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Old 07 January 2004, 08:07   #1
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Country: UK - England
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Hydraulic Steering

I am trying to decide whether to have hydraulic steering fitted to my Avon 5.6m/90HP. The boat was new in Spring 2003 but has had very little use so far. Ive been very disappointed with it and the heavy steering is a major factor (Teleflex type). I know there is a bit about steering systems on here, but wondered if I should stick with it for another season or just bite the bullet and get someone who knows what they are doing to sort it out? Ive lost faith in the agent who sold the boat so was wondering also if anybody had recommendations in the Salcombe/Plymouth area. Would also like a feel for the cost of getting something decent fitted.

Thanks
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Old 07 January 2004, 08:34   #2
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Hydraulic steering isn't necessary on an engine of that size but yes it would be easier to drive. Have a look at the Baystar systems.

What else has dissapointed you about the boat?
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Old 07 January 2004, 09:33   #3
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Hi Richard

I am currently going through similar steering considerations myself. We have a 585 Ribtec with 135 Optimax, great fun but after a few hours does make your arm ache esp as it has a right hand throttle. My girlfriend also finds it too heavy . I have just a quote for Baystar system for 620 fitted apparently it will offer a dramatic improvement. The baystar system is rated upto 150hp and is considerably cheaper that then Seastar (up 300hp), one although they are manufactured by the same company.

Rgds

Pete
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Old 07 January 2004, 10:10   #4
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go 4 it!!!

recently purchased a boat my self 135hp mariner killed your arms and put you off a little to say the least,,my wife would never of got far with it for sure., just fitted hydraflex-hydraulic system dead easy fit for the average diy person. cost me 450.00 + vat .so so nice now can let go of the steering wheel and she dont want to turn or nothing .smoothe steering through out the whole range highly recomend it,, approx 4 hrs to fit hardest thing is to bleed but patiance and you will get there.
best mod i have ever done. std steering wheel still fits also, and pipes you make up your own ends in situ,so nice and tidy finish...
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Old 07 January 2004, 10:33   #5
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I had been looking forward to buying my first RIB. The disappointment began when I started to get let down by the builder. The late delivery was something I could cope with, but the lack of care and attention to detail in the fit-out did leave a bad taste. Most of this was sorted out eventually, but as soon as the faults and unfinished work were rectified I decided not to return to the dealer if I could help it. None of that is the boat's fault of course. The steering is a dissapointment as I discussed the need for the boat to be as easy to steer as possible for the rest of the family. I do actually suspect that the existing steering is poorly or incorrectly installed as it really is a drag (and Im no lightweight!!! in fact quite the opposite). The other annoyance, and again something talked about before purchase is the lack of access to the bow due to the width of the console. Is this something RIB owners have to put up with? The dealer told me it wouldnt be a problem as you just step on the tubes to get around. Before I used the RIB I didnt realise just how dangerous this was when tubes are wet! Next time I will ensure safe access to the bow is possible without acrobatics. Perhaps my expectations are too high. Havent used the boat enough to comment on the actual on-water performance. Hoping to get things put right and get out to use it more this year.
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Old 07 January 2004, 11:06   #6
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Fit hydro steering if you can, i have sea star and it great, no effort and no chance of kickback. Have you any pics of your boat?
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Old 07 January 2004, 11:22   #7
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Looks a nice boat..why dont you post the pics on here i am sure people on here would like to see them.
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Old 07 January 2004, 11:46   #8
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Thanks, I will, but I have been waiting in the hope that I get some pics with the thing actually moving or doing something slightly more exciting than bobbing about at a mooring or on a trailer behind the car...
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Old 07 January 2004, 11:49   #9
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Ive never really worried about access to the bow.
The only times you should ever need to go up there is when you are stationary or nearly stationary.

Get a big wrap around grabhandle on the front and sides of the console. That'll sort the problem and give people sitting on the toobs something to hold onto.

