Originally Posted by Bmarler
i'm curious to know, what type of steering is your bluewater equipped with, and how do you like it?
mine has an older morse rack/cable unit and it takes a lot of effort to turn to port at speeds above 6 knots or so.
it's high on my list of things to upgrade/repair.
Sorry for the late reply.
Sandpiper is equipped with the Capilano hydraulic steering with a variable displacement helm pump.
The single rudder is actuated by two cylinders in a push pull configuration.
Boat was built with those. I think it's overkill. Too many turns, but the helm can be spun.
If you opt for Capilano, get the bigger helm pump to reduce turns lock to lock. Sandpiper came with the smaller pump and with it set to max, it is still 7 1/2 turns lock to lock. The pump exteriors are the same dimensions.
If you decide hydraulic, make sure to install a crossover pipe/valve in your hydraulic tubes. It allows you to use your emergency tiller to steer without having to disconnect the cylinders from the rudder post. Bluewaters were not originally equipped with a crossover.
I installed an Accu-Steer (Bellingham, WA) variable displacement pump when I upgraded the auto pilot 21 years ago. I had to replace the copper steering tubes with larger diameter copper tubing in order to gain the benefits of the larger pump.
I have not had an issue with steering.