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Old 29 July 2007, 05:40   #1
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Steering Problems

Well given the small window of opportunity yesterday we got out on the water and had a bit of fun, but it reminded me of the problem I'm having with steering.

In short Night Shift has a tendency to pull to the right. Its very easy to turn to starboard but to turn to port again is a lot harder work. This also means that to keep a safe helming position with left hand on throttle and right hand on wheel means that you end up with a tired right shoulder/arm. This also makes it harder for my wife to helm and I'm trying to convince her to have the confidence to take the helm

One marine engineer suggested that this was common on smaller ribs (5.35m) with largeish engines (90hp) and that the only solution was to go from teleflex to hydraulic steering. However I'd really like to canvas opinion of everyone on here. Any thoughts guys 'n' galls? What's the likely cause and what are my options for solutions?

Thanks in advance
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Old 29 July 2007, 05:47   #2
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First check the position of the trim tab on the engine. If the boat pulls it probably needs adjusting. The boat should track stright if the tab is set correctly.

I have hydraulic steering on a similar boat to yours and it is light and responsive. The only thing to get used to is some 'slip' which is only noticable in that the wheel migrates around.
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Old 29 July 2007, 06:05   #3
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Thanks JABS, but have tried adjusting trim tab but to no effect. In fact as a matter of desperation tried setting hard to one side then later on hard to the other. Neither position had any effect on it pulling to one side
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Old 29 July 2007, 06:08   #4
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Andrew, just to clarify, can I assume you don't currently have hydraulic steerng?

If that's the case, then fit a hydraulic system as per the advice you've had... it's superior to cable steering in every way.
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Old 29 July 2007, 06:19   #5
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I agree with Richard. I'd be inclined to fit hydraulic as it's so much smoother and easier. I had exactly the problem you have with my Osprey Eagle 5.6 which had a 115 on the back. It was so bad that the steering wheel would try and pull it's self way way round if you turned in a very tight circle. I then put the same engine on the back of a Ribtec 585 which had hydraulic - problems eliminated.
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Old 29 July 2007, 07:48   #6
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Just be aware with hydraulic steering there is a loss of feel and make sure you get the correct ratio pump for the helm - otherwise you need to spin the wheel like a destroyer.
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Old 29 July 2007, 08:42   #7
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The torque of a single engine often makes it easier to turn in one direction and harder in the other. When the engine is trimmed correctly the helm will be more balanced, even a slight trim too high or too low can make a big difference.

Cod is absolutely right about getting the correct ratio helm pump if you do install hydraulic steering (which I'm sure will make a huge difference to the way your RIB helms). I had a sporting 3.5 turns lock to lock on my last Tornado, which was great when maneuvring at slow speed, but it was really heavy to helm at higher speeds, especially when trimmed in for head seas.
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Old 29 July 2007, 09:36   #8
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You won't believe what a diference hydraulic makes until you try it. I changed mine from teleflex to hyd last year, and I still find myself thinking how fantastic it is in comparison when I go out for a spin.
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Old 29 July 2007, 09:37   #9
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Richard B:

Yes you are quite correct - only have teleflex cable steering at the moment

Tim:

Yes I've noticed a tendency for mine to do that a little, although not as much as you've found. Good to know that the hydraulics fixed it

JIY, Codders:

How do you determine the correct size of helm pump? Is there a suggested pump size/capacity for a given engine weight?

Thanks all for you advice thus far - please keep it coming
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Old 29 July 2007, 14:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewH View Post

How do you determine the correct size of helm pump? Is there a suggested pump size/capacity for a given engine weight?

I think my teleflex was 5.2 turns lock to lock, so I went for a combo as close as possible. i think I ended up with 4.5 turns on the hydraulic which I find fine. The manufacturers literature will give you some guidance. Not all makes have different options of pump capacity, and some have more turns to port than starboard (or vice versa). It depends upon the helm pumb and the ram type/size on the outboard.
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