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Old 20 September 2020, 12:48   #1
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Seastar Power Steering

I wasn't really sure which bit of the forum to put it in so apologies to admin if it's in the wrong place.

Does anyone have any experience, do's and don'ts or anything else associated with retro-fitting a power steering module like the Seastar Power Assist units. Whilst I'm baulking at the price, if they work well I might just have to bite the bullet.

I've put a new Seastar helm pump on to replace the poorly Wagner unit that was on there and it really takes some wrestling. The Wagner was quite hard work as well.
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Old 20 September 2020, 12:50   #2
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I wasn't really sure which bit of the forum to put it in so apologies to admin if it's in the wrong place.

Does anyone have any experience, do's and don'ts or anything else associated with retro-fitting a power steering module like the Seastar Power Assist units. Whilst I'm baulking at the price, if they work well I might just have to bite the bullet.

I've put a new Seastar helm pump on to replace the poorly Wagner unit that was on there and it really takes some wrestling. The Wagner was quite hard work as well.
Not going to help you with the answer to your question but I can confirm that having power steering is absolutely fantastic.

My boat has the Mercury Verado system and you can literally steer with the tip of your finger. Slow speed manouvering and going from lock to lock is trivial. Having had it I definitely don’t think I’d want a big outboard without it.
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Old 20 September 2020, 13:51   #3
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Pretty sure mine is Seastar. Absolutely effortless steering. No issues over many years. No knowledge of retrofit, sorry.
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Old 20 September 2020, 18:00   #4
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I've put a new Seastar helm pump on to replace the poorly Wagner unit that was on there and it really takes some wrestling. The Wagner was quite hard work as well.[/QUOTE]

Bit strange you have that issue ,usually if you have too much flow per rotation in your pump it will be hard work as you are trying to move engine too fast creating massive resistance ,if you dont have enough flow per revolution then you it will be like going down hill in first gear . sorry unfamilar with inboard driven pumps but little info here re what you may have, might be helpful
Selection of steering system
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Old 21 September 2020, 00:13   #5
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Youíve probably checked but does the engine turn freely when disconnected from steering? Itís pretty common for bushes to seize up on engine and make turning difficult. Hydraulic steering should be easy enough to use without pump assistance. Points to something not right somewhere
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Old 21 September 2020, 03:02   #6
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What engine/drive is it?
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Old 21 September 2020, 13:11   #7
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Gents

Thanks for the responses.

It's a Yanmar 4LHA inboard driving a SternPowr sterndrive through a Velvet Drive gearbox.

I replaced the Wagner helm pump with a Seastar helm pump. I couldn't find the displacement of the Wagner so I bought the 2.0 cubic inch Seastar.

I also bought a new wheel which is smaller in diameter than the original Halmatic wheel.

With the boat stationary or out of the water, the helm turns fine without notchiness, which was the issue with the Wagner, so I don't think the stern drive is binding.

It's only when moving that it becomes difficult so I think it is water pressure that turns it into an arm wrestle and I suspect it has been exacerbated by possibly a higher displacement helm pump allied to a smaller wheel.

I've looked at the on engine solution from Yanmar but the combined price of all the bits make the Seastar solution look like an eye watering bargain.

Good to hear the positive reviews of power steering in general and a bonus is that the Seastar unit looks relatively easy to fit.

The project wil break cover shortly (hopefully) once I've overcome the slightly embarassing top speed of 8 knots that I'm achieving at the moment.
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Old 21 September 2020, 16:15   #8
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How much is the kit & how is it powered & what does it use for actuation? Most sterndrive power systems are pretty similar but dedicated to the specific drives, just wondering how a add on kit works
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Old 21 September 2020, 23:39   #9
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£1700
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Old 22 September 2020, 04:43   #10
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I have Seastar Power steering on my Suzuki 350 and its amazing. So light and easy. Highly recommended.
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Old 22 September 2020, 13:14   #11
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£1700
Ah ok I see how its working, I wondered when you mentioned the cost of the yanmar power steering how it worked but you'd struggle to use any of the yanmar stuff as its dedicated to the bravo drive, not impossible to adapt but not straightforward either.
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Old 05 October 2020, 18:52   #12
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I retro-fitted a Hy-Drive hydraulic steering unit (an Australian brand but similar to Sea Star) to my Revenger 23 to replace the old cable steering. The steering now feels much smoother and does not vary in weight like the cable system did. A very worthwhile improvement.
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