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Old 01-14-2018, 10:49 PM   #1
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Bridge steering seems to

take more turns to turn the rudder than the salon pilot station. There is a Ruritan Rudder gauge at both helms. The lower helm feels stiff compared to the upper. The upper spins like a top and takes a bunch of turns to get the rudder from one stop to the other. Is this normal? (I'm thinking not). Reaching out to you steering experts.


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Old 01-14-2018, 10:57 PM   #2
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Have you checked the fluid at the upper helm, sounds like air in the system. What is the model # of the helm pump?

Cheers Mike Barge
Sidney, British Columbia
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:03 AM   #3
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Probably the system is low on fluid. Usually will effect the upper helm first until the fluid gets low enough to effect the lower helm.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:36 AM   #4
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What brand system is it? Capilano systems have variable volume knob that changes the turn ratio. With this system you could different turn ratio's from upper to lower stations

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Old 01-15-2018, 05:47 AM   #5
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My system is hynautic with a raymarine autopilot pump installed near thevupper helm.

I have had the exact symptoms for 7 years and 15000 miles.

One year I noticed a tiny leak in a fitting near the rudder ram and tighten, then filled snd pressurized.

Over a 5 month summer no cruising oeriod, the pressure will bleed down from 30 to 15 psi say.

Other than that, I have found no external problems.

While cruising, after 3 or 4 days, the upper helm does get loose and maked the autopilot oump work harder ir seems. Especially to starboard. So I go up and spin the wgeek left and right till it firms up and is 5.5 turns stop to stop like the lower.

The lower never seems to have the problem.

So I live with it as rebuilding the upper may be out of the question due it hasnt gotten high enough on the worklist yet.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:14 AM   #6
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The important information that you left out is; Has it been like this since you've owned the boat or is this something new or gradual? And of course the brand of the system.

If this is gradual or something new, I would suggest checking the fluid level in the upper helm. Actually, SeaStar suggests doing this every day (probably for liability reasons).

If it's been like this since you owned the boat, there could be any number of things wrong and if you can't figure it out you might need to call in a pro who is familiar with your system. Or contact the manufacturer for help.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:22 AM   #7
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The rebuild kit is a few gaskets and a handful of o rings. Check it out on u tube. I paid to have it done, $75 Labor. Likely need shortie wrenches to work in crowded space for removal-install. I had a plate mounted instrument cluster that removal gave a big hand hole.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:43 PM   #8
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Try to get a look at the pumps and the labels on them. Photos? Sometimes a phone camera can get a shot that a larger camera cannot. In fact that you can't get you head in to see what things are. Mirrors, a flashlight and a helper to copy names, models and serial can work wonders.

It will help with the advice given.

HOwever from what little you have said I agree that it sounds like the oil level has dropped to the point the pump is pumping mostly air, not oil.

Add some oil and then watch the system, all of it, carefully for leaks. You most likely have one somewhere.
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:10 PM   #9
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I had the same issue. Yup, it was the fluid.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:54 PM   #10
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Start with the simple things, is there a ratio adjustment knob? Start there then look to see if both pumps are the same model, then look at fluid level.
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:02 PM   #11
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I agree w tilt.


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