We had a failure of hydraulic steering
a couple of weeks ago approaching Christiansoe islands in the southern baltic
in 20 kts of wind
and (for us) rather big waves. Wife was steering
while I was taking down the main to get in the harbour. Boat would not turn easily into the wind
, probably because of too low engine
revs and wife turned wheel
hard, when something popped and there was no response from the rudder
I have an emergency
tiller that was out in seconds, but had never tried it before. Trying to disengage the ram and screw the short tiller on top of rudder
post was a bit stressful, but did manage in the end and we got into harbour without more drama.
When I tracked the problem, I noticed that one of the hoses from the steering
pump to the ram had burst. I'm pretty sure this should not happen, so am a bit worried for the system. The boat has two steering stations + a recently installed hydraulic autopilot
pump. There were some problems earlier after the AP installation
leaking from a vent in the outside pump, but everything was fixed and working by the time this happened.
Basic question: can you burst a high pressure hydraulic hose with a steering pump at all or do I have some kind of underlying problem at hand?
Things that come to mind:
- too much oil
in the steering pump --> excessive pressure in the system
- mixed two types of oil in the system --> not compatible with each other
Incidentally we lost
steering a second time and in a worse spot: tight marina with fresh wind. This time it was the reused fitting of the fixed hose that gave, which is no mystery. With the earlier experience the emergency
tiller was on in a flash this time
. Will redo the fittings now that we're back in Finland