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Old 02-03-2012, 16:13   #1
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Hydraulic Hose - Copper Tube versus Hose

I am converting my cat's cable steering -twin helm - to hydraulic single helm.
I have a Teleflex system: Capilano 1275V with 200-9 cylinders.
Manufacturer recommends refrigeration type copper tube.
Seems great for me to do. But, then their must be fittings and conversions and some flexible hose to join the rest of the components. (always the most vehicle mileage of any job)
Other 2 options are to have a mechanic run the correct length hose and crimp the fittings on - time and materials.
Or buy the hoses from teleflex - However, I will need a 50ft length- which they do not have.
Does anyone have any experience with using copper? Drawbacks etc...
thanks
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Old 02-03-2012, 16:21   #2
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Re: Hydraulic hose - copper tube versus hose

Well, you can do it the crude way, which I do not recommend and can't endorse but did it that way anyway, which is to use a combination of copper tubing and hydraulic hose and just use very high quality aircraft type hose clamps to seal the hose around the tubing. OK, I know if isn't the way you're supposed to do it, but I was in Colombia and there was nobody around who I could trust to do the hydraulic fittings. Personally, if I was to do it right and from scratch I would suggest flexible hydraulic hose with the proper fittings put on. It's not that expensive, and there are places just about everywhere in the USA that do hydraulic hoses. Check out your local trucking or heavy equipment guys and they can probably make up the hoses with fittings you need. The guy doesn't have to come to the boat--just measure the length carefully and bring in the cylinder or the specs. so he can fit the proper ends on. Hydraulic steering is not high pressure.
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Old 02-03-2012, 17:34   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllezCat
I am converting my cat's cable steering -twin helm - to hydraulic single helm.
I have a Teleflex system: Capilano 1275V with 200-9 cylinders.
Manufacturer recommends refrigeration type copper tube.
Seems great for me to do. But, then their must be fittings and conversions and some flexible hose to join the rest of the components. (always the most vehicle mileage of any job)
Other 2 options are to have a mechanic run the correct length hose and crimp the fittings on - time and materials.
Or buy the hoses from teleflex - However, I will need a 50ft length- which they do not have.
Does anyone have any experience with using copper? Drawbacks etc...
thanks
Always interesting to learn something.

http://www.teleflexmarine.com/produc.../capilano-new/

Looks like copper tubing is the way to go. Copper tubing is one of the easiest rigid tubings to work with as it is pretty soft and you don't need super grade bending tools. You buy a hand bender, a tubing cutter and a flaring tool and you are in business.

If you are doing it yourself I would mke up copper lines and make it nice.

And dont sweat buying the stuff from teleflex. You may get everything you need at Home Depot.

Flex lines will obviously work but may end up more expensive.
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Old 02-03-2012, 17:47   #4
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Re: Hydraulic hose - copper tube versus hose

I am completely at home using either method, Hydraulic hose will not turn green because of salt water reaction however,it is a steep learning curve to make up your own fittings.
With Hydraulic (rubber)hose and fittings use the services of a professional.

Doing it all yourself Using copper line and compression fittings is like lego for kids, as long as you follow directions to the letter and double or triple check your work.
Go for it!!!
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Old 02-03-2012, 17:58   #5
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Re: Hydraulic hose - copper tube versus hose

Copper is still probably the less expensive way to go, it is more difficult to work with if you have to snake it around a lot or pass through various bulkheads or interior panels, it can be a multiperson task, just make sure you buy the thicker walled copper because it does corrode due to galvanic differences. Synflex hose is a very good alternative and you can buy brass fittings for it you assemble yourself,very easy to work with. S
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Old 02-03-2012, 18:31   #6
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Re: Hydraulic hose - copper tube versus hose

Check out the threads by delmarrey, he has some pictures and description of how he did his hydraulic steering. See how a pro does it. He used copper and connecting hose.

Cockpit Project of an Old Racer

Scroll down to about post 28.
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Old 02-03-2012, 18:43   #7
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Re: Hydraulic hose - copper tube versus hose

Pretty sure steering isn't high pressure hydraulic ...some steering companies sell plastic hydraulic steering hose that cuts easily and you use compression fittings. A snap ro redo...we used to use the stuff when installing autopilots all the time.

http://www.teleflexmarine.com/produc.../fittings-new/
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Old 02-03-2012, 18:59   #8
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Re: Hydraulic hose - copper tube versus hose

When I did the hydraulic steering ( two station ) on my commercial fishing boat I used 1/2 thick walled malleable copper tubing, doing the flared end fittings, turned green when exposed to salt air and water but was still in good shape 10 years later when I retired the vessel. I used 1/2 in. poly hydraulic tubing for an inboard outboard on a 24 foot cabin cruiser also some years back, with compression fittings. Never had any problems with that either. The boat I presently have has the hydraulic system done using Teflon hydraulic hose which has a stainless braid cover and reusable fittings. Very nice system, but probably expensive. Have to love the PO.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:05   #9
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Re: Hydraulic hose - copper tube versus hose

