|Appropriate hydraulic steering system selection|
|HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
A hydraulic steering system consists of a steering pump, a cylinder tied to the rudder or to the outboard or sterndrive engine and the connecting nylon or copper tubing. Under normal operating conditions, a turn of the steering wheel will pump the oil through one of the two connecting hydraulic lines into the cylinder’s chamber either extending or retracting the cylinder rod. The fluid going out from the other chamber of the cylinder is returned to the helm via the other hydraulic line. There are two basic components in all the hydraulic steering systems: the helm unit and the cylinder, connected by nylon or copper tubing. The helm unit consists of both a hydraulic pump and a valve assembly.
The valve assembly prevents outgoing fluid from returning along the same line, isolates each steering station, locks the rudder and eliminates rudder “feedback” to the helm. The cylinders are double acting and may be balanced or unbalanced (in which case the rod extends through only one end of the cylinder).
SELECTION OF A HYDRAULIC STEERING SYSTEM