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Old 17-03-2009, 22:34   #16
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I chose hydraulic!!!!! Feed back? No problem, fly by instruments!!!!

steering

Hydraulic Steering
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Old 18-03-2009, 16:37   #17
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Thanks John
I have the same Capilano Hyd. System but forgot about the valve that adj. the gain.
What is your experiance when using the windvane and Hyd. system how often do you have to correct for creep. I am thinking of the Monitor wind Vane and I am not sure how often the hydralic steering would need to be corrected because of creep.
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Old 18-03-2009, 16:52   #18
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hydraulic steering

We have used an Australian made 'Hydrive' hydraulic steering for 20 years on a heavy 36 footer with large rudder. It is mounted on the outside of the transom in the weather. Have never had any problem with it. To lock the system I put a 12 volt solenoid valve in one of the pipes. To free the system for a windvane, just put a valve across the pipes.
I built our windvane to my own design, using a stirrup aft of the rudder like a Sayes Rig, linked to a horizontal axis vane similar to the designs in Bill Belcher's book. It's all pretty bulletproof.
Regards, Richard.
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Old 18-03-2009, 18:35   #19
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Sergy- I disconnect the hydraulic steering when using the Monitor, it turns the cockpit wheel which is standard cable steering.
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Old 18-03-2009, 20:29   #20
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I second the Hydrive hydraulic gear. It is high quality stuff and 30% less expensive than the other brands. Another benefit to hydraulic is that when backing up you can stop the wheel from spinning with one finger.
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Old 19-03-2009, 04:15   #21
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lots of good feedback. Sounds like Hydro or drag would be choice over cable. I personaly think that cable from center cockpit could be a problem in the future but hey, what on a sailboat isnt a problem in the future.

Dave
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Old 19-03-2009, 04:35   #22
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Originally Posted by boden36 View Post
We have used an Australian made 'Hydrive' hydraulic steering for 20 years on a heavy 36 footer with large rudder. It is mounted on the outside of the transom in the weather. Have never had any problem with it. To lock the system I put a 12 volt solenoid valve in one of the pipes. To free the system for a windvane, just put a valve across the pipes.
I built our windvane to my own design, using a stirrup aft of the rudder like a Sayes Rig, linked to a horizontal axis vane similar to the designs in Bill Belcher's book. It's all pretty bulletproof.
Regards, Richard.
If locking the system with a 12 volt solenoid valve in one of the pipes resolves the creeping problem - that would be good news, that is, if you are planning to use an auxiliary rudder -type wind vane (which servers also as an emergency rudder).

In my earlier post, I forgot to mention, that the Hydraulic creep is only problem for those wind vanes which steer using an auxiliary rudder (e.g. Hydrovane or Windpilot Pacific Plus or AutoHelm wind vane), they do not steer using the main rudder. That means you have to lock the main rudder. But this creeping of main rudder is reported to be a problem in the long run, see for example My Finnsailer

I also asked Hydrovane directly, and they said that you have to tweak the main helm slightly every hour or so, because of the creep.

Wind vane systems which steer using the main rudder (most servo pendulum or servo peddle wind vane systems e.g. Windpilot, Monitor, Navik, Saye's Rig) is another story. You must free the rudder from hydraulic system using a bypass valve (across the pipes). The helm with the hydr.pump is then inoperable but then there must be lines from the wind vane to move the main rudder somehow: a second helm with standard cable steering, or lines to an 'emergency tiller' on top of rudder shaft, or the Saye's rig which moves the main rudder using a pendulum trim tab (see http://www.selfsteer.com/products/sayes/index.php).

I was planning to mount a Hyrdovane, but now I'll be tempted to look at Saye's rig (but then I lose the emergency function of an aux rudder).
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Old 19-03-2009, 05:45   #23
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Just a quick note: 12v solenoids to close the plumbing on your AP is pretty power hungry. You can get the same results with a manual cable pull with no hit to the batteries.

