Originally Posted by dewsy
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.