7 to a 2.0 to speed up the steering and the amount of increased effort is noticeable but it turns the motor much faster for improve maneuvering so it can be a trade off.
 
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kindafishy

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jul 21, 2010
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hemet/ca/riverside
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SCOTT
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bayliner cierra express 2452 "RYLEE'S WAVE RYDER"
how many turns are you lock to lock? i've been researching this myself as i plan on making the conversion. in my research i,ve found 5 turns lock to lock is about where you want to be.
 
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ALUMINATOR

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Sep 16, 2003
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North San Diego County
caspsolutions.com
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Dennis
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27' self built
I just finished my new steering system last week and felt the same as you. Never had hydraulic before and I though like you, one finger power type steering. I am only turning a rudder. I have 4 turns lock to lock. After this weekend I will get to do sea trials and I am thinking it will take the same force in or out of the water. To give you an idea of the force it takes to turn the wheel I can turn it with one finger hooked around a spoke pulling. Using the fingernail side of my finger pushing, it much more difficult to move the wheel. I also installed a new autopilot pump. The ram, helm pump and pilot pump are all commercial grade parts, used ⅜'' Parker MSH hose and fittings. If the steering uses the same force running I will be very happy with it.

Have you tried to disconnect the outboard from the ram to see if there is any binding?

Did the installer use a bunch of 90 degree fittings?

Are you sure it was bleed correctly? Often it should sit a day or so and then bleed again to remove any small bubbles. Bleeding is a major cause of tight steering!!

If you have room to increase your steering wheel diameter you will be surprised how much it will help.

I am using ATF and have been told my pump allows thinning the fluid with clean diesel, thinner oil is easier to turn.

Find another boat with the same setup and try theirs.

Please let us know what you find.
 
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kindafishy

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jul 21, 2010
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hemet/ca/riverside
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SCOTT
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bayliner cierra express 2452 "RYLEE'S WAVE RYDER"
+1

I went from a 1.7 to a 2.0 to speed up the steering and the amount of increased effort is noticeable but it turns the motor much faster for improve maneuvering so it can be a trade off.

just out of curiosity, do you know what your lock to lock was before and after helm change?
 
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MATTANZA

old man of the sea, in training.
Aug 23, 2004
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Cali the state of confusion, the state of shock
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RICK
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Boston Whaler 25' Outrage "MATTANZA II", 34' Radovcich "AMY ANNE" {when it needs to be fixed}
something is probably binding at the motor, maybe it's not lined up correctly. your mechanic should never have let you left with a hard steering hydraulic system. mine is smooth as silk.
 
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26grumpy

who hooked who
Sep 24, 2006
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Anaheim Hills
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Joe
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Freefrom Boats Club
Yesterday I replaced leaking end caps (glands) on my 17 year old Teleflex Sea Star hydraulic steering ram. There wasn't any corrosion so it came apart and went back together without issue.

Proper bleeding of the system is key to proper function of the system.

 
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hardrider5

Master
Sep 4, 2003
780
113
Huntington Beach
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Mike
Boat
Parker 2520
I just went through a lot of expense changing from standard cable steering to hydraulic steering. I fine that the hydraulic steering is very stiff. I would say it is harder than the mechanical steering. I thought it would be like power steering. WrongO! Is this normal? I mean if this is the way hydraulic steering is why would anyone go through the expense. What's the attraction for hydraulic steering........you can let go of the wheel and not have the boat turn.........Really, is that all there is! Fyi; I'm running a 200 Yami on a 21 foot boat.[/Q

We changed the autopilot in our boat and I had to take it too a shop with a steering bleeding machine to get the air out. I probably ran a 1/2 gallon through it and could not get the air out manually. Steering is smooth and definitely much easier than non power steering.
 
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