Hydraulic Steering

One of the things I discovered after launching the boat is that the 40-year-old cable based Steermaster Mark II steering was very tight. This original steering was interesting in that there were separate systems for the interior helm and the flybridge. A selector lever in the interior helm connected by a third cable (the red one) actuated a lever on the port rudder shaft that engaged either of the helms. So only one of the helms could work at one time.IMG_6226IMG_6227IMG_6228

I think that the lube in the cables had hardened up over the years and it was very difficult to steer, so I decided to install a Seastar hydraulic steering system on both helms. IMG_6405IMG_6406IMG_6407IMG_6408IMG_6415IMG_6416IMG_6417IMG_6418IMG_6421IMG_6422Installation was pretty easy since I was able to use the existing hardware on the rudder post and the mounting bracket. It took about six hours in total. Bleeding the system was tricky and took 2 people about 2 hours for that.

The newer steering systems from Seastar use O-ring boss fittings that are much better than conventional NPT fittings. Every fitting was leak-free.

The steering is now smooth and with just the right amount of friction.

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