We have cable and hyd auto, there is very little drag on the system when the hyd system is open. When using the auto we use a remote so we can drive form the center cockpit or below.
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Old 19-03-2009, 09:10   #24
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A solenoid uses some power I would expect a simple manual block valve in the line would accomplish the same results with out the use of power.
I am also considering the Hydrovane as I like the aux rudder capabilities
One other advantage is in very low winds the Hydrovane should keep on working as there is no lost energy to friction driving the main rudder
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Old 19-03-2009, 20:42   #25
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Wink Choices

I think it all comes down to personal choices. I myself am a aficionado in hydraulics so it works best for me. But, for someone that knows little to nothing it would be best to stick with cables, gears or chains.

If you fly planes it's best to be able to do your own preflight inspection. It's also best for boat owners and their equipment. The nice thing about mechanical steering is you can see what is wrong when there is a problem. For hydraulics it's all hidden in the lines and works under cover.
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Old 22-03-2009, 03:46   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boden36 View Post
We have used an Australian made 'Hydrive' hydraulic steering for 20 years on a heavy 36 footer with large rudder. It is mounted on the outside of the transom in the weather. Have never had any problem with it. To lock the system I put a 12 volt solenoid valve in one of the pipes. To free the system for a windvane, just put a valve across the pipes.
I built our windvane to my own design, using a stirrup aft of the rudder like a Sayes Rig, linked to a horizontal axis vane similar to the designs in Bill Belcher's book. It's all pretty bulletproof.
Regards, Richard.
Do you have any pictures of your self steering gear? I'm wrestling with that one at the moment. I have dual station hydraulics.
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Old 22-03-2009, 16:38   #27
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Will be home for a while after April 5 and would be happy to send you some pics of the set up. Just send me your email. Regards, Richard.
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Old 23-06-2009, 21:06   #28
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Cable Steering

To add my little bit to the discussion. I have a 35 ft centre cockpit ketch. Wheel steering. When I bought it three years ago the steering was extremely 'tight'. Having come from a stick boat to wheel steering I had to enter this brave new world with all the ignorance I could muster. The steering system (I found out) is a Lewmar 'pull pull' system that runs cables through conduits.

I too spent some time researching the possibilities... pulleys, linkages, even changing the whole lot over to hydraulic. There are zealous proponents of all of these systems, and they are particularly zealous if they are trying to sell you one. When I eventually tracked down some conduits (at Lewmar Sydney) I was given what I thought was some relatively good advice. If that is what the designer/builder put in it in the first place they probably knew a little more about things than you. If it is not working because of poor maintenance then you know what the solution is.

The conduits are nylon lined and the cable runs smoothly through the system if it is properly lubricated and the conduits have not been kinked. The old cables and conduits were just that... old, corroded, clogged and un-lubricated. When I actually got to look at the system and pull it apart it was a very simple system. Two semi-flexible conduits that run from the pedestal, through the engine bay and under the aft cabin floor to a fixed bracket and the cables then run to the quadrant. It was actually the first serious bit of work I did on my boat.

I installed the new conduits and cables, lubrication nipples fitted, packed the whole lot with appropriate grease and made all the adjustments in a few hours. It is simple and easy to maintain. I have just fitted an auto-pilot to the quadrant and the fabrication and mounting required for that took 20 times that involved in the installation of the cables and conduits.

There is one word of warning I must pass on at my own expense. When I installed the conduits they disappeared under the aft cabin floor and unbeknown to me had crossed over. This did not cause a problem to their operation at all. It is just that they operated in reverse! Doing the whole job on my own meant that I knew the ruder and quadrant were operating, everything was fitted and firm and very very smooth. When I let go the mooring to give it a test run it took more than a few seconds before I realised that the whole thing was now operating like my old stick boat. It is a very interesting exercise getting out of a confined mooring space and then back onto the mooring when there are lots of expensive bits of fibre glass around. I managed to pick up the mooring and fix the problem very quickly.

But I am happy so far with the pull pull cable system. It has had lots of hours and lots of work and I regularly add a bit of grease and tighten the clamps..
Colin
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Old 23-06-2009, 22:13   #29
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I often sail a boat with two steering stations (cockpit and pilot house) with hydraulic steering. I do notice a definite lack of "feel" on the wheel. As well a rudder indicator is necessary to determine if the wheel is centered.

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Old 23-06-2009, 22:38   #30
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Jack,
I have a rudder angle indicator even with the pull pull steering and on top of that I have a piece of binding tape on the wheel which I will eventually replace with a knotted piece of chord so I know where the rudder is.
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