Originally Posted by Cheechako
I have mixed feelings about hydraulic steering
myself. I liked the hydraulic autopilot
though. Hydraulic steering
might be great on a big boat, especially a center cockpit
, but at 38 feet... would be nice to have the feel. If you have a lot of weather helm
... It could be real nice....
Very limited experience with hydraulics. Only had one boat with hydraulic steering and had about zero feedback at the helm. Not sure it was due to the size and rudder
and steering design or if due just to the hydraulic system. Since I have never had any problems with cable steering and excellent feel on the helm I think I'll stick with cable. Even center cockpit
boats with relatively long runs from helm to quadrant have not been a problem.
Also all the autopilots I owned were mechanical drive of one sort or another. The only problem I experienced was that over time they would develop a little slack in the system due to wear on the mechanical parts
. Common advise is that a hydraulic AP drive is the most reliable since it's hydraulic.
However there is still a DC motor
in a hydraulic system to drive the pump so from one point of view, you are adding an extra layer of complexity, more parts
to break and repair. So why not just stick with the electric
direct drive and get rid of the hydraulics?