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Old 26-10-2009, 05:58   #1
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New-Build 74' Schooner - Hydraulic vs Other Steering?

We are building 74ft west system construction schooner for short handed cruising and not sure of which system steering to use. Linda and Steve Dashew seem to favour hydraulics in their own yachts as mentioned in their book "Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia" What experience has any body out there have of this type of steering and what alternatives have been successful?
Our yacht has a centre board 6ft draught, board up and 12ft down. Long keel hull with vertical hung rudder with wheel steering. Approx. tonnage 40tons.
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Old 26-10-2009, 06:33   #2
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I have hydraulic in our Whitby 42. Upon buying the boat we had leaks and ram cylinder issues. Then again the boat is 30 years old. After a more or less rebuild of the ram and a few fittings it is fine. You will not get the feedback that cable steering gives. That being said I have come to like the hydraulic. Rumor has it autopilots for hydraulic seem to last a bit longer.
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:04   #3
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With lifting appendages your hull geo will vary and so will pressures on the rudder. If you have a state of the art designer and builder and a balanced rudder then you might try mechanical linkage. Otherwise you are bound to end up with the hydraulics.

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Old 26-10-2009, 17:00   #4
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Along the same lines, has anyone heard of Hydraulic Steering that requires air pressure of 35 psi? Maybe there is an accumulator in the system....?
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Old 27-10-2009, 01:29   #5
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Welcome to the forum.
Wow that’s a lot of boat.
I have Hydraulic on my 48ft...
I'm buying a 65ft power fishing dhow that I'll have the builder modify to carry cargo....these are cable steering as stock, but all 7 of the previous ones sold, have converted to Hydraulic.
We'd sure like to here more about the project...where is she being built…specs...time line……
Cheechako, I have never heard of that type of system.
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Old 27-10-2009, 01:47   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewsy View Post
We are building 74ft west system construction schooner for short handed cruising and not sure of which system steering to use. Linda and Steve Dashew seem to favour hydraulics in their own yachts as mentioned in their book "Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia" What experience has any body out there have of this type of steering and what alternatives have been successful?
Our yacht has a centre board 6ft draught, board up and 12ft down. Long keel hull with vertical hung rudder with wheel steering. Approx. tonnage 40tons.
Personally I prefer mechanical steering to hydraulic, because you get rudder feedback to the wheel and can 'feel' the boat when ou are steering - makes a big difference when steering up wind. A much less important point but to my mind, mechanical steering is easier for the average crew to service and repair, about all that can break is the cable and that's easy to check and change. Hydraulic seals require a bit more care and skill, but certaintly doable.

Hydraulic is usually easier to retrofit than a mechanical system, because you can run the hose any which way, which the good mechanical systems need pretty direct runs from the helm to the rudder post.

I am involved right now if replacing the entire stering systm on a 112' sloop. We are putting in an edson quadrant, chain and rope system with two speed gear boxes (A fast ratio for in harbour manouvering and a slower ratio for fast sailing speeds) right in from of the wheels.
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Old 27-10-2009, 05:15   #7
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The only thing I might add is you will probably add an auxiliary arm to the rudder post for the hydraulic cylinder that will be needed for the autopilot. Best of both worlds.

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Personally I prefer mechanical steering to hydraulic, because you get rudder feedback to the wheel and can 'feel' the boat when ou are steering - makes a big difference when steering up wind. A much less important point but to my mind, mechanical steering is easier for the average crew to service and repair, about all that can break is the cable and that's easy to check and change. Hydraulic seals require a bit more care and skill, but certaintly doable.

Hydraulic is usually easier to retrofit than a mechanical system, because you can run the hose any which way, which the good mechanical systems need pretty direct runs from the helm to the rudder post.

I am involved right now if replacing the entire stering systm on a 112' sloop. We are putting in an edson quadrant, chain and rope system with two speed gear boxes (A fast ratio for in harbour manouvering and a slower ratio for fast sailing speeds) right in from of the wheels.
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Old 28-10-2009, 21:39   #8
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Old 28-10-2009, 22:11   #9
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Hydraulic is the easy way to go but try to sail a boat with hydraulic steering before going that way. Some are bothered by the "feel" - some aren't.

Also look at the "transmission" systems by Jefa (Lewmar also makes one under the Whitlock brand). These are very strong, silky smooth, and pretty close to maintenance free. A lot of big sailboats are installing them. Pity they cost so much

Jefa Steering Systems

PYI handles Jefa in the US.

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Old 28-10-2009, 22:23   #10
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All commercial vessels that I know of that size have hydraulic steering. Its pretty much required to move rudders with that kind of loading. Look at commercial systems. Chances are, systems marketed to yachts are overpriced.
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Old 29-10-2009, 16:49   #11
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On an 85' Ron Holland Maxi we replaced the cable steering with hydraulic.
The cable system took a Shiznit about 40 miles from Bermuda in heavy seas.

The whole assembly was built on a plate which was then fitted to the hull/stringers.

It was built in Massachussets and the builder and the unit were flown over to assist me in setting it in place. Worked great.....we also "overbuilt it"
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Old 29-10-2009, 17:07   #12
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Attached is a link to a 74' ketch with hydraulic steering.

1968 Abeking & Rasmussen Tripp Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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