Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-23-2017, 04:41 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Bigfish's Avatar
 
City: Salem, Oregon
Country: USA
Vessel Name: My Lady
Vessel Model: Formosa 42 Double Cabin
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
Hydraulic steering problem

Hi folks,

Embarrassing that I need to ask here but my ability to focus on things seems to be seriously declining lately.

I'm living on my 42' Formosa Trawler and pulled off my mooring ball last week in a stiff wind to go get my water tanks filled and I realized I had no rudder control. Fortunately I have two engines. I'm suspecting that I have a hydraulic leak. When I purchased My Lady four years ago, I vaguely remember mention of a leak and I believe it's up on the flybridge behind the wheel. I've never had a steering problem until last week.

How do I check the fluid level? and is there any trick to getting things back to normal??

Thanks for your help!
__________________
Advertisement

Bigfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2017, 04:47 PM   #2
Guru
 
Lou_tribal's Avatar
 
City: Quebec
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Bleuvet
Vessel Model: Custom Built
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,413
Depends on your steering setup but if like mine (seastar I and II) the fluid reservoir is on the wheel support, there is a little plug, unscrew it and look inside it should be topped by your hydraulic fluid. In different setup you may have a fluid reservoir somewhere on the line, should be easy to find as it should be accessible and on your hydraulic line. And finally if you lost your control because of a fluid leak, there should be clear evidence of the leaked oil as you must have lost a lot.

L.
__________________

Lou_tribal is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2017, 06:26 PM   #3
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,645
Seastar sells a kit consisting of a pint or so of hydraulic fluid and a tube to connect it to the fill port on the top of the helm pump. Hook it up and turn the helm back and forth a dozen times to fill the top of the pump.

Sometimes you have to bleed at the steering ram, but if the leak is only affecting the upper helm then you can fill it as above with no bleeding.

David
djmarchand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2017, 07:05 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
ddalme's Avatar
 
City: LAFAYETTE,LA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Relenti
Vessel Model: Atlantic 30, 1983
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 446
My steering has a tank which has an air valve and fill cap on it. Can't remember the brand, have to look at my log book. Anyway had to change the seals in the upper helm and bleed the system. To bleed you loosened two nut on the tank and turn the wheel 20/30 revolutions each way. Tighten the two nuts on the tank and your finished.
ddalme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2017, 08:17 PM   #5
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,953
You need to check what type of system you have. On mine, there is a reservoir near the rudder. There are some clear sections so you can see the fluid level. There is also pressure gauge and a Schrader valve on the top. The idea on mine is to fill the reservoir and then pressurize the system with a hand-pump. I've never had to add fluid but I have pumped up the system twice in the year that I have owned the boat. Mine calls for between 25-30 psi but the steering still seems to work at 0 psi.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2017, 08:39 PM   #6
TF Site Team
 
Pack Mule's Avatar
 
City: Paris,TN
Country: USA
Vessel Name: William
Vessel Model: Outer reef 32
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,333
The first winter we had our trawler (5 years ago ) the air bled down on the system and we had no steering . We had plenty of fluid in the reservoir. I just pumped it up to 25 psi and haven't had any trouble since.
__________________
Marty
Pack Mule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 04:49 AM   #7
Guru
 
Keysdisease's Avatar
 
City: South Florida
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 688
The pressurized system is made by Hynautic. The company was purchased by Sea Star some years ago and the system is still supported. There is a third system that is found on boats made by Wagner, not many of those around.

All the previous comments are correct. If a leak was mentioned, you should only have to fill her up, if Hynautic then pressurize. Of course someday you will need to address the leak.

If you have a 2 station boat with a Sea Star system ONLY fill it at the upper station. As a vented system the lower station has a non vented plug and if you pop the lower station all the fluid in the system uphill will drain out, not pretty.



Sea Star Helm -- Hynautic Helm -- Hynautic Reservoir
Attached Images
   
Keysdisease is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 09:01 AM   #8
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,953
This is the reservoir that I have on my boat. Those little plastic windows are supposedly to be able to view the fluid level, but it is darn hard to see it, at least where it is located in my boat.
http://assets.suredone.com/2622/medi...p5810hy-md.jpg
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 10:08 AM   #9
Guru
 
City: Gibsons
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Island Pride
Vessel Model: Palmer
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,409
If you have a leak then try to find it. It might be a pump leaking, it might be a loose fitting, it might be the cylinder needs resealing, or it could be a hose or line in trouble.

Find and assess to know why the leak occurs.

I saw a guy some years ago [25] lose his steering completely because he ignored a leak.

It was a line worn through at a too sharp bend rubbing against something else. Eventually the line let go almost completely with a loss of steering in a BAD spot to lose it. Unfortunately none of us had anything of any use to him. Oil yes but it just leaked out again. We didn't know enough at the time to figure out what could be done and although even then I carried a lot of fittings I had what I needed which were all the wrong sizes.

But seals wear and breakdown from age and can let go completely and abruptly causing some troublesome problems.
__________________

C lectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012