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Old 06-16-2019, 08:30 PM   #1
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Steering Failure: Hynautics unit

My GulfStar has been unused of a year, I pulled out of the slip, turned and went forward. The wind was blowing hard and with twin engines; I had not touched the wheel yet, what a surprise>> steering wheel was free wheeling. Got it back end. So, I am now studying the only system left on the boat I know nothing about LOL. Down loaded Hynautic manual and reviewing how to bleed air out. The boat has a Navman autopilot that I never used, I did turn it on with for a minute to show it before I left. Its pretty cool, I have been using the one on my new boat, so it makes sense to me now.
Question:: I wonder if turning on (auto pilot) it locked up a sticky valve? I have only one helm active, so bleeding should be simple. There was 28# on the Hynautic unit. In a different location there is a pump with a block, with 3 lines only power to motor, no other electrical.
So I have been online trying to understand how AutoPilots work the actual hydraulics.
How do they over ride the manual steering?
I hope its only air in system( seen no leaks so far) but I am boning so I can trouble shoot the problem.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:31 AM   #2
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Wink First thoughts

Hi.
No doubt more detailed help will arrive soon - but.
You most likely will have an accumulator which has a pressure gauge on top.
Check the pressure - if no pressure, you have a leak so likely air at the helm. Fill with oil, repressurise with a bike pump and check for leaks. If pressure then your thoughts about a sticky valve (there should be 2 check valves) may be correct but as they operate in hydraulic fluid and two in parallel, not likely.
Turn on the autopilot and engage a waypoint or control the helm manually - see if the autopilot has control of the steering. If you move the autopilot helm port and starboard and the steering works normally its the valves or air has migrated to the top helm.
Bleed the helm.
Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:05 AM   #3
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Autopilot pump works just like another independent steering station.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:26 AM   #4
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Sorry, no advice of a technical nature, only a suggestion to bump your boat into forward and reverse and turn the wheel "lock to lock" (counting turns to make sure they are the right amount) before untying from the dock. Better to discover problems before leaving.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:27 AM   #5
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When we purchased our boat we were experienced sailors but unfamiliar with most of the systems, including autopilot. During our first few days running we had a similar situation - lost steering. It turned out that we had unintentionally activated the autopilot (remote on fly bridge), so the wheel was slack.

If you have not used the autopilot much you may want to check out that possibility.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:43 AM   #6
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Manuels

Thnaks everybody, I just found the Navman G-pilot 3380 manuel nad the Accu-Steer Manuel. I will study up on the system, I want to know all this works. I think It might be a simple bleeding of air. Pressure was aprox 28#
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveandZoila View Post
My GulfStar has been unused of a year, I pulled out of the slip, turned and went forward. The wind was blowing hard and with twin engines; I had not touched the wheel yet, what a surprise>> steering wheel was free wheeling. Got it back end. So, I am now studying the only system left on the boat I know nothing about LOL. Down loaded Hynautic manual and reviewing how to bleed air out. The boat has a Navman autopilot that I never used, I did turn it on with for a minute to show it before I left. Its pretty cool, I have been using the one on my new boat, so it makes sense to me now.
Question:: I wonder if turning on (auto pilot) it locked up a sticky valve? I have only one helm active, so bleeding should be simple. There was 28# on the Hynautic unit. In a different location there is a pump with a block, with 3 lines only power to motor, no other electrical.
So I have been online trying to understand how AutoPilots work the actual hydraulics.
How do they over ride the manual steering?
I hope its only air in system( seen no leaks so far) but I am boning so I can trouble shoot the problem.
If the autopilot is on and engaged, you should feel less resistance and the rudder won't move. If you turn the autopilot off at the breaker panel, everything reverts to manual steering. Check the reservoir (where the pressure gauge was) for fluid by shining a light in the row of little windows. You can have pressure without having enough fluid in the system. Follow the bleeding instructions after checking fluid level. Then check the fluid level and bleed the system again. My boat had some air in the pump. Even though the autopilot worked perfectly and I could turn the rudder with the autopilot steer buttons, turning the wheel took 29 revolutions to go from lock to lock. After bleeding the system, lock to lock is 7 revolutions, which is normal for my helm pump and cylinder combination (yours may be a different number of revolutions). Interestingly, I never found a leak; I haven't had to bleed it again; it has worked flawlessly for the last 4 years, 2,300 hours underway, 15,000 miles.

Ted
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:25 AM   #8
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Fixed

Just got back from the boat. I started by Auto pilot, I didn't effect any movement of rudder. Next a pressurized the Hynatic unit, It stayed on 28 for a while then popped up the ~45. I think it had leaked to 0 but the gauge got stuck at 28, so I thought I had pressure! The wheel worked normally! I didn't bleed any thing 4 turns lock to lock. The Auto pilot displays the rudder movement but doesn't work. Haven't addressed that. I have not used it in past, but use the Raymarine unit 2004 in my "new" boat. I like the Navman better.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:46 AM   #9
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Glad it is working. I check the pressure in my steering system periodically. Maybe once a year I pump up the pressure as it will very gradually lose pressure over time.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:07 AM   #10
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I used to have to pump up the pressure on my old gulfstar every 6 months to a year. Obviously, it had a small leak somewhere, but I never found it in the 8 years we owned the boat. It never lost any appreciable fluid, so I just kept an eye on it.

It was just one of her little ways. All of the boats I have owned seem to have had them.
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