Noise in hydraulic system are largely the result of the technology used to implement the system. Gear
pumps and motors tend to be the worst culprits, vane pumps and motors and axial piston and motors are fairly quiet.
The simplest implementation would be using an axial piston, variable displacement
and axial piston motor (a vane motor could be used however they tend to have significantly lower pressure ratings)
The simplest implementation of directional control is achieved using a Morse cable to a mechanical lever on the side of the pump
. A number of other control options, including electrical
, pneumatic and hydraulic, are available but involve more complexity. Millisecond direction changes are possible without over-stressing any component are possible.
Leakages with modern hydraulic systems are largely a matter of quality control during implementation and servicing (and the odd leak is actually beneficial in the case of steel
The biggest negative in comparison to mechanical drive systems is expense, mechanical marine
gearboxes are generally the cheapest option. However in the circumstances you specify, a hydraulic drive system would be very suitable and in my opinion far superior to an electric power transmission
system from a durability viewpoint.