Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-03-2014, 13:50   #16
Registered User
 
edwmama's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: southern california
Boat: cal cruising 46
Posts: 65
pirate Re: Cable vs Hydrallic Steering

hello fellow sailors

i am a firm believer that maintenance is key to longevity of boats

my cal cruising 46 has hydraulic steering for both inside and outside steering

WHAT SORT OF MAINTENANCE MUST I DO TO ENSURE GOOD PERFORMANCE?

THANKS IN ADVANCE
EDWIN
CAL 46 LAHLIA
MARINA DEL REY CA
__________________

__________________
edwmama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 17:31   #17
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Cable vs Hydrallic Steering

I don't know if this thread covered the parts of a hydraulic steering system, but usually there is a hydraulic reservoir - a small round "tank" with a pressure gauge and "sight glass" tube somewhere in the system.

Maintenance wise you look at the "sight-glass" tube which shows the level of the hydraulic fluid in the reservoir and make sure it is about midway up the tube. Also there is normally a pressure gauge mounted on top or somewhere on the tank and it should show about 30psi or thereabouts of air pressure inside the reservoir tank. There is sometimes either a bicycle tire type air fitting on the tank or a small hand air pump hidden in the fill cap. This is how you "charge" up the air pressure in the reservoir tank. The purpose of the "air charge" is to keep the hydraulic fluid from "frothing" or having a "head" of bubbles that is inside the tank.

So long as you have fluid in the reservoir and the air pressure holds steady everything is fine and press on. If there was a leak the fluid would drain out and the air charge would bleed to zero. In which case you need to find the leak and fix it.

In a pure hydraulic steering system there is normally a manual/hand operated pump attached to the steering wheel. Turning the wheel operates the pump which moves the rudder ram and rudder. Keeping everything clean and protected from anything getting wedged between the rudder ram and the rudder is common sense maintenance.

Other than that there is little or no maintenance necessary until something breaks or starts leaking. Carrying a spare quart or so of hydraulic steering oil is a good idea in case a fitting starts to leak. You tighten the fitting and refill the reservoir.

Autopilot connection to the hydraulic system is usually by a parallel electric hydraulic pump the runs one way or the other as commanded by the autopilot computer. But normally the hydraulic steering system is totally manual and needs no electricity when you are steering from the wheel. Each manufacturer normally publishes a recommended number of months or hours at which you should change out the hydraulic oil.
__________________

__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 18:14   #18
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,892
Re: Cable vs Hydrallic Steering

Personally I think having both is the best situation.
Cable for aft cockpit to feel rudder movement when maneuvering and hydraulic for autopilot and pilothouse.
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 21:01   #19
Registered User
 
edwmama's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: southern california
Boat: cal cruising 46
Posts: 65
Re: Cable vs Hydrallic Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
I don't know if this thread covered the parts of a hydraulic steering system, but usually there is a hydraulic reservoir - a small round "tank" with a pressure gauge and "sight glass" tube somewhere in the system.

Maintenance wise you look at the "sight-glass" tube which shows the level of the hydraulic fluid in the reservoir and make sure it is about midway up the tube. Also there is normally a pressure gauge mounted on top or somewhere on the tank and it should show about 30psi or thereabouts of air pressure inside the reservoir tank. There is sometimes either a bicycle tire type air fitting on the tank or a small hand air pump hidden in the fill cap. This is how you "charge" up the air pressure in the reservoir tank. The purpose of the "air charge" is to keep the hydraulic fluid from "frothing" or having a "head" of bubbles that is inside the tank.

So long as you have fluid in the reservoir and the air pressure holds steady everything is fine and press on. If there was a leak the fluid would drain out and the air charge would bleed to zero. In which case you need to find the leak and fix it.

In a pure hydraulic steering system there is normally a manual/hand operated pump attached to the steering wheel. Turning the wheel operates the pump which moves the rudder ram and rudder. Keeping everything clean and protected from anything getting wedged between the rudder ram and the rudder is common sense maintenance.

Other than that there is little or no maintenance necessary until something breaks or starts leaking. Carrying a spare quart or so of hydraulic steering oil is a good idea in case a fitting starts to leak. You tighten the fitting and refill the reservoir.

Autopilot connection to the hydraulic system is usually by a parallel electric hydraulic pump the runs one way or the other as commanded by the autopilot computer. But normally the hydraulic steering system is totally manual and needs no electricity when you are steering from the wheel. Each manufacturer normally publishes a recommended number of months or hours at which you should change out the hydraulic oil.


Thanks for the maintenance tip


Edwin
Cal 46
Lahlia
Marina del Rey CA
__________________
edwmama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 21:02   #20
Registered User
 
edwmama's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: southern california
Boat: cal cruising 46
Posts: 65
Re: Cable vs Hydrallic Steering

Thanks for the hydraulic maintenance tip

Edwin
Cal 46 Lahlia
Marina del Rey CA
__________________
edwmama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2014, 22:22   #21
Registered User
 
stillbuilding's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Boat: Custom Freya 20m
Posts: 961
Re: Cable vs Hydrallic Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Personally I think having both is the best situation.
Cable for aft cockpit to feel rudder movement when maneuvering and hydraulic for autopilot and pilothouse.

Now that makes sense. That would be easy for me and I like the redundancy. Thanks.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
stillbuilding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2014, 01:15   #22
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,704
Re: Cable vs Hydrallic Steering

Depending on how your boat's set up, you can also install a Whitlock drive with a Pitmann arm and a drive link. So you have your cables for the wheel, but the autopilot drives with a system similar to automotive steering. Our drive motor for it is electric. Has worked well.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2014, 15:00   #23
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,576
Re: Cable vs Hydrallic Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Personally I think having both is the best situation.
Cable for aft cockpit to feel rudder movement when maneuvering and hydraulic for autopilot and pilothouse.
Well, I have outside helm and pilothouse helm both to hydraulic driving a linear arm attached to a transom-hung rudder, but this can be bypassed with the turn of a valve handle to release the rudder, which is then turned via tiller, line, blocks and windvane.

So two independent means of steering are available. The general idea is hydraulic steering under power inshore, hydraulics with autopilot offshore either motoring or motorsailing, and tiller and windvane sailing on long stretches. I can in fact steer our boat by tiller alone, but it's not easy and I'd better keep up the arm curls.
__________________

__________________
Can't sleep? Read www.alchemy2009.blogspot.com for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid www.volumesofsalt.blogspot.com, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
steering

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steering Cables - Steel or Stainless Steel ? sailorchic34 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 46 14-01-2014 17:46
Ship-to-Shore Power Cable Revelations Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 16 28-08-2011 20:26
Mainsail Cable Winch Is Garbage - Where Can I Buy a New One ? albergsailor Monohull Sailboats 11 12-08-2011 15:02
Play in Steering E.L.Green Monohull Sailboats 2 25-07-2011 08:55
Steering Issue Endeavour Cat, Looking for input Dulcesuenos Multihull Sailboats 5 07-07-2011 07:45



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.