Originally Posted by ciclon1942
Thanks Nick for your help. It was suggested to me that it would be better for us to use a linear drive rather than a hydraulic set up. I am not sure how you would install but we were told that there was not enough space for anything other than a linear drive. It might be that it is easier for the engineer
to fit a linear drive?
I think with linear drive we all mean electric-linear. Your dealer is misinforming you because a hydraulic RAM is the smallest and easiest to find room for. Hydraulics are always smaller with same or more power. Yes, a linear drive will probably be quickly popped in by the dealer: his interests are not the same as yours!
Robertson is one of the few pilots that can be called top of the top. WH Smith is another one. RayMarine is way lower on that list, but if you plan to sail weekends along the coast it might suit you and it's cheaper too. Extra's like a rate gyro are what makes the difference and this is included as standard with the Robertson.
All the pilots integrate perfectly with plotters no matter the brand of either component. I have a Raytheon
(yes, old) radar/plotter and just point the cursor and press "goto" and the pilot receives the command and only asks for confirmation, just like with all Raymarine components. I even feed the Robertson gyro compass info to the Raytheon
to improve the radar
I don't know how handy you are but it is worth a lot to do the installation yourself. It is not difficult at all and you will know your pilot in&out after that.
You will probably need to make two brackets: one for the hydraulic ram and another one for the rudder position sensor. The bracket for the ram must be very strong as all the forces of steering are transferred to the hull
at this point. We have a welded aluminium bracket (out of 3/8" thick aluminium) that is bolted onto the transom and a stringer. You normally make one out of plywood
and bring it to a workshop for replication in aluminium. We have an Edson bronze quadrant and a Hynautics K2 ram is bolted to that at about 8" from the center of the shaft.
The rudder position sensor looks easy to install but requires some precision. The manual explains it clearly. I used a small stainless shelf-bracket to attach the small rod to the rudder shaft and a bracket from 3/8" King Starboard to attach it to the hull
. This allowed me to install the sensor at the same side as the ram (above the ram).
We have a machanical Edson setup but I am unsure of the best way to couple this up to a hydraulic pump?
You can mount the pump in any convenient position and run two hoses to the ram. I use the Hynautics "reservalve" which makes filling and bleeding the hydraulic fluid easy. You can find these parts
in any catalog, even West Marine
, under hydraulic steering. You also need a valve to engage/disengage the drive from the rudder. You can use a solenoid valve from the AP manufacturer (the AP operates it automatically) or a manual valve with morse cable. I use the latter and use it for locking the wheel at anchor