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Old 04-10-2010, 07:57   #1
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Hydraulic Steering

Much that I read says copper pipe for hydraulic steering, and flexible hose at the end to couple to the steering piston.
Any reason not to go flexible hose all the way? Would make installation much quicker, messing with fittings and corners etc...
There is only one bulkhead to pass through, I would pack around the hose with foam to stop chafe.

I have two steering stations on a 60 pilot house ketch that weighs 90,000lbs
The autopilot is electric with a chain drive to the inside steering station, currently not hooked up. It turns the wheel and has an electrric compass.

Only the outside one worked (until one of the copper joints blew, the whole system is 40 years old, and I want to trust what I put in.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:35   #2
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Location: Cat in Chile, trawler in Ventura
Boat: 46' custom cat "Rum Doxy", Roughwater 41"Abreojos"
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I would talk to your supplier, but I don't think there will be any issue with using hose instead of copper. Most hydraulic hoses can handle higher pressures than copper pipe can. My boat has long runs, about 35', of hydraulic tubing as recommended by the manufacturer of the system and I don't notice any slop. The stuff has a burst pressure of 2,200lbs, whereas copper IIRC is something like 800lbs. Your hose will be stronger still as you likely have a larger capacity pump and cylinder.

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Old 04-10-2010, 17:32   #3
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I think the reason that copper is specified rather than flex is that flex hose has a minute stretch under pressure. Cumulatively in a long line this can cause sponginess in a hydraulic system.
Regards, Richard.
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hydraulic steering

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