A Look At Hydraulic Boat Steering Systems

I have been a boating enthusiast for many years now. If I did not have to work for a living, I would find a way to live on the water in a boat. I do not have the biggest boat in the world, nor do I have the best. However, a good hydraulic boat steering system is a must for a boat, whether it is new or old, large or small. I thought I would write this little article to pass on some of the knowledge I have accumulated over the years in terms of how these hydraulic boat steering systems work, what you need in a kit and what brand of steering cable and system that I believe has worked best for me over the years and may work for you as well. Maintaining your steering cables in good working order is very important in keeping your boat in good working condition.

How Do Hydraulic Boat Steering Systems Work

The hydraulic boat steering system is a fairly basic process. When you turn the steering wheel of your boat, oil is sent into one of the two hydraulic lines, and then into the chamber of the hydraulic cylinder. Then the fluid out of the other side of the cylinder gets returned to the steering wheel.

hydraulic boat steering systems

There are 2 pieces to a hydraulic steering system. They are the helm (made of a pump and valve), and the cylinder. The valve does not allow the fluid to go on the same hydraulic line. Depending on the system, the number of turns of the wheel has an inverse relationship to effort required. This means the more turns of the wheel, the less effort, and the fewer turns the more effort required to steer your vessel.

Hydraulic Boat Steering Kits provide Everything You Need

So, the next questions are what kind of a hydraulic boat steering kits do you need? What should be included in a hydraulic boat steering kit? What brand of kit should you buy? Let me do my best to answer some of these items for you.

What should be included in a hydraulic boat steering system kit? It should consist of a helm kit, cylinder, steering fluid, and a tubing kit (these are the hoses for the system).

What brand of kit? In my opinion, there is only one kind of kit I buy. The Seastar (Baystar) steering kit. This brand is synonymous with quality and has been in business for 50 years. I also recommend that you check out www.seaknights.com for their complete boat steering guide.

Hydraulic Boat Steering Repair Jobs are Simple

Doing a hydraulic boat steering repair job is a much easier process than it used to be. Many of the kits (including the Seastar kit) include instruction manuals on installation. If this information is not readily available, you have Youtube to go to if you are a visual person as I am. You can watch someone actually doing the hydraulic boat steering repair job.

Finally, you always have the manufacturer’s website to go to for reference as well if you are still needing more information or clarification about your hydraulic boat steering repair job. With all of these tools at your fingertips, this makes a hydraulic steering repair job much easier than in the past. So hopefully these tips I have given you enough information to make this process a little easier for you.

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