PS, On the trailer will be fine, lets see some pics
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Old 08 January 2004, 08:35   #10
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Thanks for the all the advice, I will go ahead and get the steering changed. Im sure I will be far more enthusiastic about getting out there once it's more pleasant to use. Its amazing how something like this can put you off.

Nobody has come up with any recommendations for a yard that could take on the work though. Is it because its so simple Im just being a wimp for considering it, or is there nobody in the South Hams worth recommending..... surely not? I will have to revert to the phone directory.

I will put some pics on the gallery bit
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Old 08 January 2004, 08:54   #11
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I made a similar inquiry on this discussion board and received a fair bit of useful info - use the search facility - hudraulic steering.

I had a quote from www.europemarine.co.uk for a unit to fit a 5.5m rib of 265.99 + vat which seemed pretty good to me.

I am going to fit it in the next month or so.
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Old 08 January 2004, 14:26   #12
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Not to negate anything which has been said here, but your mechanical steering should not be particularly heavy. You should be able to drive one handed whilst controlling the throttle with out problem. I have done this for many years using a twin cable system.
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Old 08 January 2004, 15:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Taylor
is there nobody in the South Hams worth recommending
I haven't used them myself, but Reddish Marine in Salcombe are well respected in the area.
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Old 08 January 2004, 20:46   #14
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Dan's tip of the day would be...


...make sure you get the pipes the right way round, else turn left and guess which way you don't go Guess who did that!
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Old 08 January 2004, 20:49   #15
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alan p ???

went the wrong way across the atlantic
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Happy New Resolutions!!! : RIBbing for the craic!!!
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Old 09 January 2004, 05:57   #16
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Richard - Thinking about getting the power bleeding system for the Seastar / Baystar system, so I might be able to help you out.

Going off to France on Saturday for a week - send me an email or PM the week after and I'll help if I can!
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Originally Posted by Zippy
When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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Old 10 January 2004, 10:50   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by jwalker
Not to negate anything which has been said here, but your mechanical steering should not be particularly heavy. You should be able to drive one handed whilst controlling the throttle with out problem. I have done this for many years using a twin cable system.
I do agree. And I was happy to go along with the buiders recommendation not to bother with hydraulics at the time of purchase when I suggested I might want it! But the reality is different, which is why I mentioned earlier that it may simply be a poor installation (cable too short/radius too small??) But even having said that it would have to be improved an awful lot to allow steering one handed. Im not sure I would be able to turn the boat at all, certainly not without huge effort, whilst keeping a hand free for the throttle. (I said earlier I was no lightweight.... Im 6'2 and over twenty stone!!!..... and yes..... I know I need a bigger boat )

So having listened to all the comments I think Im going to have to get it changed.... Thanks all for your help

Rick
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Old 10 January 2004, 11:38   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Taylor
it would have to be improved an awful lot to allow steering one handed. Im not sure I would be able to turn the boat at all, certainly not without huge effort
My last two engines have been 115hp and were fitted with good quality, heavy duty, No Feed Back systems from Nautequip chandlery in Hartlebury, Worcs. (about 90). A ten year old can steer my boat, one handed, quite easily so I think that either your system is faulty, either in the cable,engine swivel mount or steering head, or you need the Atkins diet.

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Old 10 January 2004, 11:56   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidmanning
you need the Atkins diet.

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Thanks David..... I'd probably eat the Book
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Old 10 January 2004, 14:12   #20
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Richard

It's a shame that you have left it so long, but even so it is still less than a year old and should be under warranty.

A RIB your size should not need hydraulic steering. Some might prefer a hydraulic system, but a properly installed no-feedback cable system should be completely adequate.

From your description it sounds like it is not properly set up. I would take the boat back to the dealer and ask them in a fairly robust way to sort the problem out.

Let us know what happens and if they are unhelpful we'll suggest some ideas for plan B. Needlessly spending several hundred pounds extra should be a last resort -- I'm assuming that you haven't got unlimited funds as you'd probably have a bigger boat!

John
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