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Old 26-05-2009, 15:10   #1
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Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

My Navico PH8000 has never worked so I need to replace it. The boat has a Hydraulic Linear Ram (it looks identical to the Northstar Linear Drive 5A) which is still working. How reliable are these units and are they easy to get serviced? I am looking at the new Raymarine SPX units but do not want to purchase their linear drive
Many thanks for any suggestions
Mark
Ventura CA
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Old 09-08-2011, 17:56   #2
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

I have finally discovered the make of the Hydraulic Ram that is installed on my boat.
It is made by Canadian Metal and is called an Octopus Drive
Octopus Autopilot Drive Systems for Power & Sail boats
It is working well at the moment.
Does anybody else here have the same drive and has anybody had problems with it. I have not seen them around before
Regards
M
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Old 09-08-2011, 19:35   #3
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wainui View Post
I have finally discovered the make of the Hydraulic Ram that is installed on my boat.
It is made by Canadian Metal and is called an Octopus Drive
Octopus Autopilot Drive Systems for Power & Sail boats
It is working well at the moment.
Does anybody else here have the same drive and has anybody had problems with it. I have not seen them around before
Regards
M
I don't think I would worry too much about the longevity of a hydraulic ram. I have never seen one fail, although the seals can but they are serviceable.
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Old 09-08-2011, 20:20   #4
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

FWIW I had a hydraulic ram on a boat that was 37 years old. It worked great as-is. Just in case I had a hydraulic shop re-build it, essentially replace seals and polish. Those things are pretty much indestructible.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:00   #5
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

I quess the weakest part would be the electric motor that drives the pump.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:22   #6
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

My boat came with hydraulic ram and autopilot but was not functional, Autopilot was navico sold for scrap. I replaced with a comnav 1420. The hydraulic Ram was a puzzle for me I searched high and low trying to figure out who made it. Finally came across octopus and pictures matched. Pump was non functional as it was submerged. I talk to canadian metals and they suggested a bunch of repairs or send them the pump for factory evaluation. I decided to send it to them and got it back in due time. They were very helpful and system works great. Only needed a new motor at about $400 and change.
Not well represented in US or dealers in US.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:45   #7
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

I see on their website (Octopus Autopilot) that Hanse is installing them. They are probably installed on a lot of boats without much being made of it. I guess they could label their actuators in a more clear fashion to make it easier to identify them.

I guess with free trade in NA it doesn't really matter where the dealers are.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:48   #8
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

If it's truly a hydraulic cylinder... why does it need to be Navico?
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:48   #9
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

i have recently upgraded from the raymarine sg3 wheel drive set up which was not rated for my size yacht and was going to fit the new Garmin auto pilot unit but couldnt get one so I have gone for the spx30 with st6002 and a combo hyd pump and ram combined and it works magically if i was to buy the complete raymarine spx30 , type 2 linear drive it was coing to set me back £3450 but the system i ended up with only cost £2400 a thousand pound saving the combo ram i used can be seen in this link www.theservicecenter.eu oh the linear drive unit is a ML40
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:54   #10
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

What I never liked about hydraulic a/p's is that the cylinder is always moving in and out, even when the a/p is not on. On the other hand mine worked perfectly on my Cat. The Alpha Marine pilot uses a aircraft recirculating ball linear actuator and disconnects when not in use. Absolutley bulletproof and low current draw. My buddy has had his about 30 years now....
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:01   #11
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

whilst i dont know about alpha personally but have heard others talk about there product and not to many a good word they have terrible customer service and two freinds have said they have no customer service what so ever
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:04   #12
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

Maybe Alpha should be discussed on their own thread instead of hijacking this one.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:04   #13
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

I think Octopus is still standard supply with ComNav A/Ps.
Have never needed to service any of the 6 or 8 units I installed 10yrs ago.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:43   #14
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

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Originally Posted by beneteau-500 View Post
whilst i dont know about alpha personally but have heard others talk about there product and not to many a good word they have terrible customer service and two freinds have said they have no customer service what so ever
I dont know if they are even still in business. Small company. They were 10 years ago. Maybe too old school for those wanting everything connected! hmmm... never heard a bad word. Had 3 over the years never a failure, and all were used on the boats when I got them! OK, guess we'd better unhijack..or the bearded gestapo will be on us....
looks like they might still be around.. http://www.alphamarinesystems.com/sales_3000.htm
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:56   #15
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Re: Hydraulic Autopilot Ram

I just bought a new, never installed but 20 yo Octopus drive, and sent it to them to replace the seals and hoses. So far the service has been very good.

Chris
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