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Scotty M 01-05-2022 18:28

Hydraulic Steering for Cats
Hi there

I have a Salina 48 Evolution and I am keen to change the steering system to hydraulic.

Doers anyone have experience in this area?


LoudMusic 01-05-2022 18:50

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
Is the cable system not working for you? What's your motivation in replacing it?

You might try this facebook group.

I used to be a member and there was frequently good information there. You have to wade through a lot of ridiculous crap from new owners / new boaters, but there's definitely some good information in there.

Scotty M 01-05-2022 18:55

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
The cable steering is OK, but we get a bit of vibration from the bar that joins the rudders and there is not much feel to the steering.

I was keen to see if we can get a bit more feel and reduce the vibration.


Kiwi Dave 01-05-2022 18:58

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
Hi - My hydraulic steering has no feel at all.

fxykty 02-05-2022 03:10

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats

Originally Posted by Kiwi Dave (Post 3616374)
Hi - My hydraulic steering has no feel at all.

Same, though we can feel higher loads. The lack of feel is thanks the non-return valves protecting the autopilot pump. If there was no autopilot you could have full feel.

Chotu 02-05-2022 03:45

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
Will the OP be having an autopilot? I’m assuming yes?

CarlF 02-05-2022 05:19

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
The helm will feel very different. Like a powerboat. Some folks like that - or donít know better.

hurricanehole 02-05-2022 05:20

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
Changed the steering on my Snowgoose 34 to hydraulic last fall and did the Captain Ron test on it. That test is; if anything is going to happen itís out there in the ocean. Made a new pivot arm and ststl 3/4Ē diameter cross bars. Iím happy with the result. The hose connections were the problem. Vetus brand

Chotu 02-05-2022 05:24

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
One thing I would like to add. If you are going to get rid of the tie bar, don’t be a sucker. I was. Don’t buy the thing called a liquid tie bar. It’s just an everyday Y valve with a fancy plate on the front they sell you for $120 or something. Just get the Y valve

rslifkin 02-05-2022 05:27

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
Even without autopilot, most hydraulic steering has check valves. They do greatly reduce feel (you can still feel rudder load as increased resistance). But once you get used to the slightly numb steering where you can't feel the force trying to move the rudder one way or the other while holding it steady, it's not bad. The ability to let go of the wheel and have the rudder stay where you left it while hand steering can be nice in close quarters while short handed, as you don't have to keep a hand on the wheel constantly.

Scotty M 02-05-2022 13:45

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
Yes, we would be installing an autopilot with the hydraulic steering.Sounds like we will not get improved feeling the steering by using hydraulic.
The current system has the autopilot tiller arm permanently connected so that will not be helping with the feel. But it would be a hassle to be connecting and disconnecting the autopilot tiller arm on a regular basis.

I might be best to investigate the cause of the vibration and get that sorted.


blubaju 02-05-2022 20:41

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
Had both, 10 years hydraulic, now 12 dyneema pull-pull, autopilot motor jefa pancake. I'd never go back. The jefa, all metal planetary gear inside, has a build-in clutch. AP off and you have "full feel". Dyneema easy and quick repair, but never needed. Hydraulic fine for the mechanical parts but the copper tubes developed pin holes after 10 years. No "tie rod" each rudder is directly controlled from helm. Break one, the other is still fine. Other point is weight, we made the quadrants in carbon and dyneema 6mm floats anyway. GOal: use the lightest possible equipment as on a live-on cruising boat you carry far to much stuff anyway. In other words, I go for dyneema, her Admiralty invests in a pressure cooker ;-)

Moana Bella 02-05-2022 20:55

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
I have sailed on a cat with hydraulic steering, and there is hardly any feel to the wheel. You need to watch the rudder position on the instruments. You spend your whole time correcting if you don't learn to go steady and just accept that it will find its way. Pretty alarming when you are sailing at close quarters in a race start. And we needed to calibrate the rudders most times we went out.
I would be inclined to try fixing what you have.

PippaB 02-05-2022 20:55

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
After decades with cable steering we’ve had hydraulic on our cat for the last 6 or 7 years. We’ve gotten used to it, but with the non-return valves for the AP it has essentially zero feel except in very heavy going. One other thing not mentioned, there is no center - to know where the rudder is, especially with no feel, you really need to have a rudder angle sensor.

MoodyS 02-05-2022 21:36

Re: Hydraulic Steering for Cats
If there's vibration in the rudder linkage then the steering mechanism is probably not the problem. Is there play in the rudder bearings or tiller arm to linkage bearings?

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