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Hydraulic Steering

Category: Steering

Contributed by Chris Woodbury

Summary: We have had a lot of correspondence on the hydraulic steering we all have.
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The NC43's seem to have a problem with leaking helm pump shaft seals at the cockpit station. I wonder if this is because these boats have such a large wheel. The bearing wears and the seal goes. Anyway, it is not a hard thing to change once you have the correct seal in hand.

The boats that are getting on in years (2) should be planning to replace the reinforce plastic tubing that composes the return line for hydraulic fluid. It would be really nice to do this during lay-up rather than under duress on the water.

As the plastic hose ages, the plasticizer evaporates and the tubing becomes brittle. Changing it is not an impossible task for the owner, if the right tubing is found and a formal procedure followed for draining and refilling the system.

If the tubing is at all pliable leave it alone. Wait another few years.

steering diagram

Two US companies make this heavy duty PVC-reinforced tubing: Trident and Shields. West Marine sells Shields tubing under the part No. 16-162-0126 in 1/2 inch. Boat US sells Trident No. 218809 in 1/2 inch.