Selecting a Hydraulic Steering System
WHEN SELECTING A HYDRAULIC STEERING SYSTEM Because steering forces vary considerably in the variety of boat and motor combinations available, selection of the most appropriate system is critical. We will provide assistance in selecting the most appropriate system when requested. NOTE: When making a steering system selection, the following critical areas must be considered. 1. The combination of boat speed and engine horsepower exert varying loads on steering systems. Engine horsepower must not exceed maximum horsepower rating of the boat. 2. Some high performance boats/engines combinations develop instablilty at high speed. Instability becomes more prevalent in boats faster than 50 MPH. The routing of a steering system should be chosen to minimize bends, kinks and obstructions. 3. All boats should be water tested to ensure safe dependable operations. 4. Steering wheel effort is directly proportional to the number of wheel turns lock-to-lock. The number of wheel turns lock-to-lock is dependant on these three things: A. The volume of the cylinder. Higher cylinder volume = more wheel turn with less effort. B. The displacement of the helm pump. Higher helm displacement = less wheel turns/faster response with more effort. C. The allowable movement of engine or drive unit. The following is a quick overview of our steering system and steering component terminology. Hydraulic steering systems use oil to transmit force from the steering wheel to the outdrive and cap. Instead of the push-pullcable of a mechanical system, the hydraulic system uses a 'liquid cable' which is considerably more efficient. Hydraulic steering is relatively impervious to friction loads from engine torque, etc. Hydraulic steering is the most comfortable and efficient approach to steering a boat. It is available in stern drive configurations to fit most boats. Additionally, several helm displacements are available allowing a choice in the number of steering wheel turns to suit boat handling characteristics and individual driving preferences. All hydraulic systems exceed safety standards and certification requirements constructed with high quality corrosion-resistant materials.
TYPICAL HYDRAULIC STEERING SYSTEM COMPONENTS:
HELM: A dashboard-mounted hydraulic helm to which the steering wheel, cylinder and hydraulic hose are connected. Turning the wheel pumps the fluid from the helm through the hoses and into the cylinder, moving the cylinder ram which in turn moves the drive through its steering arc or radius. BEZEL/BACK PLATE KITS: Kits that allow for reduced helm protrusion from the dash, and allow retrofitting of helms to boats in which mechanical steering were previously installed. STEERING HOSE: Special hydraulic hose that carries the fluid from the helm to the cylinder and vice versa. CYLINDER: Consisting of a ram, border cylinder and attaching hardware, the ram is moved by fluid pumped from the helm when the wheel is turned. FILTER: Filters are an integral part of our system. Our high pressure steering oil filter is designed for placement between the output side of the steering pump and the helm (See Drawings). BRAVO END CAP MOUNT: Our Bravo stainless steel end cap mount replaces the stock rear cover on the upper drive shaft housing for a custom built-in look. Mounting studs, lock nuts and additional mounting holes are added for maximum strength. TIE BARS: The bars are constructed of stainless steel for maximum corrosion resistance. Zeiger swivel end design connections, allows a the maximum range of trimming and tilting ability.