Thanks for the replies and links.
delmarrey's job is impressive.
Teleflex are very specific about refrigeration copper tube versus plumbing(they are different).
Luckily I am(formerly) a refrigeration mechanic, so the bending, flaring, and internal cleanliness of copper tube is easy.
A rough estimate is the copper tube would be a 1/3 of the price of teleflex tube and fittings. But, require purchase of fittings, pipe cutter, flaring tool, and bender.
The fitting stuff is where the "unknown" -time and hassle is. I reckon I will call teleflex and get a thorough list of fittings required.
Then there is the possibility of having the yard do it - 40 hours labor, $1,000 for brackets etc, plus hoses and fittings...
And I think I will be paying for them to research also...
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Old 03-03-2012, 20:08   #10
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To me, unless you are trying to learn the skill, the best balance between cost and quality is to run cheap plastic hose and cut it to fit so you know the exact lengths you need of tubing/ hose, and pay a professional shop to install the fittings.
Then you know it's done right. In the long run the most efficient
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Old 03-03-2012, 21:22   #11
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Re: Hydraulic hose - copper tube versus hose

Allez is exactly right abut using refrigeration grade copper tubing. The wall thickness is greater than household tubing you would use for water. You get better flares as well. I had to do my entire fuel system with refrigeration tubing that I had to flare in order to keep the Coasties happy.

You want to know that the maximum pressure of the hydraulic system does not exceed the rating for the hose or the fittings. This may or may not make cheap low pressure tubing not suitable. For something as critical as steering I would use nothing less than refrigeration tubing or professionally swedged on JIC fittings onto hydraulic hose and not hose clamps over barbed fittings. A JIC fitting will not pop off.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:21   #12
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Re: Hydraulic Hose - Copper Tube versus Hose

I don't want to do anything cheap. It is a very robust system, do not want to make it weak.
Nice to know you can use hose and clamps in a pinch though.
Teleflex sells a kit to connect from 5/8" copper flare to the cylinders. But, there is so much more components and fittings.
Running hoses from a spool - cutting to length, and crimping the fittings seems the best, most efficient way to go.
Then there is the mounting.
I may get the yard to do the whole job. They have experience, the crimper, etc, and I have so much more work to do thru out the boat before launch anyway....
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:41   #13
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Re: Hydraulic Hose - Copper Tube versus Hose

Just curious as to why you are getting rid of the cable steering and putting in hydraulics? The hydraulic system will need constant re-centering of your rudders because they will creep out of alignment. This isn't a problem with monohulls, but is with twin rudder boats. You will also loose the ability to put in Ackerman offsets on the rudders (although you may not have that ability now - I don't know your exact steering system). And to use that linear drive autopilot, you will need to keep the cables attached and use valves to bypass the hydraulics. If you want to use the hydraulics for the autopilot, you will need a separate pump and control valves.

And why are you disconnecting one of the steering stations?

Mark
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:06   #14
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Re: Hydraulic Hose - Copper Tube versus Hose

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Just curious as to why you are getting rid of the cable steering and putting in hydraulics? The hydraulic system will need constant re-centering of your rudders because they will creep out of alignment. This isn't a problem with monohulls, but is with twin rudder boats. You will also loose the ability to put in Ackerman offsets on the rudders (although you may not have that ability now - I don't know your exact steering system). And to use that linear drive autopilot, you will need to keep the cables attached and use valves to bypass the hydraulics. If you want to use the hydraulics for the autopilot, you will need a separate pump and control valves.

And why are you disconnecting one of the steering stations?

Mark
I have a Catana - 2001 - undergoing major refit.
I do not like the helm system - removing both.
Building bulkhead helm station.
Was going to reroute the cable system to the new location.
Seemed very tricky, and I wanted to replace the cables, etc - kinda old.
It was suggested to get hydraulics. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
I do want the best, most reliable system...
I will be removing all existing cables/autopilot etc...(will keep it all though, so as to effect emergency steering with old autopilot system).
Replacing quadrants with simple tillers for the hydraulic cylinders.
Already have all the main components, as per photo.
What are Ackerman offsets?
Constantly creeping out of alignment? Does the hydraulic tie bar help to prevent it, or is only to help realign?
thx
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:23   #15
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Re: Hydraulic Hose - Copper Tube versus Hose

Ah, so I think I am understanding your system better. Is this correct - you will have a solid bar connecting the two rudders? If so, then you will not have creep AND you will be able to set an Ackerman angle.

The Ackerman angle is an offset between the two tiller arms so that the rudders are both centered going straight, but when you turn the rudders, the inside rudder turns more than the outside, which allows the hulls to turn in different radius's. This is used in automobiles, but the same principle is useful in catamarans. You will need to calculate the correct angle for your hull length and then simply mount the tiller arms so that each one carries half that angle. When you look down at the tiller arms when the rudders are centered, the tiller arms will look toed inward. The bar connecting the tiller arms controls the turn angles.

I agree that rerouting the cable system would be tricky and I would go with hydraulic also.

Are you using two cylinders with the return from one connected to the input of the other or just a single cylinder?

You are an unusual Catana owner - all the rest of them rave about the advantages of the outside helms and say they would never own a boat without them.

Mark
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